Courtney Walsh : Anil Kumble will do everything to ensure that Indian cricket stays at the top

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Courtney Walsh : Anil Kumble will do everything to ensure that Indian cricket stays at the top

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Arun S Kaimal

07/18/2016

Former West Indies captain Courtney Walsh praised the appointment of Anil Kumble as the coach of the Indian team and said that Kumble will ensure that Indian cricket stays at the top. The former pacer also hailed Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli as “one of the top three batsmen in the world”.

The 53-year-old, who represented West Indies from 1984 to 2001, is currently a national selector and he was present in St. Kitts for the practice game between India and the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI. Speaking to Cricbuzz about the Indian cricket team, the former West Indian fast bowler hailed the appointment of Anil Kumble as coach and said the legendary leg-spinner has ‘his heart’ in the right place.

“I think it is a very good move. He is a very well respected person, and someone who is involved with the ICC as well," Walsh said.

"He (Kumble) has always wanted to contribute and give something back to cricket and his heart is in the right place. I am sure he will do everything in his power to ensure that Indian cricket stays at the top or even gets better."

"He (Kumble) has always wanted to contribute and give something back to cricket and his heart is in the right place. I am sure he will do everything in his power to ensure that Indian cricket stays at the top or even gets better.

"At the same time, I think he will help build the game further, and to me, that is the bigger picture. Sure he wants the Indian team to be number one, but he will not look after them alone. He is someone who wants to sort out Test cricket and the health of international cricket is at the top of his list as well. Having someone like him giving an input at the international level will be great,” he added.

Walsh also praised Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli, calling him as “one of the top three batsmen in the world”, and said that Kumble will succeed in keeping the passionate leader calm.

"I think Kumble will succeed in keeping him calm. But at the same time, I don't think Kohli is a player who wants to go out there and not express himself. He leaves everything on the field and as a leader is passionate about the game and his performances. Kohli is like Kumble in that respect, and as coach, he will be able to guide and help him to achieve success,” Walsh told Cricbuzz.

"I do believe that Virat Kohli is one of the top three batsmen in the world," he remarked. "They also have other exciting batting talents, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma. All of them will be looking to make a mark in this series. I am excited to see them play here, but at the same time, I also don't want them to get too many runs against my team."

I am certain they are hoping to make better pitches for the Test series," he said. "I am not holding a lot of hope, though, because the wickets have definitely slowed down, perhaps a little too much. If we can somehow get more life in them, maybe leave a little more grass and get some good bounce, it would be reasonable."

Talking about the pitches for the Test series, the former West Indian skipper said that he is hoping to see better pitches than those used in the warm-up matches.

"I am certain they are hoping to make better pitches for the Test series," he said. "I am not holding a lot of hope, though, because the wickets have definitely slowed down, perhaps a little too much. If we can somehow get more life in them, maybe leave a little more grass and get some good bounce, it would be reasonable."

"And the Indian pacers will like bowling here. They have some pace. I don't remember seeing an Indian team that had 3-4 fast bowlers who could bowl at that pace, and this team has that. They are running in and looking purposeful. Ishant Sharma looks like the leader of the attack, in control, and he knows what he is doing. Beyond that, I have no clue which ones they will pick for the first Test, which in a way is a good thing for the team management," the 53-year-old told Cricbuzz.

The first match of the four-Test series will start on July 21 at Antigua.

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