The appointment of Anil Kumble was welcomed by one and all but at the same time ignoring Ravi Shastri, who had a very successful stint with team India, created a lot of debates.
Indian batting star Rohit Sharma is the latest person to comment on that issue. Sharma said that Shastri did a very commendable job after taking charge of the team in a tough situation.
Under him the Indian team achieved new heights. The Indian team won the ODI series in England, reached the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup in 2015, won their first Test series in Sri Lanka 2-1 after 22 years and climbed to the Number 1 position in the Test rankings, after thrashing South Africa 3-0 in a series at home.
“He (Shastri) took up the responsibility when we were in shambles,” Sharma said. “Kumble’s thinking about the game is so different from the rest… It just amazes you… the kind of stuff he talks about and what he brings to the table is absolutely brilliant”, Sharma added.
Sharma also welcomed the BCCI’s move to appoint Kumble as the team’s coach. Calling Kumble “inspiring”, Sharma said that he learnt a lot from Kumble, when the former leg-spinner was the mentor of Mumbai Indians. He also praised the new coach for his never say die attitude.
“I have two years of experience at Mumbai Indians and I know the kind of things we spoke about. I was the captain and he was the coach and mentor of the team. I got to learn a lot from him,” said Sharma.
“I was fortunate enough to play with him during the last months before he retired. I remember in 2008, I was part of the Test squad to Sri Lanka and he (Kumble) was the captain. And he always had this attitude of never giving up, which as a young player is so inspiring. He is someone who is very inspiring with the way he’s played his cricket… he’s trying to inspire people to try and take up the challenge which is lying in front of you, and react to those challenges. He will always be there for you as a mentor and coach,” said Sharma.
Kumble would tell the Mumbai Indians to never give up till the end, said Sharma.
“You have to keep fighting no matter what. If the game is slipping away from your hands, don’t give up till the last ball is bowled. That’s how he played his cricket. You will get the feeling that he was someone who wouldn’t let go too easily. That’s the kind of message that he wanted to send across. That’s the kind of message we also want as young players. He’s very inspiring,” he said.
The recent times have seen Indian team playing on rank turners against the visiting nations. The move has been widely criticised. However, Sharma said that producing such tracks was a fair way to push for home advantage.
“As a group, as Team India, we decided that we wanted to dominate this series and the first way of domination was to use our home advantage, which every team does around the world. We go to Australia, they are not going to give us what we want. They will prepare pitches according to what they want. South Africa, England, anywhere you go,” said Sharma.
“Firstly, I don’t understand why there was so much of an issue made with the conditions. It’s the home conditions, we have to use it. As a group, we all sat down and decided what we were going to do with the pitches… All we wanted was to get results. We knew that the South African team lacked in their spin department and we had a gem of a spin attack. We wanted to use that,” said Sharma.