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Calling the appointment of Anil Kumble as Indian coach an “inspired choice”, former Indian coach Greg Chappell has said that Kumble will lead the team by example.
Chappell was India’s coach between 2005 and 2007. The then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and Chappell shared a torrid relationship during those two turbulent years , a time when one of India’s most successful captains was stripped of the captaincy.
Earlier, Sourav Ganguly conceded that he had made a mistake in 2005 by recommending Greg Chappell’s name. However, the former captain has admitted that he regrets that decision. Eleven years down the line, he hoped to do things “correctly” with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman by his side. The three greats are in the BCCI-appointed four-member committee that had the responsibility to pick the new head coach of the national cricket team.
“I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005. I’m given that opportunity again. Hopefully, we will do it correctly this time, whoever it is… Luckily, I have got support in Sachin, VVS, the BCCI secretary and president. Together we will pick the right person,” Ganguly said a few days ago. However, Chappell refused to comment on Ganguly’s statements.
Praising Kumble, the former Australian cricketer said that Kumble was a complete team man.
“If they had been blessed to have been surrounded by other selfless individuals whose only aim was to serve the team, the Indian teams in which they played would have been impossible to beat,” Chappell wrote in The Hindu newspaper.
“Kumble was never one to blow his own trumpet, but no one ever needed to be told that he was giving the team everything that he had. Whether with the bat or the ball or in the field, Kumble compete with a tenacity that few Indian players have surpassed.”
Chappell said that the Indian players’ tendency to find short-cuts has hindered their progress in the past. However, he expects Kumble to put an end to it and introduce a culture of hard work in the dressing room.
“Too often in the past, Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than work hard so any success has been fleeting,” Chappell wrote.
“It was something that I was appointed to change, but it needed key players, not least of all the captain (Ganguly), to buy-in and lead by example.
“Sadly, this didn’t happen until Dravid was appointed and the next 12 months brought some consistent success because of the change at the top.”
“The greatest asset that Kumble has is that he has a captain who has a robust self-belief, is courageous and who will lead by example in all areas,” Chappell wrote.
Kumble, who has been given a one-year contract, will be under pressure straight away as the Indian team is scheduled to play 13 Test matches in the next six months starting from the four-Test series in West Indies from July. Chappell said that support of other members of the team will determine Kumble’s performance.
“The level of expectation that has greeted Kumble’s appointment borders on unrealistic so, unless he gets the support of all of the key stakeholders, it may prove to be too much even for his indomitable spirit,” he added.