Greetings have poured in from all quarters for Anil Kumble after he was appointed as team India’s head coach. And now former Indian cricketer and mind coach Sujith Somasundar has taken his turn to praise the former Indian bowler. Somasundar said that Kumble’s ability to be organised and bring individuals together will be a key factor for his tenure in the Indian team.
“It is the right choice simply because he is a capable, well-respected individual,” the 43-year-old Somasundar, also a mental toughness coach who has studied under noted US-based sports psychologist Dr Patrick Cohn, said of Kumble.
Recalling the infamous “monkeygate” incident of 2008 Australia tour, Somasundar heaped praise on Kumble by saying that he led the team from the front in a tough situation. After a heated match-filled-with-controversy in Sydney, where Harbhajan Singh was accused of racism by the Australians, Kumble made some really strong statements and also led India to a famous victory in the next test at Perth.
“As a captain of India, he excelled in the tough tour of Australia in 2008. The team needs somebody of that stature now. Being an engineer, he is a good strategist and an organized individual,” said the 43-year-old, who added that Kumble possessed the qualities you would normally associate with a foreign coach.
Taking into account the famous incident when Kumble bowled against West Indies with a broken jaw, Somasundar suggested Kumble’s ability to focus solely on the job would be very beneficial for the team. “He has the ability to let go of the past and focus on the result. He lays emphasis on the job at hand and looks to get it done. This is an important quality . Against the Windies in 2002, he realized his job was to bowl for India. He could have easily focused on his injury and the consequences of bowling with a broken jaw but he didn’t,” said Somasundar, who captained Kumble on his return from a shoulder injury in a Ranji Trophy match in 2005.
A former captain, Kumble is well respected among the Indian cricket fraternity and Somasundar suggested that Kumble’s ability to respect individuals will come in handy during his tenure. “He is a well-respected individual simply because of how he has conducted himself and how he has worked hard and performed for India. In terms of emotional quotient, I have observed that he is one who respects others and accepts people the way they are. These traits will come in handy ,” he added.
Somasundar, who coached the Kerala team in Ranji cricket, admitted that Kumble’s task of coaching the Indian team will not be an easy one.
“It is a big challenge because all eyes are on him and an Indian team.”