Bengaluru, June 29: Former captain Anil Kumble today (June 29) took charge as the head coach of the Indian team and praised Ravi Shastri for having done a "wonderful job" during his tenure as the Team Director.
The 45-year-old Kumble pipped Shastri to the top job, last week. Shastri was in-charge of the team for 18 months as the team's director. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chose Kumble over Shastri after advertising for the head coach's position. (Shastri lashes out at Ganguly)
On Wednesday (June 29), at his home ground M Chinnasway Stadium, Kumble began his new innings as coach. Indian team are at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for a preparatory camp ahead of the tour to the Caribbean. India will play 4 Tests against West Indies from next month.
In his first media interaction after taking charge, Kumble acknowleged Shastri's contribution to the team and also spoke about his new role.
"I was the first to call Ravi (Shastri) after I was appointed as the coach. He did a wonderful job (as team director, coach). But it is not about the coach, it is players," Kumble told reporters.
"Ravi congratulated me and told me it's a fantastic team we have. Tomorrow it could be someone else. I am not permanent in this role. I want to be part of this journey. Honoured to be part of this journey. It is not about Ravi or me, I want the Indian team to do well," he added.
Kumble has been appointed for a period of 1 year. During his tenure India will play 17 Tests, with 13 of them at home. There are also ODI series. New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia will tour India.
In the past few days after the appointment of the coach, Shastri has expressed his displeasure over former captain Sourav Ganguly, who was one of the three members in the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which picked the coach.
The CAC consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Ganguly intereviewed the candidates for coach's job. During Shastri's interview, Ganguly was absent which did not go down well for the former team director. Shastri said Ganguly was "disrespectful" by not being there.