Kumble took charge as the chief coach yesterday (June 29) with the commencement of a preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), for the West Indies tour. Last week, he was appointed for a period of 12 months. (Ind-WI series schedule)
"It is going to be a great 12 months for us as a team (with Kumble). That much I can guarantee you. We are up for it and want to be the best," Vijay told reporters at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
The 32-year-old Vijay who is one of the 4 members in the current 17-man squad to have been on a tour to the Caribbean with the senior side, wants to be consistent this season with 17 Tests to be played.
"I have been to the West Indies three times before. Obviously I have a fair bit of idea how it is going to be there. Again we don't know what is going to be given to us for a particular Test match. We have to be prepared overall. This is the start of the season. I am looking forward to stick to my basics. I want to be as consistent as (possible) this season. Hopefully if I do that, I will be happy," he said.
In their previous tour to the Caribbean in 2011, India won the 3-Test rubber 1-0. However, Vijay had a forgettable trip with just 72 runs from 6 innings. This time around he wants to do well.
"Actually last time it wasn't good for me (in the West Indies). Overall the team did well but not for me personally. Hopefully I can pull it off this time," the Chennai batsman said.
Vijay is looking forward to learning from Kumble. He did not forget to acknowledge the contribution of Ravi Shastri, who was Team India's Director for 18 months.
"It has been only a couple of days (in the camp with Kumble as coach). We had a great time with Ravi bhai. Now Anil bhai has picked up. Hopefully we can have a good time and learn lot of things from him. He has been an unbelivable cricketer for the Indian team. We are looking forward to share quality time with him," Vijay, who has played 37 Tests, said.
Vijay described the West Indies as a "great place" to play cricket. "It is a great place to play cricket. It is more of fun and also there is a lot of competition in sight. You can't ask for more as a sportsperson. There is entertainment overall. We are looking forward for the series to have a great one and comeback to India with confidence for the rest of the season (13 Tests). It will be a confidence booster for us to go and perform there. There is a lot at stake for us," he opined.
When asked about his memories playing with Kumble, Vijay said his debut Test series was the former leg-spinner's last, in 2008. India played Australia then and Kumble retired after the 3rd Test in Delhi. Vijay made his debut in the 4th Test in Nagpur.
"Actullay my first series (against Australia) was his last. So I could not spend a lot of time with him. I have been a great fan of him as a youngster and who doesn't. It is a great opportunity for us to talk to him and learn. It is going to be a great time for us (with Kumble). He has over 900 international wickets and as a batsman we can know from him how to deal with high-pressure situations," Vijay said.