Bengaluru, July 5: India's new head coach Anil Kumble today (July 5) said his aim was to make the team consistently win Tests abroad, starting with the 4-match series this month against the West Indies.
Former captain Kumble was on June 23 appointed as the chief coach of Team India by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). As he gets ready to take the flight to the caribbean tomorrow night (July 6) from Mumbai along with the 17-member squad, Kumble answered questions from fans via Twitter.
The former legspinner, India's highest wicket-taker in both Tests and One Day Internationals, said he was really excited to work with Test captain Virat Kohli. He answered on various issues.
Here are some of the questions and answers from Kumble via BCCI's Live Twitter interaction (#AskTheCoach) on Tuesday (July 5).
Question from @anands296 - What steps are you planning to take to improve our overseas Test record?
Anil Kumble: "It is the question which is, I guess, on every Indian's mind. It has been only few days with the team (since taking over). We will certainly look to get the right results in the West Indies. We have a whole lot of home series (13 Tests) coming up. The mindset needs to change and this team certainly has the mindset to do that. To really win consistently across all formats especially in Tests, not just in India, but also overseas. Really looking forward to working with this team."
@Aditya_k168 - What was your reaction on returning to the (Indian) dressing room after 8 years?
Kumble: "It was indeed a great honour for me to walk into the dressing room and in India colours. It is very special. It has been 8 years since I wore the India cap on the field and (was) among all the players. It is a wonderful feeling. I certainly feel privileged and it is a great opportunity to contribute back to the game. Hopefully I have a great run with the Indian team. I am really looking forward to work with Virat (Kohli) and the rest of the boys."
@BakwaasTamilian - What does Anil Kumble think is his greatest challenge as coach of Team India?
Kumble: "The challenge I believe is the consistency. It is not easy. We are playing 17 Test matches over the next 1 year. That is a lot of cricket. So it is important to keep the players fit and raring to go in every opportunity they have. That will be the challenge, to keep them really fit and energetic, because 17 Test matches are a lot. Consistency is what I think will be the challenge."
@imMathan18 - What is your opinion about day/night Test?
Kumble: "Anything we do to get the crowds back to Test matches is a great idea. I backed day-night Test cricket. That is something which is the future. At least on and off you will look to play day-night Tests that is where people can come after office hours, at least watch a couple of sessions."
@IndCricWarrior - Are you excited to work with Virat Kohli?
"Yes. I am really excited to work with Virat (Kohli). I have seen him from Under-19 cricketer (days) at RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore). He has matured a lot. Over the last couple of years he has shown what a fantastic batsman he is and what a fantastic leader he is, in the little what I have seen him as a Test captain. I am looking forward to that because he is really aggressive and so was I. I was also aggressive on the field. Really looking forward to working with him."
@Satish1238 - As you are from RVCE (Rashtriya Vidyalaya College of Engineering in Bengaluru) (me too), did you have the habit of mass bunking classes and playing cricket?
Kumble: "I was a bad example of a sports student. I never bunked classes when there were no cricket matches. So I was not the greatest guy among my sports friends as they hated me. I used to go to class when there was no cricket. I hardly had time to go to college as there was so much cricket."
@KeshavNemade - How you will tell batsmen to come out of T20 mode and be more patient in Tests?
Kumble: "It is not easy changing from one format (Twenty20) to the other (Tests). But all our batters understand that at Test level you have to not only score runs but spend time in the middle. That is what we were trying to achieve in the camp in Bengaluru. We still have a couple of weeks to work on that. Not only the mindset, even the training needs to change. (We need to) slow things down for the Test format."
@Moulinparikh - Who was the toughest Indian batsman to bowl to in the nets during your playing days and who is the toughest to bowl to now?
Kumble: "I found every Indian batsman (when I was playing) tough (to bowl to) at the nets. I have just got my arm rolling over in these nets (at preparatory camp in Bengaluru). My shoulder is sore. I really don't know I can be a tough challenge for any of our current batters now. I am trying really hard to bowl. Hopefully I will be able to bowl in the West Indies as well."
@AshokRaghavan - Will we see Anil Kumble the coach with a DSLR camera from the dressing room during match days?
Kumble: "Yes I am sure you would have seen with a camera around during my playing days. I will surely be carrying a camera to the West Indies. I have my camera packed. I will be carrying my camera to click some images of the team, on the beach, at the games as well. Hopefully winning shots will be great."
@imNim_Vk - What's the origin of your nickname "Jumbo". I mean who came up with this fascinating name?
Kumble: "My nickname was coined by none other than Navjot Singh Sidhu. This was in a Irani Trophy game when I was playing for Rest of India at the (Feroze Shah) Kotla. He was standing at his customary mid-on position and one of the balls (from me) really took off. He said 'Jumbo Jet'. The 'Jet' got dropped off and and Jumbo remained. Ever since all my team-mates call me Jumbo."