Anil Kumble is the new coach of Team India beating other contenders like Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody ©Getty Images
Anil Kumble is the new coach of Team India beating other contenders like Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody ©Getty Images

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have just announced the big news. The head coach of Indian cricket team has been announced and it is none other than former Indian skipper and legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble. Kumble won the battle for the top job beating former Team Director Ravi Shastri and others like Pravin Amre and Tom Moody. It is believed that Kumble’s presentation for the top job, which remained vacant after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia after Duncan Fletcher’s term ended, impressed the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. ALSO READ:An analysis of Indian spinners

The dust has finally settled as the Indian cricket team will embark on a new journey with a new coach and relatively new captain in the longest format of the game. BCCI named Ravi Shastri Team Director following the drubbing in England in the Test series of 2014. Soon afterwards, India won the five-match ODI series in England, whitewashed Sri Lanka at home, and entered the semi-finals of the World Cup 2015 and ICC World T20I 2016. He did bring a certain amount of optimism with his characteristics and was quite vocal in putting the interest of the team before anything.  ALSO READ:Happy birthday, Anil Kumble, you have been an inspiration!

If an opponent tried to sledge the team or any player before the commencement of a match, Shastri was the first to give it back in his own characteristic style. He surely brought unbridled aggression into the side but things will not be very different with the steely Kumble calling the shots now.

What Kumble will bring in the team?

He is a fighter. He is undoubtedly aggressive in his own way. The legacy left by Kumble cannot be matched anytime soon. He has always been an astute reader of the game.

Since his early days, Kumble has served the nation and bamboozled batsmen of great caliber. Playing at home or overseas never harmed his image as a player and a performer. Kumble has been the architect of many famous wins the team earned during his playing days. A veteran of 132 Tests, Kumble has foxed batsmen an astonishing 619 times and has a total of 956 wickets under his belt across formats.

The bowler in Kumble can solve the misery of Indian bowling performances in the last few years, touring abroad. He has full potential to instill the competitive and fighting spirit within them to compete head-to-head in the longer formats, playing abroad. The discipline and accuracy he was famous for in his playing days will probably be handed down to young guns like Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. His word of mouth for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will bolster their career and do a world of good for them.

He has been respected person off field as well, forever aggressive when it came to. His concentration and tenacity only improved with time, as did his unquestionable commitment. During India’s tour of West Indies in 2002, he was hurt and badly injured by a Mervyn Dillon ball that smashed his jaw. He was given an option to fly to India the same day and was set to fly in late evening. He decided to make the most of the remaining hours, denied medical advice and took field, and bowled a long spell, dismissing Brian Lara.

There was no doubt about his strategic skills as well, which was evident when he bowled as he out-thought one batsman after another. Additionally, Ganguly had said after his retirement that it was Kumble’s thinking abilities that eased his captaincy job.

Being appointed captain of the team in 2007 after Rahul Dravid resigned from the post, Kumble not only dictated terms for the team but stood with them in any controversy. During the tour of Australia in 2007-08, Harbhajan Singh was involved in controversy over a racist comment he passed on to Andrew Symonds. An investigation was led for the incident but Kumble was smart in handling the situation for his teammate. Before that, when it was almost certain that Virender Sehwag would miss out on the tour, Kumble insisted on his return; Sehwag scored a century in the fourth match at Adelaide, and roared back to form. His persistence will definitely come handy in his new roles. ALSO READ:An Indian All-Star Cricket XI

In the second Test at SCG, several umpiring decisions went against India. Worse, the Australians were not really at their sporting best, appealing unnecessarily and refusing to walk. After the match, Kumble shot back in the press-conference, taking a word from Bill Woodfull: “Only one team was playing with the spirit of the game, that’s all I can say”, which clearly showed his frustration on the outcome of the match.”

Lastly, apart from being aggressive, a fighter, competitive and in-your-face, Kumble has been a master in adapting as well. T20 cricket was still new when the Indian seniors, including Kumble, were in the twilight of their career. At the start, greats like him, Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Laxman were trying to adapt to this format. Kumble became the first of the lot to adapt to the new format, strangling batsmen, both as bowler and leader. He opened bowling for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2009 and dared to bowl during opponent team’s batting powerplays. He was appointed captain of RCB in that season and he took the team to the final. He has also served RCB and Mumbai Indians (MI) in the past few years as team mentor.

He has seen it all and it is needless to say that he will leave no stone unturned for bringing out the best from Team India cricketers. He has the experience, vast knowledge and strategic acumen the team requires at the moment. He knows most of them and will be able to work with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni simultaneously. Indeed he was and is the best choice and he lives up to the trust showed on him as he awaits the start of a new innings in his illustrious career.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)