Karun Nair is confident Anil Kumble will bring aggression and focus to Kings XI Punjab, irrespective of when the IPL happens. Kumble was appointed head coach of KXIP in October last year, and Nair, who made his Test debut for India under the former legspinner who coach of the national team for a year was, feels Kumble coming in board will take the franchise in the right direction going ahead.

“I had the privilege and honour to work under him when he was the coach of India. I made my debut under him and it was something I cherish because the coach whom you debut under remains special throughout your life. He’s from Bangalore, and someone I’ve looked upto. You want to learn from the way he reacts in a situation to the way he works, on and off the field,” Nair told ESPNcricinfo.

“If you see, as a person he’s very focussed and determined. Like even when he played, he was determined to get the job done for India. As a coach as well, he’s the same very focussed and detailed in everything he wants to do. He communicates very well with the players and tells them what he expects of them. He assigns you roles and expects you to perform them to the fullest. He will bring aggression and focus to the team, something which we cannot wait to get started with.”

Nair came to KXIP from Delhi Capitals before IPL 2018 for Rs 5.6 crore but played only one game for the franchise last season. As for the franchise, KXIP entered the 2020 players auction with a purse of 42.70 crore, the fattest among the eight teams. They had nine slots to fill that included five Indian and four overseas. They spent Rs 16.5 crore on eight players. Their costliest buy at the auction was Australian Glenn Maxwell whom they purchased for Rs 10.75 crore.

Nair, by his own admission, cannot wait to play alongside the big-hitting Maxwell, admitting there’s plenty to learn from such established foreign cricketers.

“Really looking forward to meeting Glenn Maxwell and playing alongside him,” Nair added. “I’ve always played against him and been in teams where I’ve witnessed the destruction from Glenn Maxwell. So I’m looking forward to learning from him, seeing what he does and training and how he prepares for the game. Won’t mind learning a few skills from him and just talk about some cricket. There’s so much to learn from these foreign players, and even if you can pick one thing from each, it helps in developing the game further.”