India’s new head coach Anil Kumble admires test captain Virat Kohli’s aggression and will not try to curb his natural instincts.
The 27-year-old Kohli replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India’s captain in the longest game’s format after the wicketkeeper-batsman’s retirement from test cricket during the tour of Australia in late 2014.
The Delhi cricketer was initially perceived as another brash personality from the streets of a city long accused of encouraging aggression in its youth, having often been involved in wars of words with opponents on the field.
Former India captain Kumble’s appointment as coach was welcomed by many who expect the former leg-spinner to be a calming presence in a team led by an expressive captain.
“I love his aggression,” Kumble told reporters sitting alongside Kohli. “I was no different, I was also aggressive, very different in terms of the way we probably came across on the field.
“But you don’t want to curb aggression. I will be the last person to curb someone’s natural instincts,” Kumble added.
“But we all know how important it is to be ambassadors of India and to be a part of the Indian cricket team. That everybody understands. We will ensure that there is a thin line and everybody knows that.”
India will play four tests against West Indies and after returning from the Caribbean the world’s second-ranked side are set for a busy season at home when they will play 13 test matches, eight ODIs and three T20 internationals.
“It will be one test match at a time. It’s a long season, we have the opportunity to plan well,” Kohli told reporters ahead of the team’s departure for the West Indies.
“It will be an opportunity for the team to gel together and execute our plans,” he added.
“It will be the perfect situation and opportunity to challenge and assess ourselves as a test team. I feel these few months will determine how India play test cricket in the next few years.”
Kumble, India’s most successful bowler, capturing 619 wickets in 132 tests and 337 in 271 one-day internationals, has just overseen a six-day training camp in Bengaluru.
“Our intention will always be to go for wins,” Kohli said. “There have been situations in the past where we have lost while trying to go for wins.
“But we lost due to our mistakes. We have realised we reached that position playing 80 percent good cricket. Now we are focusing on rectifying the remaining 20 percent and continue to play positively.”