The Caribbeans have been the launch pad for two India coaches. Duncan Fletcher began his stint as India coach here in 2011, and now Anil Kumble has his with a win.
While Virat Kohli was the captain on the field, Kumble clearly was the manager off it. The former India captain was also actively involved in the background, be it speaking to Ian Gould about the dismissal controversy of Marlon Samuels or ensuring the ones who missed out on the match didn’t miss out on practice.
Having been part of the India squad for a long time,Kumble, however, wasn’t over the top in his celebration. He took a picture of team India en route to the win, and personally congratulated the players. “There was nothing out of the ordinary. Having played for so long I think he understands how the players feel about a victory,” said Kohli. “He congratulated everyone and gave special mention to the guys who made important contributions in the game,” Kohli added.
“It might not be seen too much but those important breakthroughs, important moments are very crucial for the team to win. He understands that and was obviously very happy with the victory. It’s a great start for him. First game as coach and we end up winning by an innings. He was very happy all round,” said Kohli.
The successful use of R Ashwin as an all-rounder could also be credited to Kumble. “I need to thank Anil bhai and Virat for having the confidence in me to be pushed at number six. There have been times in the past when I’ve played really well and haven’t really got the promotion,” Ashwin had said after his century.
Kumble’s impact was seen on India’s bowling as well. That may not be a surprise. “I can certainly play a part of and that's something which I am looking at, trying to get closer to the bowlers, understanding what their needs are,” Kumble had said before leaving for West Indies.
But what seems to be a given is that India are going to learn tighter bowling under Kumble. Before the final day, Kumble was seen working in tandem with R Ashwin and Amit Mishra, asking them to pitch the ball inside two cones in front of the stumps. And when victory was done and dusted, he went out with Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny and Shardul Thakur, making them hit those areas once again on the main pitch on Sunday.
“As a coach, all I sought was organised preparations for the team and informed inputs to the captain and the team to strategise better inclusive of every player. You have to include every player. It’s not about just the 11 who are to play. Also about the six or seven who are not going to play,” he had said.