The Indian cricketing fraternity hailed the appointment of the Anil Kumble as India’s head coach on Thursday, with fellow applicant Venkatesh Prasad saying that he would not have applied for the position had he known that his former teammate was in contention for the job.
“To be honest, I would not have applied if I knew that Anil too had applied. I am not disappointed (at missing out). These things happen. It was pretty much a two-horse race between Anil and Ravi (Shastri),” Prasad told PTI shortly after Kumble was appointed coach for a one-year term.
Prasad played alongside Kumble but also worked with him in an administrative role at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).
“Anil has proved himself in whatever he has attempted, be it as an India player or captain. Not many would have handled the 2008 ‘Monkeygate’ incident better than Anil (when he was captain). I worked with him (at KSCA) and he did a good job with that as well.”
“The job is not about coaching, it is about implementing your ideas, how you can take the team forward with your tactical knowledge. I am sure Anil would do a good job with that,” said Prasad, who remains open to being a member of the Indian team’s support staff that is yet to be announced.
Former India captain Gundappa Viswanath called Kumble a very good student of the game before saying that the great leg-spinner should have got a longer stint that one-year.
“Anil to me is a very good choice. He is a good student of the game and that will help him in his new role. I have seen Anil from his younger days. He has been a great player for India and he has it in him to be a good coach, which he has proved with his mentoring roles in the IPL,” Viswanath told PTI.
“However, it is a bit strange that he has appointed for only one year. There is not much you can do in that much span,” the batsman said.
Prasad too corroborated Viswanath’s view.
“Normally in these scenarios, you look at World Cup to World Cup. I feel a longer stint would have been better for Anil, to implement his vision for the team,” he said.
Former India off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna thought Kumble will be the bowling coach and Ravi Shastri would take care of the batting department.
“I thought that Anil will be bowling coach and Ravi will take care of the batting but now the decision has been made. The fact that he has captained India, it will help him take decisions as a coach. We have to see how he uses his immense knowledge of the game in coaching, how he shares it with the players. I would say it is a good choice. Luckily for him, India are scheduled to play a lot of matches at home in the next one year,” Prasanna said.