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Anil Kumble was strict felt some, not me: Wriddhiman Saha

Anil Kumble’s coaching ways were strict, according to some Indian cricket team players, but wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha feels otherwise

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 18, 2017 17:21 IST
Anil Kumble,Wriddhiman Saha,Virat Kohli
Anil Kumble resigned as Indian cricket team coach in June this year, after difference of opinion with captain Virat Kohli.(AFP/Getty Images)

Some of Wriddhiman Saha’s teammates may have considered Anil Kumble “strict” but Indian cricket team’s Test wicketkeeper never felt that about the former coach, who quit after a bitter fallout with skipper Virat Kohli.

Kumble resigned in June this year, after difference of opinion with Kohli. Kumble, a former captain, had gone to the extent of calling his relationship with Kohli “untenable”.

Saha was asked about the perception of Kumble being strict but he had a different take to offer.

“I did not feel that (strict) way. As a coach, he had to be strict in some way or the other. Some have felt he is strict, some have not. I have never felt that way under Anil bhai,” Saha said on Friday on his return from Sri Lanka, where he was a part of the team that won 3-0 in the recently-concluded series.

READ | Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s head coach

‘Shastri more involved now’

He then compared Ravi Shastri’s style of coaching with that of Anil Kumble. “Anil bhai always wanted us to score big -- 400,500 and 600 and felt that the opponent can be bowled out within 150-200. That’s not always possible,” he smiled and said.

“Ravi bhai, on the other hand, always tells us to go for the kill. Go out there and hit the opponent out of the park. This is the only difference I could see. Rest, both spoke positive stuff. When Ravi bhai was director, he was aggressive. In his new stint, he seems to have become more involved,” said the 32-year-old.

READ | Virat Kohli forcing Anil Kumble out ‘sad day for Indian cricket’: Sunil Gavaskar

‘Kohli improving with time’

Saha, on his part, also praised skipper Kohli, who remains involved with the players even off the field.

“He is improving with time and his association with players has increased. We dine together and go for outings together. He is always mingling with us, which I see as a plus point in him,” the Bengal stumper said.

Saha admitted that Sri Lankan team’s temperament was weak.

“Their temperament was weak from the batting point of view, which helped us. One session they held fort but we knew they would run out of patience in the next session, that helped,” he said.

READ | Ravi Shastri wants India to be best fielding side at 2019 Cricket World Cup

He is not ready to look too far ahead and skirted queries on the home Test series against Sri Lanka, where he would again don the India whites.

“That is still three months away. They will prepare well and we have to hold on to our form.”

The ‘caught Saha b Mohammed Shami’ has been an oft-repeated dismissal in recent Test matches. The soft-spoken keeper attributes the fine collaboration to their understanding, having played considerable amount of first- class cricket for Bengal.

READ | Ravi Shastri won’t be a ‘headmaster’, wants India cricket team to have fun

“It’s great that Shami is continuing to be aggressive after coming back from injury. It is good for him and the team. He always creates a wicket-taking opportunity.

“He swings the ball and gets the outside edge and I take the catch. We have been doing that for Bengal too,” said Saha, who wants to finish his career with at least 200 first-class matches.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 17:15 IST