‘Give it a go, no harm in applying’: How Anil Kumble landed India’s coaching job
The things leading up to Kumble’s appointment, as revealed by the former leg-spinner, suggests that the former leg-spinner almost did not apply for the post of India coach.Updated: Jul 22, 2020 16:09 IST
Anil Kumble’s exit as coach of the Indian team wasn’t quiet but the circumstances leading up to his appointment at the post sure is an entertaining story. Kumble, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2010, served as a chief mentor with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, revealed that he had dropped the idea of being involved with cricket in any capacity, and that his aim, instead, was to spend more time with family.
“Being a part of the IPL, first with RCB as a mentor and then with Mumbai Indians as a mentor, it was really satisfying and heartening because we won the IPL for the first time when I was part of the Mumbai Indians. Since then, they have never looked back, they have won 4 titles over the last 7 years,” Kumble told Pommie Mbangwa on Instagram Live.
“Of course, I gave a break because my kind, the younger two children, hadn’t seen anything other than IPL during their holidays. When I completed 3 years with Mumbai Indians, I sort of said I needed to take a break and take the kids on a holiday.”
After Ravi Shastri had served as the director of the Indian cricket team till the 2015 World Cup, the position of coach was vacant. In June of 2016, Kumble was appointed coach of the Indian team for one year but resigned due to untenable differences between him and captain Virat Kohli. However, the things leading up to Kumble’s appointed, as revealed by the former leg-spinner, suggests he almost did not apply for the post.
“When I returned, I saw an ad calling for the coach for the Indian team. I then sort of asked around the family, I asked my wife what she thought. She said ‘yeah, give it a go,’” Kumble said.
“I said ‘see it means back to playing days, probably worse off because you tend to travel a lot more’. She said ‘it’s okay’. The kids are young, these 2 are young, the older one, probably, she is on her own. She said ‘it’s fine, you carry on. Apply, there is no harm in applying’. I got that job. It was because the sort of comfort I had with my family and kids; I took it up.”
Under Kumble, India had a hot run, winning a Test series in the West Indies 2-1 and went on to dominate on their home soil, beating New Zealand 3-0, England 4-0, and Bangladesh in a one-off Test. India won the 2016-17 Border Gavaskar Trophy and reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, which proved to be Kumble’s last series as India coach.
“I was very happy that I took up that role [India coach]. It was great, the one year I spent with the Indian team was really fantastic. Having been with great performers and again being a part of the Indian dressing room is a great feeling,” Kumble said.
“We did really well in that one-year period. I was really happy that there were some contributions made and there are no regrets. I was happy moving on from there as well. I know the end could have been better but then that’s fine. As a coach, you realise, when it’s time to move on, it’s the coach who needs to move on. I was really happy I played a significant role in that one year.”