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Coach Kumble ushering in wave of fresh ideas

sportspaper Updated: Jul 05, 2016, 10:11 IST

Is Indian cricket being ushered into a new world where words like integration, alignment and coordination between its various wings may acquire a definite meaning?

Anil Kumble has been in his new job as India coach for only a few days, but by all accounts he has brought in fresh energy and a wave of ideas that he is eager to implement without delay.

How he performs as a coach is for the future to judge and it would be premature to play the guessing game when he has yet to deliver even the first ball of his new spell. However, going by the few moves he has made, it does appear he has a holistic vision for Indian cricket.

MEETING OF MINDS

What transpired in Bangalore on Sunday afternoon was perhaps the first move in that direction. On Kumble’s initiative, a meeting was organised between India’s junior and A coach Rahul Dravid, chairman of the senior selection committee, Sandeep Patil, junior selection committee chief, Venkatesh Prasad, the two coaches and physio of the National Cricket Academy, WV Raman, Narendra Hirwani and Andrew Leipus, the training staff of the India team as well as the captains Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.

It was an unusual meeting and what was discussed has never been attempted before. As Kumble put it later “there is a need to look at Indian cricket as an integrated whole, where it is aligned in a manner that is beneficial to all.”

You may remember that Dhoni had last year said in a press conference that he as India captain was so busy with international commitments he did not know who were the genuinely talented youngsters who need to be introduced into the India team.

This meeting was the first step towards addressing this lacuna in a top-heavy Indian system where it becomes difficult at times to fill the gaps that are created due to sudden injury to a key player.

If this integrated system takes off, it will help the strategist of the Indian team to make those working at the junior level aware of what kind of players are needed to further strengthen the team. This exercise will also make those working at the grassroots level to get more attuned to a system where every stake-holder becomes a cog in the smooth functioning of the wheel.

Kumble, the giant among Indian bowlers, may be bursting with ideas but even then it is not always easy to put in place so quickly an action plan that could help Indian cricket improve as a whole. That an earnest beginning has been made and the Board has responded well is to be welcomed.

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