BENGALURU: It does not get bigger than this for Karnataka. Anil Kumble’s appointment as coach of the Indian cricket team is certainly something the people and cricketing fraternity in Karnataka should be proud of.
The former leg spinner may not have had coaching experience but he has served as mentor of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians T20 teams. More than that, the 18 years of top-flight international cricket and captaining India will surely add up to something. And who can forget the record 10 for 74 haul against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999.
His ability to handle tough situations was perhaps best illustrated when he was the captain of the Indian team that won the Perth Test in 2007-08, following the controversial Sydney match that saw racism charges being levelled against the Indians.
The highest Indian wicket-taker in Tests was the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association for one term (starting 2010) and he and his team worked hard to provide better infrastructure in the other parts of the state.
“Of all the people who had applied for the post, no one deserves it better than him,” said former Karnataka Ranji captain and coach J Arun Kumar.
“He has so many years of playing experience that he does not necessarily have to have experience as a coach. He did really well as a captain and he will surely live up to the expectations as a coach too,” he added.
Former India player Sujith Somasundar also felt that there was no one more apt for the job. “I feel he is fit for the job and it is a great opportunity for him too. He has leadership qualities and temperament as we saw when he led India,” he said.
“Being very organised, he is respected by the players and this is the time when there is a transition of sorts from Dhoni to Kohli. I think Anil is the best person to handle it. Moreover, it is a proud thing for Karnataka that our player has been appointed as India coach,” Somasundar added.