Anil Kumble has officially taken over as the coach of the Indian cricket team and players can seem to hide their excitement over being coached by a legend. Here are reactions from some of the players.
KL Rahul: The India opener, who had a successful tour of Zimbabwe, and is currently at the conditioning camp at NCA in Bangalore was all praise for Kumble. “We had a few interactions with him (Kumble) and he has stressed on few things — he has made it clear that he will let the boys take decision by themselves. When we have trouble or any queries and we need to ask, we can go up to him and it is wonderful set-up,” Rahul was quoted as saying by BCCI.TV.
“It’s a great boost for young team like ours to have a legend like Anil Kumble in the team who will mentor and coach us. He is sharing with us the experiences that he has had in his cricketing career. He is somebody who has so much cricketing knowledge and has spent so much time in international cricket. He is an ideal guy for us to look up to. We are looking forward working with Anil Kumble and getting better personally and also as a team,” he added.
Murali Vijay: One of India’s successful Test opener, is also in awe of the great Indian ex-cricketer. "He's been an unbelievable cricketer for the Indian team. We are really looking forward to sharing some quality time with him... I couldn't spend a lot of time with him then. But I've been a great fan of him as a youngster, who isn't?! It is a great opportunity for us to talk to him about cricket, his thought processes and learn from that and move forward. I think it is going to be a great time for us,” Vijay told ESPN.
"Over a period of time, it's (Kumble’s presence) going to be good for us, because he has 900 international wickets under his belt. It's going to be great for us to know what kind of things we can expect in a high-pressure game. It's going to be good for us as a batting unit, as well. It's going to be a great 12 months for us. That much I can guarantee as a team."
Rohit Sharma: One of Team India’s most talented batsman, and IPL champion Sharma, who has worked with Kumble for Mumbai Indians, also has great things to say about the champion former leggie. "Kumble's thinking about the game is so different from the rest. It just amazes you. The kind of stuff he talks about and what he brings to the table is absolutely brilliant", Sharma said during a media briefing
"I have two years of experience at Mumbai Indians and I know the kind of things we spoke about. I was the captain and he was the coach and mentor of the team. I got to learn a lot from him. You have to keep fighting no matter what. If the game is slipping away from your hands, don't give up till the last ball is bowled. That's how he played his cricket. You will get the feeling that he was someone who wouldn't let go too easily. That's the kind of message that he wanted to send across. That's the kind of message we also want as young players,” Rohit added.
Harbhajan Singh: The off-spinner, who has been in and out of the team of late, had this to say about Kumble in a recent TV show. "Anil bhai is a man I respect a lot. I played with him for many years. I learnt one thing from him in life -- 'Don't ever give up'. He was a cricketer with a serious bent of mind. He knows my mischievous nature. I don't think he had any problems with me ever. I agree Anil bhai had to sit outside because of me, because in those days I was playing well. I myself felt bad seeing him sit outside, because I was only 20 then, I was doing well, and my captain chose me.”
--By A Cricket Analyst