There has been a lot of speculation about the high profile job of the Indian chief coach and finally it culminated with Anil Kumble stealing the show. Jumbo, as he is popularly known as because of his towering height, bagged the much coveted assignment with aplomb and celebration.
One has to appreciate the transparency in the selection of the coach as there were more than 50 applicants but in the end it boiled down to Shastri and Kumble. All said and done Shastri was more experienced having been with the Indian side for some time and also had the Test captain’s nod but in the end the advisory committee had other plans. What Kumble has done for India is common knowledge but more than those performances and statistics it has been the discipline and focus that has been his greatest strength. The Advisory Panel wanted a change and Kumble being a contemporary of Sachin, Sourav and Laxman were well aware of what he could add as far as Indian cricket was concerned. The cricketing era from here on would be the KK era (Kohli and Kumble).
Having played with Kumble from the Junior level it was his honest hard work and perseverance and probably just twenty percent talent that made him achieve so much in his distinguished career.
Also after the whole selection process ended we saw Shastri having a few strong words against Sourav and then after a few days Dada throwing more light and clarifying his point of view. Probably the most important thing Dada came out with was that he was not the only one involved in the selection process and you cannot take things for granted and attending these high profile interviews is important and you cannot be sitting in Bangkok. Just for the sake of Indian cricket you hope this bitterness ends as Jumbo is about to take off for his first flight as coach to West Indies.
Ajay Mehra is a well known commentator and former cricketer who made his mark as a double centurion on his debut for the Punjab team along with Navjot Singh Sidhu & Yuvraj Singh. He is a distinguished guest on various news and sports channels and writes from time to time for cricketnext. com. he can be contacted at [email protected]