Kolkata: Former skipper Anil Kumble had a great time with the Indian team as they went on a rampage in the five-day format, beating teams like New Zealand, England and Australia but after a terrible fall-out with skipper Virat Kohli, the former leg-spinner stepped down as the head coach abruptly.
In his resignation letter, the former Indian skipper and coach had mentioned that his relationship with Virat Kohli was, ‘untenable.’ As a matter of fact, for many in the Indian team, Kumble was too, ‘strict’ but for wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha, did not feel the same way about the former coach.
He returned to the city on Friday after India completed an emphatic 3-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka in one of the most one-sided Test series in recent times. When asked about what he thought of the former coach, he said,
“I did not feel that (strict) way. As a coach, he had to be strict in some way or the other. Some have felt he is strict, some have not. I have never felt that way under Anil bhai.”
He went ahead and gave an insight into the coaching styles of Kumble and current head coach Ravi Shastri.
Said Saha, “Anil bhai always wanted us to score big — 400,500 and 600 and felt that the opponent can be bowled out within 150-200. That’s not always possible.”
He also said that Shastri was more involved with the team.
“Ravi bhai, on the other hand, always tells us to go for the kill. Go out there and hit the opponent out of the park. This is the only difference I could see. Rest, both spoke positive stuff. When Ravi bhai was director, he was aggressive. In his new stint, he seems to have become more involved,” said Saha.
The Bengal wicketkeeper also had words of praise for skipper Kohli who likes to spend time with the players off the field as well. He said, “He is improving with time and his association with players has increased. We dine together and go for outings together. He is always mingling with us, which I see as a plus point in him.”
[ Kohli has retained his top spot in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen according to a latest release by the ICC. He is followed by Australia’s David Warner. ]
He however agreed to the fact that the Sri Lankan temperament was weak as they hardly posed any challenge to the Indians, who sailed through all the three Test matches with relative ease.
“Their temperament was weak from the batting point of view, which helped us. One session they held fort but we knew they would run out of patience in the next session, that helped,” he said.
However he would be seen out of action for some time now as the Indians would play mostly limited overs’ cricket until the Sri Lankans tour India towards the end of this year.
He said, “That is still three months away. They will prepare well and we have to hold on to our form.”
A highlight of India’s fantastic run in Test cricket has been the combination of Mohammad Shami with Wriddhiman Saha, both of whom managed to pull off some excellent dismissals.
Saha, who plays alongside Shami for Bengal as well credits this partnership to the understanding they share.
He said, “It’s great that Shami is continuing to be aggressive after coming back from injury. It is good for him and the team. He always creates a wicket-taking opportunity.”
“He swings the ball and gets the outside edge and I take the catch. We have been doing that for Bengal too,” he further added.