Former India captain Anil Kumble said he enjoyed his stint as the head coach of the India cricket team despite the way it ended which he feels ‘could have been better’.
Anil Kumble stepped down from his role right after India’s Champions Trophy campaign in 2017, citing ‘untenable differences’ with captain Virat Kohli. Kumble and Kohli reportedly had differences for quite some time even though Kohli denied reports of rift before the Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan.
In a statement after his resignation in June 2017, Kumble said he was intimated by the cricket board that captain Kohli had ‘reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the head coach’ and he had decided it was best to move on.
Speaking to Pommie Mbangwa on an Instagram live session, Anil Kumble said he enjoyed working with the India team as coach and does not have any regrets about it.
During Kumble’s 1-year tenure, India rose to the No. 1 spot in ICC Test rankings and reached the Champions Trophy final.
“I was very happy that I took up that role [India coach]. It was great, the one year I spent with the Indian team was really fantastic,” Kumble said.
“Having been with great performers and again being a part of the Indian dressing room is a great feeling.
“We did really well in that one year period. I was really happy that there were some contributions made and there are no regrets. I was happy moving on from there as well. I know the end could have been better but then that’s fine.
“As a coach, you realise, when it’s time to move on, it’s the coach who needs to move on. I was really happy I played a significant role in that one year.”
Kumble said he wanted to take a break after working with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 3 years to spend more time with his family. The legendary leg-spinner said he had got the go ahead from his family to take up the India coach job when he applied for the position in 2016.
“Being a part of the IPL, first with RCB as a mentor and then with Mumbai Indians as a mentor, it was really satisfying and heartening because we won the IPL for the frist time when I was part of the Mumbai Indians. Since then, they have never looked back, they have won 4 titles over the last 7 years.
“Of course, I gave a break because my kind, the younger two children, hadn’t seen anything other than IPL during their holidays.
“When I completed 3 years with Mumbai Indians, I sort of said I needed to take a break and take the kids on a holiday.
“When I returned I saw an ad calling for the coach for the Indian team. I then sort of asked around the family, I asked my wife what she thought. She said ‘yeah, give it a go.’. I said ‘see it means back to playing days, probably worse off because you tend to travel a lot more’. She said ‘it’s okay’. The kids are young, these 2 are young, the older one, probably, she is on her own. She said ‘it’s fine, you carry on. Apply, there is no harm in applying’.
“I got that job. It was because the sort of comfort I had with my family and kids, I took it up.”
Kumble will be back to coaching duties if and when IPL 2020 gets underway later this year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Kumble was appointed as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab in the lead up to the IPL.
“I am now looking forward to being a part of Kings XI team. Over the 12 years, Kings have been able to consistently do well. So whenever the IPL happens, I am looking forward to being part of the dressing room again,” Kumble said.