Anil Kumble said that former India captain MS Dhoni will have the same motivation as before despite having retired from the international game, adding that Dhoni will give his “100 per cent” in the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). Citing his own example when he played in IPL 2009 after having retired from international cricket in 2008, Kumble said, “Knowing MS, he will give his 100 percent. Even when I played the IPL, the second season, I had retired from international cricket.”
Speaking to the media from Dubai, where is based with his team Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) as the head coach, Kumble said he would like to see more Indian coaches in the IPL.
The irony of being the lone Indian head coach in an IPL franchise is not lost on Kumble who firmly believes that the piece of statistic is not a “true reflection” of country’s coaching resources.
A look at the IPL squad roster shows that seven franchises have non-Indian head coaches, namely Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals), Brendon McCullum (Kolkata Knight Riders), Stephen Fleming (Chennai Super Kings), Mahela Jayawardene (Mumbai Indians), Trevor Bayliss (SunRisers Hyderabad), Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Andrew McDonald (Rajasthan Royals).
“I would like to see more Indian coaches in the IPL. It is not a true reflection of the Indian resources. I would want to see many Indians being part of the IPL as head coaches,” Kumble said on Tuesday.
“It is a bit of an irony – one Indian as head coach. I think at some point of time there will be a lot more Indian coaches,” he added.
KXIP, who have never won the IPL, are aiming to go all the way this time with a strong squad at their disposal. Picking the best Indian players in the playing eleven will be tough but it seems picking the four overseas recruits will be even tougher as they are spoilt for choice.
Asked if 40-year-old Chris Gayle will continue to play bulk of the games like he did in the past two seasons, Kumble said Gayle would also be more involved within the leadership group this season and his mentor’s role will be as important as his big hitting at the top of the order.
The other overseas players in KXIP are Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Jimmy Neesham, the in-form Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen and Sheldon Cottrell, who was bought for a whopping Rs 8.5 crore.
“We still have to see the conditions at the main ground as we have been practising (at ICC Academy). Chris has a major role even as player and even otherwise,” Kumble said.
“His leadership, his experience, the youngsters look up to him. It is not just Chris the batsman we are looking at but Chris in a leadership role in terms of his contribution to developing young players. I want him to be active on the mentorship role,” he added.
The coach said that a few practise games will give him an idea about the combinations he is looking for.
“Not just foreign players picking Indian players will be a challenge. We have a few practise games that will we will tell us (the best combination),” said Kumble in a response to a PTI query.
The former India captain said the team has plugged the gaps with Maxwell’s comeback and a fast bowler who can be also effective in the death in Cottrell.
“We have a strong team. We needed an impact player in the middle and not just with batting and fielding and Maxwell is also handy with the ball. And the fast bowler who bowls at the death (Cottrell),” said Kumble.
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