India news June 29, 2016

Kumble an 'inspiring' figure - Rohit Sharma

ESPNcricinfo staff

'He always had this attitude of never giving up, which as a young player is so inspiring' - Rohit Sharma © BCCI

India batsman Rohit Sharma has spoken highly of the side's new head coach Anil Kumble, describing the former India captain as an "inspiring" figure from whom he had learnt a lot.

Rohit played alongside Kumble towards the end of the legspinner's India career. The two renewed their professional relationship when Kumble served as Mumbai Indians' team mentor from 2013 to 2015, a period during which the team won two IPL titles and a Champions League T20 title. Kumble's first assignment as India coach is the four-Test series in the West Indies in July and August.

"I have two [three] years of experience [with him] 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," Rohit said at an Express Adda event in Mumbai. "I was fortunate enough to play with him during the last months before he retired. I remember in 2008, I was part of the Test squad to Sri Lanka and he was the captain. And he always had this attitude of never giving up, which as a young player is so inspiring.

"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 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. He's very inspiring."

Rohit was also full of praise for Ravi Shastri, whose 18-month tenure as India team director came to an end after the World T20 earlier this year. Shastri had been appointed to the role in August 2014, after India's dismal loss in the Test series in England. During Shastri's tenure, India made it to the semi-finals of successive global events - the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World T20 - and briefly occupied the No. 1 Test ranking earlier this year. Shastri had applied for the position of head coach in June, but his application was ultimately unsuccessful as Kumble was chosen.

"[Shastri] took up the responsibility when we were in a shambles," Rohit said. "As soon as he came, he created a positive atmosphere around us."

Rohit added that Shastri had been "a big influence on Indian cricket for the past 18 months."

Comments