August 20, 2010

The importance of Kumble

To deal with fame, complacency and laziness, young cricketers need to be willing themselves, and the BCCI proactive. The likes of Anil Kumble can help, and corporate India may have solutions to offer
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Anil Kumble wants to work with India's young talent and help in grooming and preparing them for life as cricketers. A better person could not be found, and a more crying need could not have been identified in Indian cricket. While it is a cricketer with skills who takes the field, the person within the athlete walks along too; sometimes as a shadow, sometimes even as a cloak. In the long run, while skill is important, attitude is supreme.

Kumble was a man possessed of considerable skill himself, but as a competitor he was awesome. His skill made him a very good cricketer, and his attitude propelled that skill towards making him a legend in Indian cricket. It is such qualities that Indian cricket and the young men who symbolise it need a dose of, because currently there is an epidemic going around.

Fine young cricketers are dropping off the radar, either unable to cope with fame and its attendant pressures or being satiated too soon. Kumble doesn't possess a wand, he is not an alchemist. And anyway, work ethic cannot be enforced or injected. It has to grow within. But hopefully Kumble can remind them of the path they need to be on. In truth they know of it, or at any rate they should, but a little nudge wouldn't be a bad idea.

Once the bosses of Indian cricket take time off from looking into finances - important but not the core aspect of the game - maybe they can start looking at players. It is not identifying talented players that is the main issue, it is what to do with them once they are identified that seems a little more difficult and will require sensitive handling. India's problem, then, lies not so much in unearthing talent as in maintaining it.

RP Singh and Sreesanth are wonderful vehicles that spend more time in the garage than on the road. Yuvraj Singh is a thoroughbred in danger of wandering off the track. These are not talents that a team can lose. If they hit the basement button, there has to be somebody to stop them. Hopefully Kumble can guide them. But eventually India's young cricketers must feel the need to be competitive and world-class from within, and do what it takes. In recent times I have met a couple of overseas cricketers and an Indian great, who without prompting offered the word "lazy" as a descriptor for some of our young bowlers.

My fear is that for the first couple of years excellence stays relevant and then for some it seems to demand too much time, become too much of an effort. The low-hanging fruit seems too enticing

So either the BCCI could take a laissez faire approach and say that if some of the younger brigade project the wrong attitude they are probably the wrong people for the side anyway. Or they could take a serious look at the attrition levels in Indian cricket. It has disappointed me that more hasn't been done in that regard.

The core of what Kumble will come up with will necessarily have to do with how to cope with success. It can lead to many things, some beautiful, some dangerous. It can spur you on to excellence or it can lead to complacence. My fear is that for the first couple of years, excellence stays relevant and then for some it seems to demand too much time, become too much of an effort. The low-hanging fruit seems too enticing.

It would be too difficult to expect the coach to handle such matters, which is why many have been advocating a senior person, not necessarily a cricketer, as a permanent manager; not someone who guarantees a vote and gets an expense account but a real professional, who players can open their hearts to.

People within the cricket system tend to mock those who reside outside. They often prefer the narrow confines of their world and prevent fresh thought from knocking at the door. My wife and I earn a living talking to corporate India about lessons from sport. The greater need, I am convinced, is for the best of corporate India to offer lessons in excellence to our young cricketers. Kumble's plan should be a starting point.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on August 23, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Harsha, It is good to have Kumble coaching the youngsters in near future. But right now India needs to prepare for the World cup in six months. We need coaching camps for fast bowlers and for spin bowlers, almost innediately.What is BCCI doing about it? Indian bowling is bordering on attrocious. Get working on Ashwin, Murli Kartik, Ojha and Harbhajan in spin and on Ishant, Mithun, Unadkat, Zaheer, Nehra and P.Kumar in pace bowling. India needs 2 spin bowlers & 3 steady pace bowlers who can all bowl under 4 runs/over. This needs fast action and hard work. Zaheer is physically unfit as is Harbhajan.As you rightly say the Indian cricketers are the least fit of all cricketing nations. The reason appears to be diet, very little focus on exercise and hard playing surfaces. These aspects also need addressing. We too many arm chair critics & commentors but little action ever happens from the responsible groups - BCCI + Indian Selection team. Less Talk & More Action is the need of the day.

  • jkaussie on August 23, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Henchart, the reason 1/2 these guys weren't hired (at least for the Aussie ones) is that we have a dedicated accreditation pathway for coaches here. Coaches start at Level 1, move to level 2 and then if looking to coach at a higher level need to do level 3. This program has been running for a long time so we have a multitude of qualified coaches through all the feeder ranks into first class cricket. Hence, many look overseas.

  • on August 22, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Harsha, this is a very gud article which points where India is lagging. Even though India is at the top of the charts, we never had the confidence to say India will win a particular match whoever the opponent might be. Because no one knows when a lad will play good cricket. They are not even confident that they can make the country proud. I feel winning is not important but how confident we play is important. When Australia was at the top of the charts, the entire world is sure that they will win every match as they showed the confidence and in turn good performance . But sadly that is not the case with Indian side. I don't know whether humble Kumble is apt for the job or not but somebody is definitely and desperately needed for the team to boost their confidence, to enlighten them that they are right for the job and last but not the least that to make them to stay on the ground after the stardom and the money.

  • Sanks555 on August 22, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    In the last 3 ODIs India has slipped to two huge and embarrassing defeats. The youngsters, with the exception of Raina, seem to be in no great excitement to play for India. Two months of IPL gives them more money than all other forms of cricket put together and hence, they do not seem to have the mind to exert themselves.

    Dropping one of them is not the solution as the new players have the same attitude.

  • sweetspot on August 22, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Harsha, I am not that excited by getting Kumble to guide Dhoni's team. They are opposite characters. Both have great work ethics and all that, but Kumble cannot keep his team happy. Look at how much anger he vented constantly at the last edition of the IPL. Was it warranted? On the other hand, look at how Dhoni coaxes great performances out of his team without putting any pressure on them. Look at how happy CSK look on any given day and RCB look like they are fighting some itch all the time. Kumble needs to be careful he doesn't turn the screws too much by being some kind of over zealous "disciplinarian", and end up hurting Dhoni's plans of maintaining enthusiasm amongst the players. I'm also not sure about corporate approaches needing to make a dent on sport. In the corporate world you can be part of an infinitely big team that can hide your flaws. In sport, you'd be mercilessly exposed.

  • vkarthik83 on August 21, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    Very good article and who better than Harsha to write about someone like Kumble. I loved the lines "RP Singh and Sreesanth are wonderful vehicles that spend more time in the garage than on the road. Yuvraj Singh is a thoroughbred in danger of wandering off the track."

  • on August 21, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    I have had the personal honour of meeting Anil Kumble. What a fine gentleman he is in the classic mould. They dont make people like him anymore.

  • Jan on August 21, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    I loved the line - 'If they hit the basement button, there has to be somebody to stop them'. But Yuvraj has already hit that an we need someone who can bring him back ASAP. And Sreesanth, he has the talent but he first needs to have self-control to even listen to others.

  • TheThreeWs on August 21, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Harsha has missed out some points that Kumble can teach world cricket, not just Indian cricket - those of leadership, respect and professionalism. He made Vijay Mallya realize that a captain need not be a "glamorous batsman". But alas for Indian cricket, the BCCI did not (and still doesn't) understand this. As a result, Kumble became the captain only after every Tom, Dick and Harry got the chance. I bet Australia will appreciate his talents sooner than BCCI does, just like they did with Harsha

  • boris6491 on August 21, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    Harsha, your articles always draw my eye for if they were perhaps read by the BCCI, Indian cricket would be in a considerably better position. There is no doubt that India possesses talent beyond what many can imagine yet very few are able to truly convert that talent into something more material. By having those who have be around the team now, Kumble for instance, younger players receive guidance from someone who has been through the same system and subjected to the same adulation as they have knowing the ins and outs of playing cricket for India and succeeding in his role. I can only hope that the younger players, particularly most of the bowlers as well as Rohit Sharma, and yes, Yuvraj Singh (who can no longer be considered a 'youngster' but could do with a bit of a sermon from someone he has respect for and is familiar with) listen to Kumble, fix their laid back, complacent attitudes and prove to the cricketing world that they can make India a much stronger cricketing nation.

  • Nampally on August 23, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Harsha, It is good to have Kumble coaching the youngsters in near future. But right now India needs to prepare for the World cup in six months. We need coaching camps for fast bowlers and for spin bowlers, almost innediately.What is BCCI doing about it? Indian bowling is bordering on attrocious. Get working on Ashwin, Murli Kartik, Ojha and Harbhajan in spin and on Ishant, Mithun, Unadkat, Zaheer, Nehra and P.Kumar in pace bowling. India needs 2 spin bowlers & 3 steady pace bowlers who can all bowl under 4 runs/over. This needs fast action and hard work. Zaheer is physically unfit as is Harbhajan.As you rightly say the Indian cricketers are the least fit of all cricketing nations. The reason appears to be diet, very little focus on exercise and hard playing surfaces. These aspects also need addressing. We too many arm chair critics & commentors but little action ever happens from the responsible groups - BCCI + Indian Selection team. Less Talk & More Action is the need of the day.

  • jkaussie on August 23, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Henchart, the reason 1/2 these guys weren't hired (at least for the Aussie ones) is that we have a dedicated accreditation pathway for coaches here. Coaches start at Level 1, move to level 2 and then if looking to coach at a higher level need to do level 3. This program has been running for a long time so we have a multitude of qualified coaches through all the feeder ranks into first class cricket. Hence, many look overseas.

  • on August 22, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Harsha, this is a very gud article which points where India is lagging. Even though India is at the top of the charts, we never had the confidence to say India will win a particular match whoever the opponent might be. Because no one knows when a lad will play good cricket. They are not even confident that they can make the country proud. I feel winning is not important but how confident we play is important. When Australia was at the top of the charts, the entire world is sure that they will win every match as they showed the confidence and in turn good performance . But sadly that is not the case with Indian side. I don't know whether humble Kumble is apt for the job or not but somebody is definitely and desperately needed for the team to boost their confidence, to enlighten them that they are right for the job and last but not the least that to make them to stay on the ground after the stardom and the money.

  • Sanks555 on August 22, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    In the last 3 ODIs India has slipped to two huge and embarrassing defeats. The youngsters, with the exception of Raina, seem to be in no great excitement to play for India. Two months of IPL gives them more money than all other forms of cricket put together and hence, they do not seem to have the mind to exert themselves.

    Dropping one of them is not the solution as the new players have the same attitude.

  • sweetspot on August 22, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Harsha, I am not that excited by getting Kumble to guide Dhoni's team. They are opposite characters. Both have great work ethics and all that, but Kumble cannot keep his team happy. Look at how much anger he vented constantly at the last edition of the IPL. Was it warranted? On the other hand, look at how Dhoni coaxes great performances out of his team without putting any pressure on them. Look at how happy CSK look on any given day and RCB look like they are fighting some itch all the time. Kumble needs to be careful he doesn't turn the screws too much by being some kind of over zealous "disciplinarian", and end up hurting Dhoni's plans of maintaining enthusiasm amongst the players. I'm also not sure about corporate approaches needing to make a dent on sport. In the corporate world you can be part of an infinitely big team that can hide your flaws. In sport, you'd be mercilessly exposed.

  • vkarthik83 on August 21, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    Very good article and who better than Harsha to write about someone like Kumble. I loved the lines "RP Singh and Sreesanth are wonderful vehicles that spend more time in the garage than on the road. Yuvraj Singh is a thoroughbred in danger of wandering off the track."

  • on August 21, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    I have had the personal honour of meeting Anil Kumble. What a fine gentleman he is in the classic mould. They dont make people like him anymore.

  • Jan on August 21, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    I loved the line - 'If they hit the basement button, there has to be somebody to stop them'. But Yuvraj has already hit that an we need someone who can bring him back ASAP. And Sreesanth, he has the talent but he first needs to have self-control to even listen to others.

  • TheThreeWs on August 21, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Harsha has missed out some points that Kumble can teach world cricket, not just Indian cricket - those of leadership, respect and professionalism. He made Vijay Mallya realize that a captain need not be a "glamorous batsman". But alas for Indian cricket, the BCCI did not (and still doesn't) understand this. As a result, Kumble became the captain only after every Tom, Dick and Harry got the chance. I bet Australia will appreciate his talents sooner than BCCI does, just like they did with Harsha

  • boris6491 on August 21, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    Harsha, your articles always draw my eye for if they were perhaps read by the BCCI, Indian cricket would be in a considerably better position. There is no doubt that India possesses talent beyond what many can imagine yet very few are able to truly convert that talent into something more material. By having those who have be around the team now, Kumble for instance, younger players receive guidance from someone who has been through the same system and subjected to the same adulation as they have knowing the ins and outs of playing cricket for India and succeeding in his role. I can only hope that the younger players, particularly most of the bowlers as well as Rohit Sharma, and yes, Yuvraj Singh (who can no longer be considered a 'youngster' but could do with a bit of a sermon from someone he has respect for and is familiar with) listen to Kumble, fix their laid back, complacent attitudes and prove to the cricketing world that they can make India a much stronger cricketing nation.

  • henchart on August 21, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    You can take a horse to the water.You cannot make it drink.Knowledge can be communicated not wisdom.Bhogle's suggestion,in the unlikely event of being accepted,would mean that Kumble ends up laughing his way to the bank and youngsters in the team continuing the way they are .Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh did precious little in their stint save travelling worldwide with the team. Retired Aus and SA cricketers have found a gold mine in the sub continent as so called coaches,bowling and batting consultants .If these guys were half good as what they claim to be ,why the hell were they not hired by their own Boards?

  • venkatesan1973 on August 21, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Harsha, Great piece.Lets look at our most inspirational legends of the last 15 years.Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Laxman,Dhoni and to some extent Sehwag. Tremendous skills, but more important flawless attitude..

    I see potential in Raina being there in the next 5 years...Not sure about the rest..

  • on August 21, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Look... I don't like the fact that Sreesanth is also included as a 'fine young cricketer'. He is a guy who can bowl.... but he has to grow up to become a 'CRICKETER'. I still remember Raina begging "Say anything about my Game bro.. but don't swear at me" during the Kings XI vs CSK second game in IPL2. The next thing Sree did was to York MS Dhoni and run all the way to the boundary uttering Swear Words... Sreesanth should not be allowed even in a practice facility, let alone a cricket field

  • siddham2007 on August 21, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Harsha - I hope the board takes youre suggestion. An article of excellence - with you nothing less is expected.

    Mr. Eric - your post reminds me of a comment Venus Williams once made of Steffi Graf not being a good grass courts player

  • Rivaldoooo on August 21, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Do you think Kumble will be able to work with North Indian players. Especially guys like Pravin Kumar and so on ?? Isn't there a cultural divide or perhaps kumble is just a different kind of guy who will not be handle them.

  • AdityaMookerjee on August 21, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    We must not only look at the players, and wonder what is wrong. Are we as Indian's creating the right surroundings for our cricket to flourish? We are creating situations, where our players are getting worse, instead of better, either in playing form, or if not, then in attitude.This is not helpful, for cricket in general, in India. What drives a cricketer to better his skills? I believe, that to better the cricketing skills, one need not be conscious about the process of betterment, but that it should happen as a matter of course. Today, through cricket, cricketers feel that they are finding better avenues than cricket, being associated with the game. We have to nurture the circumstances which bring about the love of the game, being paramount in the hearts of the players, and spectators. T20 cricket exists, because the spectator has found other avenues to his attention, other than Test Cricket.

  • Farce-Follower on August 21, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Nice article Harsha. No better person than Anil Kumble. Clearly a legend who has not let adversity and petty politics affect him. Youngsters have much to learn from this all time great.

  • JohnBhajan on August 21, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    "Anil Kumble needs to take charge of areas that Gary Kirsten won't have time to handle" , What are you saying, I would rather saied "Anil Kumble needs to take charge of Gary Kirsten as a full time COACH". The most and important reason of this is that He is the best man on whom each and every current/domestic players have RESPECT AND FAITH.

  • Benster2 on August 21, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    I must say I cannot see why Anil Kumble would be a good person to work with Indian youth to help groom/guide them and improve their attitude.

    I watched him as a player and a captain for many years and found his attitude disgusting. He was selfish and passive aggressive. He would appeal for anything that hit the pads and show disdain when the umpire correctly ruled the appeal not out. In terms of selfishness, this was evident by him wasting India's UDRS on his own bowling/batting when it was not justified. He was also sore loser - like when India got thumped in Sydney, instead of admitting defeat he childishly attacked the Australians (remember the over the top, purportedly subtle, analogy with bodyline).

    I fear for Indian cricket if this man's conduct is set as a yardstick for their young cricketers.

  • on August 21, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    Just ask Michael Holding, Greg & Ian Chappel, Steve Waugh, Inzzy etc. what they think of Anil Kumble!! I once heard Holding & Chappel talking about Kumble as the most competitive & yet well behaved cricketer in the world! Greg Chappel said that Kumble was as competitive as Lillee!! Kumble was not only a very skilled cricketer but a very intelligent & mentally strong person. That was the key to his greatness. It is this mental strength that would be of great value to the Indian cricket team and to the youngsters as they can learn so much from Kumble that is not possible to learn from most coaches & fellow cricketers.

  • Chris_P on August 21, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    Well Eric, I alslo play cricket, and I reckon Kumble was a legend of the game. The way he carried out his manner on the field was outstanding, a tough competitor without resorting to the swagger like approach of some (not that there is anythng wrong with that, we are all different) but he was a cricketer I know the Australian team respected him greatly. Anyone grabbing 10 wickets in an innings on the test field isn't too shabby of a bowler imho. On fact to have reached the pinnacle of test staus is something to be very proud of, to have schieved what Kumble has is definitive. He would be a great influence on the majority of cricketers, some are beyond help, no matter whom tries (Bhajji a case in point). BTW, I think Sir Vivian would have demolished most bowlers and did so with when he faced them, so unfair comparison.

  • CricFan78 on August 20, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Why is BHogle always sucking up to likes of Kumble, Dravid etc.

  • on August 20, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    @ Great ERIC

    I am surpised that you are a cricketer in first place. If you are a cricketer, your thought process matches to people who are from village.Kumble is a kiving legend.You cannot get more than 900 wickets in cricket if you dont know to bowl. No bowler will go decently and request the umpire for an LBW decision.The MONKEY statement is uncalled for.

    Try to appreciate true talent.He is one of the most committed and dedicated cricketer in world cricket.Forget spinning the ball OR you playing Cricket,try to become/behave like a mature human bieng.

    ----Yours truly, Shiva, fan of anil kumble.

  • Nampally on August 20, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Eric Bobbington, I don't know the country of your origin. You claim to be a leg spinner. Do you also bowl googlies & top spinners? If you do please note that Kumble bowls more top spinners & googlies and is always within the line of the wickets. By doing so he has claimed 619 wickets which matches Shane Warne as the highest wicket taker leg spin bowler of all times. As far his LBW appeals, you must understand Kumble baffles more batsmen with his top spin & googlies while they play for leg spin. Most of his appeals are close calls. He is also a keen competitor itching to get the batsmen out, always attacking. When you are Type A bowler you are bound to be of aggressive type.. Most frequent appealer in the world is Broad of England, FYI. Aussies & SL bowlers also appeal more than Kumble ever did. Kumble was & will always be "great" irrespective of your comments. So instead of unfair criticism, It is best to say nothing when you have nothing good to say about a great bowler.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 20, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    "My wife and I earn a living talking to corporate India about lessons from sport. The greater need, I am convinced, is for the best of corporate India to offer lessons in excellence to our young cricketers."

    Oh dear this just about sums up the man! He is a corporate man through and through - the bottom line in the accountant's balance sheet is what matters to him as it does to all the corporate mandarins who have led the world to the greatest economic crisis in 60 years! And he then has the audacity to criticise young cricketers for "plucking the low lying fruit" !! Perhaps he could start by criticising the (corporate) social structure which offers such temptation to the aspiring cricketer? What aspiration is there for a young person anywhere in the world today other than the Faustian lure of the moolah? Perhaps the problem with cricket is that there are too many parasites who "earn a living talking to corporate India about lessons from sport" at the expense of our love of cricket?

  • AhmadSaleem on August 20, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Inzamam was a very good player of spin. He played brilliantly against murali and decently against Warne but he always slightly struggled against Kumble due to accuracy of that man. He might not be a big spinner of ball but he was too accurate.

  • on August 20, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Hey Eric, Once Kumble got 10 lucky wickets in an innings against Pakistan. Such a lucky guy!!! No catches off his bowling should have dropped in 18 years of Int'l cricket, if he was that lucky...

  • on August 20, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    you indians dont know the value of thr great anil kumble.he great...hats off Jumbo...

  • AhmadSaleem on August 20, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    You Indians have spoiled a good bowler in Irfan pathan. I always wonder how good a bowler Zaheer khan is to play at such rubbish pitches. Now Ishant and RP are also decent bowlers and they have showed it whenever they get some assistance from the pitch. I don`t know how would Sehwag and Gambhir perform on supportive pitches but I am damn sure that your bowlers would do better then.

  • AhmadSaleem on August 20, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Dont wish for Wasims/Marshals and Waqars or even Akhtar since they were/are exceptional talents and among the few who could perform on flat pitches. For that matter even Denis Lillee completely failed in Pakistan. Just make supporting tracks and give something to your bowlers to bowl at. They can get success this way but the batting averages of some GREATS might fall

  • AhmadSaleem on August 20, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    Listen! Neither Indian bowling is that weak nor their batting is that great. Bowling is slightly weak and batting is just good. The fact is they and srilankans keep playing on flat tracks which give the impression that their batting line ups are great and bowling is bleak.

  • AhmadSaleem on August 20, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    Listen! Neither Indian bowling is that weak nor their batting is that great. Bowling is slightly weak and batting is just good. The fact is they and srilankans keep playing on flat tracks which give the impression that their batting line ups are great and bowling is bleak.

  • on August 20, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    The bowling stocks of the Indian team are bleak.Ojha being the best spinner among the new lot makes it more deflating about the young spinners.The fast bowlers are not groomed properly.So the need of the hour is to unearth good talents sooner than later.With the greats retiring in couple of years time and the current young batsmen failing to make their mark in ODIS it is highly imperative that India somehow get its act together for producing a good crop of bowlers or else they will have the same sort of performances like the West Indies.

  • on August 20, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    @R.Shankar It's not repetitive man it's relevant to the article only. Remove tat Cynic specs n read again..!!

  • on August 20, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    @N.Eric Bobbington - If by sheer luck Anil Kumble got 619 Test Wickets and 337 ODI wickets,could u kindly tell us how come there is not a single bowler in India who has come anywhere near that mark.(I am not taking into account his IPL performance where he took a 5/5)....Guys,let's give credit wherever due......In my opinion,he along with Sehwag has been the biggest contributor in terms of India being a potent force in Test arena....Both of them are genuine match winners(with due respects to Big-4)

  • mrgupta on August 20, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    @N.Eric Bobbington: I am not sure to what level you have played your Cricket. Maybe School/College or even Domestic (I am not sure i have heard your name in any 'Hall of Fame'). How can a person who has not even managed to break into his national team has the Audacity to comment on the luck factor for a person with close to 1000 international wickets! Who do you think were his wickets? All Bangladeshis or Zim or even Kenya? Tell me the name of a Top Batsmen who Kumble cud not get out. If Luck was such a huge factor in Cricket then i feel we all have been so lucky to have witnessed one of Greatest Indian bowler of all time. You would be lucky if you ever managed a Single Test Wicket with your Leg Spin.

  • slakkoju on August 20, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    @N.Eric Bobbington, hope you are a cricketer,(leave about leg spinner alone) your comments sounds ridiculous regarding Anil Kumble. All world knows about Anil, I needn't to add more on that. We love his perseverance and attitude as a bowler, all youngsters should learn from him. In his era how many spinners troubled Australia in their home? Answer will tell you the story, I feel sorry for you because you don't know Anil Kumble.

  • Mahesh_AV on August 20, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    @Eric, you obviously have not followed Anil Kumble. And to make such decisive comments about any player, you need to follow them at every game they play. And it only shows your very weak understanding of bowling, if you think Anil Kumble was "just lucky" to have played for so long. Nice article and I think Anil Kumble would really help the youngsters. As for handling fame, I can also think of another player, Sachin Tendulkar, who has handled fame well. I like the statement "RP Singh and Sreesanth are wonderful vehicles that spend more time in the garage than on the road". Very apt.

  • jay57870 on August 20, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Harsha, you hit it on the head: "India's problem, then, lies not so much in unearthing talent as in maintaining it." Only it's the dearth of seasoned veterans I'm worried about, not so much young talent. With every retirement (Kumble, Ganguly) or sidelining (Dravid, Laxman), there is risk of creating an imbalance in the team's nucleus or leaving a critical void. The dilemma: Only 3 active veterans available for Tests (Sachin, Rahul, VVS), only 1 for ODIs (Sachin) and 0 for T20. As in the corporate world, retaining a core group of veterans is pivotal to India's success. They play a vital role as mentors and role models for the youngsters -- teach the right things to do and how to be and act like pros (work ethic/attitude/conditioning) and to put the team ahead of themselves -- it's an integral part of player development! That's why Rahul should be reinstated in the ODI squad (plus he knows how to play short-pitched bowling). And I agree Anil would make an excellent permanent manager.

  • AsherCA on August 20, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    It OK for bloggers to talk about Indian bowlers being pathetic.... But the Indian media & now, even the team management claims that the batting is good & bowlers are pathetic. However, I am yet to hear of any team playing cricket anywhere that lost a match after scoring 1 run more than the opposition. However, I have heard of 100's of instances where a batting line-up suffered 4 / 5 stupid soft dismissals in the top order & ended up losing the match because the batsmen left too much work for the bowlers. Even after the bowlers won a test match for India, Cricinfo is writing about how the bowlers are not good, whereas - we are still waiting to see Cricinfo go after the Indian batsmen for donating wickets to Sri Lanka - including a run-out in a test match & losing the 1st test to Sri lanka. ...Is this silence (favoring pathetic Indian batsmen) from Cricinfo because the batsmen were following management orders & Cricinfo is aware of that but unwilling to touch upon sensitive issues ?

  • Nampally on August 20, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Harsha, the presence of Kumble in the Indian team is more critical now than ever before. Indian spin bowling has hit the rock bottom. Harbhajan is out of form and medically unfit. He deserves to be replaced preferably by another off spinner like Ashwin.Both Mishra & Chawla failed as leg spinners. Kumble even in his retirement is a better bowler than these 2. So the Selectors should bring back Kumble for the World Cup. Kumble can coach some of the younger players as well.In the long term planning, BCCI must initiate a coaching camp for bowlers - one for fast bowlers led by Kapil Dev and one for the spinners led by Kumble. There is a lot of talent in India but the Myopic Selectors are groping in the dark.Train young fast bowlers like Unadkat, Ishant, Mithun, Yadev, H.Singh, etc. in this camp. Zaheer is injured & past his best. Bring back Murli Kartik, Kumble & Ashwin for the World series games. Indian bowling currently is aatrocious and these bowlers are badly needed.

  • on August 20, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @ N.ERIC what u think kumble is lucky to play for 130+ test he has taken more than 600 wickets no one in this world is that lucky to play for 130 test match only with his luck u have to have something in u to pick up 600 wicket & kumble is the 2nd bowler to take 10 wickets who else has done this biggest matchwinner for india & biggest enemy for the opposition may b ur team has a got a stick from kumble that is why ur talking rubbish u fool go & play ur cricket with kids u can only do that

  • on August 20, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Eric,

    Players like Kumble are symbol of hard work and person of ethics. Don't speculate things on your own. No one can stay in international arena merely by luck and Kumble was there for 18 plus years. Do you call it as luck?? I guess you have poor poor knowledge of Cricket and not even fit to be calling yourself as Cricketer. Kumble once said "The difference between middle of the bat and edge is only few inches" you don't always need 90 degree turn to get a wicket and I'm sure 600 plus test wickets are not by luck.

    Speculations are always for ppl who dont rate one's achievement during their play time. You never know how Don performed against the likes of Wasim, Murli or even Kumble..

  • kapilesh23 on August 20, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    dear TRODENT your comments are right .this young generation are blinded by quick money and fame.media and indian people should stop hyping this players uselessly.this players do not deserve such hype.and yes i dont think even kumbles assistance will help them anyway.

  • on August 20, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Um, dude, Eric. The Indian team is looking for a long-term spinner right now. And you seem to think luck is all it takes. Fill in, dude. You bowl legspin anyway.

  • on August 20, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    N.Eric Bobbington, you r the first person I have seen who has written about Kumble like this...You say u r a spinner & u don't know for a fact that Kumble doesn't turn the ball much like other spinners. His line is always straight & stump to stump..Shane Warne & Murali who turns the ball tremendously also shouts for everything if u have seen them play...It is very difficult to give out LBW for these guys than Kumble.. So why do u single out Kumble...Now a days everybody shouts for everything if u really have seen cricket.. Another thing is that records say that he is the third best bowler in the world & so it stays so..Why are u speculating about Viv playing against Kumble. Two things could have happened..1) Viv will destroy Kumble's bowling 2)Kumble would have made him out many times..Who can tell Sir..Its a game ..Nobody can say anything unless they play each other...

  • bhushan08 on August 20, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Mr N.Eric Bobbington,

    If you are a right arm leg spinner then I am a right arm express bowler clocking 100 miles every delivery! your comment reaks of jealousy rather than astute observation of a person who claims to be a cricketer (heck, even I play gully cricket). Knowing the impact of where the ball will hit? Do you seriously play cricket or baseball? The ball in cricket pitches and bounces and depending upon the type of pitch could go anywhere. Have you seen warne bowl and appeal...so many appeal when umpire said Not out or murali or saqlain. I guess you have not been to fathom how come kumble managed 600+ wickets with luck while you have not even managed to make it to a school team. enough said!

  • Team_India_Abhijith on August 20, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    @N.Eric Bobbington

    I really don't know where are you from. Kumble is not pieterson. I have been watching kumble from past 15 years and i haven't seen kumble appealing badly. One thing you should understand is, kumble never spun the ball as much as warne or murali, so chances of getting lbw was more for him than any other. Coming to last part of your comment, i have no comments on Sir King Viv batting skills. Viv might play well against Jumbo, that doesn't mean that kumble is not a good bowler. Indians have always played well against Warne and have blasted him like anything, does that mean, he is not a good bowler????

  • on August 20, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Most pepole think Kumble and Harbajan are world class spinners.I'm a crickter and a right arm leg spinner.Tell me honestly how do we consider Kumble a spinner or even a bowler.A bowler should know the impact spot of his each and every delivery whether it hits the pads in line with the stumps or the bat or the batsmens body etc.I have seen many times Kumble shouting vociferously when we play at home and visiting team in trouble on the fourth fifth day without knowing as to where the ball hit at the other end.It was really sad and comical to see him jumping like a monkey to get the decision in his favour.And most of the time he was extremly lucky.It is not good cricket as a international cricketer he should know much more than a commener.He has always struggled on a normal wicket even at home. Harhsa's comment is not fair.There are greater spinner in India than Kumble.He was just lucky to have played for so long.If Sir Vivean had played against him ,Kumble's career ??.

  • vedanthy2 on August 20, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Mr Harsha,it will be better to dicard the likes of Sreesanth and Yuvraj.Send them to Behaviour correction schools.As Pataudi said recycling them is not worth.Also Grade men from A-E.Men like Ishant Sharma,Rohit Sharma think they have achieved enough and therefore they must be selected even if they perform poorly.They have more hot air than talent.If talent has to really shine and rewarded,you have only a few in the team.You know who.Even mr Kumble sold his intelligence when it was most needed.He bowled balls 3 feet away from leg stump when he ought to have been aggressive attcking the stumps and batsmen.Even Shane Warne over did his Sydney to Perth turn and mastered easily by a real talent. The world knows him well.So...use the rod and no chocolates to make people perform.

  • Rahulbose on August 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Kumble is a legend more for his attitude than his talent, so yes no one better than him to guide young players. Only problem is, strength of character and competetive spirit are not things that can be taught. A Tendulkar is a Tendulkar and a Kambli is a Kambli.

  • sneeky55 on August 20, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    kumble is a really strong character. india needs him to help youngsters

  • evenflow_1990 on August 20, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    i am sri lankan and a huge fan of indian cricket. frankly no one could be better for this position than tendulkar, since he is practically worshipped as a god by 1 billion people and averages over 65 in ODIs and 81 in Tests over the past year. He's 37 and been playing for 20 years! Now there's a role model! To be completely honest, Harsha, my opinion is that the incentive is on the players to improve themselves. Because, if they do not like the game after a couple of years of playing, why should they receive mentoring? Tendulkar's exalted presence should be sufficient, but if that doesn't get to them, just give up buddy. The problem is with players not being dropped when they are out of form. Both Sharmas and Jadeja, who never looked talented to begin with, should be dropped but aren't. Thats the bigger issue. Also I think there is a problem with selection to begin with, because India's bowling, barring Zaheer Khan and Kumble, is pathetic. There must be greater talent in India!

  • Semoli on August 20, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    The chaos starts from the top. If BCCI is run professionally a lot of this crap would not happen.

  • R.Sankar on August 20, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Not sure why cricinfo reproduces every article by Harsha Blgloe. Most of them including this one are tired, hackneyed, poorly written pieces written with a view to fulfilling his obligations with the newspaper, no more. This article is repetitious as he has written about these things several times before.

  • on August 20, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    @Trodent: Bhajji has a mind of his own... he wears his heart on his sleeve...No one not even Kumble can control him. Sachin/Kumble are of the generation where they give a path for a cricketer to walk...but do not hold their hand to walk on it. I am not blaming harbhajan either...he is from my generation, I work in US and when I feel that I am not being recognized for my efforts..I effing fight for it..doesnt matter if I lose my job..but it has never happened...When you feel that something is right..current generation of Indian dont take it...but we fight back. Back to topic...I can see why Kumble is good...he is by the book and help them towards dicipline and professionalism but he is bad in the case he is by the book....

  • ElectronSmoke on August 20, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Couldn't have been a better person! Indeed - that burning desire to use every match you play in national colors as the stepping stone to the next is something very few live by.. skills, fitness, discipline - almost every aspect of what makes professional sportsperson start with the strength of mind. No one grudges the cricketers their paychecks - not their fault that they can en-cash their talents for greater riches now. But sample this - Kumble's 4 overs for Royal Challengers are probably their most fierce. Ganguly once compared Harbhajan and Kumble and said - "once the white line is crossed - the aggressive instinct isn't much afar - Kumble's silence only magnifies his presence, when the batsman look into his eyes, they know what they are in for .. " Hope the young guns cherish and remember what took them to the platform where they are now

  • Trodent on August 20, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Harsha's comments are too theoretical. A case in point is Bhajji - he has literally grown up under Kumb;e's tutelage and by all accounts, respects him greatly. However, neither Kumble, nor Sachin have been able to keep Harbhajan under control - so much of Bhajji's talent has been wasted. So, if Kumble couldn't succeed with Bhajji, what are the chances he will succeed with the newer generation?

  • TexasCricket on August 20, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Is that all the Indian young talents need ? When Kids/Young Adults start to make too much money too quick, things like this will happen.They are not getting a chance or circumstances to mature in to level headed individuals. well it is pure corporate world and cannot blame anyone.Player burnout and talent under achieved are going to be the by products.Hope a few good ones will survive.

  • kiras on August 20, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Best person BCCI would ever find!! A great model for young generation

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  • kiras on August 20, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Best person BCCI would ever find!! A great model for young generation

  • TexasCricket on August 20, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Is that all the Indian young talents need ? When Kids/Young Adults start to make too much money too quick, things like this will happen.They are not getting a chance or circumstances to mature in to level headed individuals. well it is pure corporate world and cannot blame anyone.Player burnout and talent under achieved are going to be the by products.Hope a few good ones will survive.

  • Trodent on August 20, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Harsha's comments are too theoretical. A case in point is Bhajji - he has literally grown up under Kumb;e's tutelage and by all accounts, respects him greatly. However, neither Kumble, nor Sachin have been able to keep Harbhajan under control - so much of Bhajji's talent has been wasted. So, if Kumble couldn't succeed with Bhajji, what are the chances he will succeed with the newer generation?

  • ElectronSmoke on August 20, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Couldn't have been a better person! Indeed - that burning desire to use every match you play in national colors as the stepping stone to the next is something very few live by.. skills, fitness, discipline - almost every aspect of what makes professional sportsperson start with the strength of mind. No one grudges the cricketers their paychecks - not their fault that they can en-cash their talents for greater riches now. But sample this - Kumble's 4 overs for Royal Challengers are probably their most fierce. Ganguly once compared Harbhajan and Kumble and said - "once the white line is crossed - the aggressive instinct isn't much afar - Kumble's silence only magnifies his presence, when the batsman look into his eyes, they know what they are in for .. " Hope the young guns cherish and remember what took them to the platform where they are now

  • on August 20, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    @Trodent: Bhajji has a mind of his own... he wears his heart on his sleeve...No one not even Kumble can control him. Sachin/Kumble are of the generation where they give a path for a cricketer to walk...but do not hold their hand to walk on it. I am not blaming harbhajan either...he is from my generation, I work in US and when I feel that I am not being recognized for my efforts..I effing fight for it..doesnt matter if I lose my job..but it has never happened...When you feel that something is right..current generation of Indian dont take it...but we fight back. Back to topic...I can see why Kumble is good...he is by the book and help them towards dicipline and professionalism but he is bad in the case he is by the book....

  • R.Sankar on August 20, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Not sure why cricinfo reproduces every article by Harsha Blgloe. Most of them including this one are tired, hackneyed, poorly written pieces written with a view to fulfilling his obligations with the newspaper, no more. This article is repetitious as he has written about these things several times before.

  • Semoli on August 20, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    The chaos starts from the top. If BCCI is run professionally a lot of this crap would not happen.

  • evenflow_1990 on August 20, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    i am sri lankan and a huge fan of indian cricket. frankly no one could be better for this position than tendulkar, since he is practically worshipped as a god by 1 billion people and averages over 65 in ODIs and 81 in Tests over the past year. He's 37 and been playing for 20 years! Now there's a role model! To be completely honest, Harsha, my opinion is that the incentive is on the players to improve themselves. Because, if they do not like the game after a couple of years of playing, why should they receive mentoring? Tendulkar's exalted presence should be sufficient, but if that doesn't get to them, just give up buddy. The problem is with players not being dropped when they are out of form. Both Sharmas and Jadeja, who never looked talented to begin with, should be dropped but aren't. Thats the bigger issue. Also I think there is a problem with selection to begin with, because India's bowling, barring Zaheer Khan and Kumble, is pathetic. There must be greater talent in India!

  • sneeky55 on August 20, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    kumble is a really strong character. india needs him to help youngsters

  • Rahulbose on August 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Kumble is a legend more for his attitude than his talent, so yes no one better than him to guide young players. Only problem is, strength of character and competetive spirit are not things that can be taught. A Tendulkar is a Tendulkar and a Kambli is a Kambli.