For Coach Kumble, Here Are The Teams & Challenges That Lie Ahead
The Quint takes a look at Anil Kumble’s confirmed assignments over the next twelve months.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s hunt for a coach for the Indian team ended on Thursday evening. On expected lines, the BCCI President Anurag Thakur announced at a press conference in Dharamsala that Anil Kumble was the candidate recommended by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), and the BCCI went ahead with appointing the former leg-spinner as the head coach of Indian team for a period of twelve months.
Kumble’s integrity, stupendous numbers as a cricketer, leadership skills, experience as mentor of Mumbai Indians, combined with his vision and road-map convinced the cricket advisory committee comprising – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sanjay Jagdale – that he was the right man for the job.
The 45-year-old from Karnataka will return to the Indian team’s dressing room for the camp before the tour of West Indies which begins in July 2016.
Here’s a look at Kumble’s confirmed assignments over the next twelve months.
India’s Tour of West Indies, July-August 2016
Up first on Kumble’s plate is a tour of the Caribbean, a place where the Indian team has won the last two series and the expectations will be for the team to extend its successful run.
In 2006, under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy, India won the 4-Test series 1-0, with Kumble finishing as the highest wicket-taker from both sides. Subsequently in 2011, under MS Dhoni’s leadership, India won the 3-Test series 1-0 in 2011.
The West Indies, who might not be the force they once were – nearly unbeatable in the 1970s and 1980s, but are certainly a formidable opponent when playing in their own backyard.
In recent times, the West Indies have even defeated formidable sides like England and New Zealand at home.
3 Tests and 5 ODIs vs New Zealand
If one were to go by the current ICC Test rankings, India should be runaway favourites to defeat New Zealand in the Test series in India.
India are currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Test rankings with 112 points, while the Kiwis are ranked 5th with a tally of 98 points. And then this fact: India have not lost a home Test to New Zealand since December 1988. India are not only expected to win the series, but should be overwhelming favourites to whitewash the visitors.
On the ODI front too, New Zealand don’t
inspire too much confidence if one were to go by their previous showings. In 27
ODIs against India previously on Indian soil, the Kiwis have emerged victorious
in only 5 matches as against India’s 21 wins. The last time the Kiwis played a
bilateral ODI series in India, they were whitewashed 5-0 by a Gautam Gambir-led
Indian team in 2010.
5 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is vs England
The Indian team will be aware that England pose a very serious threat. Starting November 2004 and until November 2012, the Indian team had lost the odd Test match at home, but never a series in those eight years. However, in November 2012, England caused a huge upset when they bounced back after losing the first Test to win two of the next three Tests to take the series 2-1.
The Indian team will also be wary of the fact that they begin overwhelming favourites in the 50-over format, courtesy England’s poor record of playing in India. Overall, England have 15 wins as against India’s 29 wins in ODIs between the two sides on Indian soil.
with the fact that England have won only two of their last 18 ODIs against
India on Indian soil makes the series appear lop-sided. The pressure though
will be on India to maintain their dominance over England and justify the tag
of being favourites.
4 Tests vs Australia
The last time Australia were in India to compete in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy – in 2013, the visitors were handed a 4-0 thrashing. Even in the series prior to that, India defeated the Australians 2-0 in 2010.
For the record, India haven’t lost a home Test to Australia since October 2004; since then, India have won 9 of the 11 home Test matches against Australia, while drawing the remaining two.
Solitary Test vs Bangladesh
When Bangladesh come visiting for their maiden Test match on Indian soil, the Indian team will be expected to get the better of the visitors who are currently 9th ranked in the ICC Test rankings.
The two teams have so far met on 8 occasions, and the Indian team have come up triumphant in 6 of them – winning by a margin of an innings thrice, by a margin of more than 100 runs once, and by margins of 9 wickets and 10 wickets on two other occasions.
India will be expected to win, and win pretty convincingly too. But do not discount Bangladesh, for they have even defeated formidable sides like Sri Lanka in the recent past.
ICC Champions Trophy in England, June 2017
In June 2017, the Indian team will have the opportunity to defend the ICC Champions Trophy, a title they won under MS Dhoni’s captaincy in England in 2013.
Four years later, they will return to the same country, and the pressure will be on the team to retain the title.
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