In his first press conference since taking over as Team India’s new coach, Anil Kumble stressed on the fact that he wouldn’t look to curb Test skipper Virat Kohli’s aggressive instincts, and that he is happy with the Indian skipper’s positive attitude. Speaking to the media at the pre-departure press conference before the West Indies sojourn, Kumble said, “"I love his aggression. I was no different. I was also aggressive, but very different in terms of how I probably came across on the field. I'll be the last person to curb someone's natural instincts, but of course we all know how important it is to be the ambassadors of India and be a part of the Indian cricket team. That everybody in the team understands.”
Adding to it, Kohli said that he was keen to take forward the positive mind-set, wherein they go into a match with the sole intent to win, irrespective of the game situation. "Our first intention is to win - that won't change. Yes, there have been situations from where we've lost, but we know we were in that position because of the positive brand of cricket that we played."
Sticking to the topic, Kohli further explained, "We need to realise we got there in the first place because we played at 80%, so the focus is on the remaining 20%. Anil bhai's mind-set was the same during his playing days, so the mind-set makes a difference. If you are hesitant, you don't explore a different side to our ability as a team. Our motive is the same. We will play with the same mind-set of trying to win the series and not just being satisfied with solitary Test wins."
On the week-long preparatory camp in Bangalore, and the first impressions of Kumble as coach, Kohli stated, "We haven't had too many camps before, but I feel there's already a lot that the team has benefited from. If you have experience of facing different situations in the past, you are better equipped. Understanding of skills and understanding of mind-set are two different things.
"The information we have got from Kumble about mental adjustments needed to win has been a big boost. He's been more than willing to speak to everyone equally -- the pacers, spinners, batsmen -- and address their concerns. There's an emotional connect with the coach, no doubt.”
Kohli was also confident of injury-hit Mohammed Shami coming back strongly. “Shami is a skillful guy, we all know that. The way he bowls, the way he releases the ball, pitches the ball, it's more or less perfect for Test cricket. The lines and lengths he bowls are always attacking. The best thing is when it's seaming and swinging, he can bowl conventional lines and lengths. If it's reverse-swinging, he knows exactly where to bring in the ball from. He has a great sense and feel of how to get batsmen out. We have been working with him on the mental strength aspect of his game. More consistency is something we push for him,” the Indian skipper asserted about Shami.
--By A Cricket Correspondent