Kumble: 'A great challenge to put together a proper structure for KXIP'

As director of cricket operations at KXIP, Kumble wants to make sure the franchise has a new way of looking at the IPL in terms of developing the players.

Anil Kumble unveils Kings XI Punjab's jersey for the 2020 edition of IPL.   -  Special Arrangement

Former India coach Anil Kumble on Wednesday unveiled the new jersey to be sported by Kings XI Punjab at the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League. The KXIP franchise CEO Satish Menon announced EbixCash as the title sponsor for three years.

On the occasion, Kumble shared his views on his appointment with Sportstar.

How do you look at this new association after being with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians?

They haven’t reached their potential over the last 12 years. All the eight teams in the IPL, in the last five years, have generally evened out. There is hardly anything to pick one from the other. But Kings XI have under-performed considering the talent they have possessed. It is a great challenge to put together a proper structure and make sure the franchise has a new way of looking at the IPL in terms of developing the players, having a consistent squad. Support staff too.

How are you going to pull the team from the bottom rung?

It’s a roller-coaster ride. One thing critical is to make sure that you don’t celebrate too early. Kings XI, the last few years, have been starting very well, but then you lose a couple of games and drop off. Peaking too early, celebrating too early and being down too early is not good. Players should stop worrying about the points table.

Can you peak by choice?

You can’t. But it’s important to start looking at every game as a knockout and not think that you have 14 matches to look at. You need to have the right combinations because you may have the best 11 on the field but not the combination for that particular opposition on that particular pitch and conditions. Championship is not won by an an individual. All contributions have to come together at the right time.

What can a bowler-turned coach can bring to table in a T20 game?

In T20, the focus has always been on the batsmen. I would like the focus to be on the bowlers too. Not many realise that bowling combinations win you championships. I am trying to emphasise that. There may be challenges when we may not have the players but you may have to build a structure and culture to find such players. That’s my role.

One thing you like about Kings XI Punjab.

It’s a young team and I have liked the contribution from the youngsters. You need senior pros to help you get out of tough situations and we have Chris Gayle, a great performer. It will be wonderful to work with Chris.

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