Durani: Spinners will learn a lot from Kumble

"He was a world class leg spinner, took a lot of wickets and he is very intelligent. Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja will benefit from the knowledge Kumble will impart," Salim Durani said of Anil Kumble.

Salim Durani at the Wankhede stadium dressing room in 2004.   -  Vivek Bendre

Former India left-arm spinner Salim Durani believes that the appointment of Anil Kumble as coach of the Indian team is a good development.

Durani tricked Clive Lloyd and Garry Sobers in the second Test of the 1971 West Indies tour and paved the way for India's historic first Test series win in the Caribbean. As India travels there for a four-Test series, Durani spoke about how Kumble's appointment will impact the squad.

“He was a world class leg spinner, took a lot of wickets and he is very intelligent. Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja will benefit from the knowledge Kumble will impart. Our bowling attack has a good seam-spin combination, but I think fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah could have been picked,” the 81-year old Durani told Sportstar from Jamnagar even as he was writing the menu for Eid celebrations on Thursday.

Durani did not bowl a single over in the first innings of the Port of Spain Test in 1971, but he scalped Lloyd for 15 and Sobers for 0, in the second innings when off-spinner S. Venkataraghavan took five wickets.

"We had world class spinners in Prasanna, Bedi and Venkat. They were intelligent, were able to bring the batting team under pressure and did not give easy runs. In comparison, I think Ashwin, Mishra and Jadeja are good. But Kumble should help them. The first Test will indicate the kind of wickets they get to bowl, but they should pick three spinners, if the pitch demands.”

Comparing Ashwin to the legendary Venkatraghavan, he said: “He is similar to Venkat, tall and has the top spinner and the delivery that leaves the bat apart from his stock ball.”

Durani said that his team led by Ajit Wadekar did not have a big coaching and training staff four and half decades ago. “That's the big difference. Now the team has everything. Their fielding is outstanding. Kohli and Rahane take brilliant catches. Their involvement is 100 per cent. The IPL has helped Indian cricket and cricketers. The batting is very good. And the bowling department is also good. That's why I am tempted to give India a 60: 40 chance of winning the four-Test series.”

Despite the West Indies’ recent triumph in the ICC World Twenty20 in Kolkata, Durani said the host will find it tough to win in Tests.

  Dugout videos