Kumble: It is not about Anil or Ravi

There was a moment during Anil Kumble’s first formal press conference as the Indian cricket team’s coach, when a potential minefield-question was lobbed at him inside the media hall here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

Anil Kumble with diplomatic finesse replied to the question about Ravi Shastri being overlooked for the coach’s slot and the latter’s obvious disappointment.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

There was a moment during Anil Kumble’s first formal press conference as the Indian cricket team’s coach, when a potential minefield-question was lobbed at him inside the media hall here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

>Win or lose, the fighting spirit will always be there: Kumble

Kumble, though, was ready for it and with diplomatic finesse he replied to the one about Ravi Shastri being overlooked for the coach’s slot and the latter’s obvious disappointment.

The former India captain politely, but firmly said that it is always about the team and not about who is the coach and as former cricketers — Shastri and he — can only wish that the Indian team makes steady progress.

"I was the first one to call Ravi after I was chosen as head coach. He did a wonderful job with the Indian team. It is not about Anil or Ravi, it is not about the head coach. It is about the players, it is about the team. And from my point of view, whether it is me or Ravi or any Indian, we all want the Indian team to do well.

"We all want the Indian team to perform at its best. We all believe that there is potential for the Indian team to be the best in all three formats. And If I am part of the journey, that's all I have to say. He congratulated me. I told him it’s a fantastic team, a young team that we have."

"It could be someone else (as coach) tomorrow. I am not permanent in this role. I have an opportunity to make a difference. I have an opportunity to be part of the journey and if I can be part of the journey where we see Indian cricket rise to where we all want it to be, then I think it’s wonderful. I feel privileged, like I already mentioned, it is an honour again to be a part of the team,” Kumble said and effectively quashed needless speculation over his equation with Shastri, his senior and former team-mate.