Kumble: I love Kohli’s aggression

"I love Kohli’s aggression. I was no different. I was also aggressive, though we are probably very different in terms of how we come across on the field. I’ll be the last person to curb someone’s natural instincts," Kumble said.

Team India skipper Virat Kohli (left) along with coach Anil Kumble at a press conference at Bengaluru.   -  PTI

During his playing days, Anil Kumble was not known to suffer fools gladly. A misfield off his bowling evoked a nasty glare or worse. Opposition batsmen were not spared either, as the leg-spinner relentlessly attacked the stumps.

Current India captain, Virat Kohli, belongs to a similarly pugnacious breed of cricketers. Kumble, now the national coach, has no intention of reining Kohli in.

“I love Kohli’s aggression. I was no different. I was also aggressive, though we are probably very different in terms of how we come across on the field. I’ll be the last person to curb someone’s natural instincts,” Kumble said here on Monday, prior to the Indian team’s departure to the West Indies.

Playing the game in the right spirit, however, is a non-negotiable clause. “We all know how important it is to be ambassadors of India, as well as the pride involved in being a part of the Indian cricket team. There is a thin line (between being aggressive and going overboard), and we will ensure that everybody knows that,” he said.

As for the immediate challenge ahead — a four-Test series in the Caribbean, Kumble said that while India is expected to emerge victorious, it could be a tricky affair.

“Expectations are always going to be there. West Indies is a tough side. They know the conditions at home. Yes, they are in a transition phase. So there will be some young West Indian players in the Test squad,” he said.

The schedule includes a couple of practice games, at Warner Park (St. Kitts), which will be used to ascertain the best eleven for bigger challenges to come.

“We will try out various combinations in the practice games. Everyone will get an opportunity. We can then decide what the ideal combination will be for the Tests,” the former India skipper said.

Looking at the long season ahead, Kumble said, “There are 17 Tests to come. We will ensure that we are consistent, whether it is in the West Indies or at home when we face New Zealand, England and Australia. You enter the field with the positive mindset that you can win a match from any situation.”

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