Of Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble and the ‘headmaster’ tag

Former India coach Kumble, who resigned in June citing differences with Kohli, reveals his old association with the word.

Kumble quit as India coach in June citing his partnership with skipper Virat Kohli ‘untenable’   -  K. MURALI KUMAR


Former India cricketer Anil Kumble earned the unpopular ‘headmaster’ tag during his stint as India coach later in his career. The 47-year-old, who led India in 14 Tests, in a chat with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, discussed how the label has been a part of his life since childhood.

“My grandfather was a headmaster in school and I know that term (headmaster) kept coming back to me later in my career. Some of them here will understand (what I am talking about),” said Kumble, inviting a bout of laughter from the audience.

Read: Kumble falls to a Kohli googly

Kumble quit as India coach in June citing his partnership with skipper Virat Kohli ‘untenable’. Kohli apparently had reservations with the veteran’s style of coaching the team.

Kumble and Kohli never dragged the issue and kept mum on the saga. Being a gentleman, the former leg spinner didn’t want a gloomy dressing room atmosphere and hence, he moved on paving the way for Ravi Shastri.

Also read: BCCI seeks report on Kumble-Kohli fiasco

He is also remembered for staging comebacks when healthy competition with Harbhajan Singh caught the headlines. “As a cricketer, you have to hit refresh literally at the end of the every series. Challenges from one series to another are different. But I would like to mention the Australia tour in 2003-04 when I was at the crossroads of my career. I was competing for a place in the eleven (with Harbhajan Singh). People had started talking about my retirement as I was in my 30s. I got an opportunity in the Adelaide Test which we famously won.

“I was expensive on day one but came back to take a five-wicket haul. I understood the need of doing something different. So I started bowling a different type of googly, something I had learnt during my tennis ball days. That is when I realised I can make subtle changes to improve my game,” he revealed.

Kumble is the third highest wicket-taker in Tests (619), next to Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708). Among Indians, he is on top, followed by Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417).

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