Jumbo takes flight! Eight key quotes from Anil Kumble's first press conference as India coach

Kumble also had a brief interaction with all the players who will travel to the West Indies for the July tour.

Jumbo takes flight! Eight key quotes from Anil Kumble's first press conference as India coach

New Delhi: New India head coach Anil Kumble on Wednesday addressed his first press conference after his appointment.

The legendary leg spinner offered a relatively clear idea of what his tenure would be like for the next one year.

The former India skipper touched upon his model of leadership, stressing that MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli would be captain of their respective ships and he was there only to assist.

Kumble also had a brief interaction with all the players who will travel to the West Indies for the July tour.

Here are eight key quotes from Jumbo's first press conference.

On Ravi Shastri: I was the first one to call Ravi after chosen as the head coach. He did a wonderful job with the Indian team. And it's not about Ravi or me or anyone else. It's about the players, it's about the team. From my point of view, we all want Indian team to do well, and perform at its best. We all believe that India team has the potential to dominate all three formats. He was part of this journey and (now) I am part of this journey. That's all what I have to say. He congratulated me and I told him we have a fantastic team.

Fast bowling coach: I will try and observe how the team is shaping up and at this point in time, I would like to look at the bowlers. That is something I am looking at...Get closer to the bowlers and understand what their needs are and then probably looking at bringing in a fast bowling coach. That is a consideration I am thinking of. 

On India's bowling: When I was a player, I used to feel that you are the captain of your own bowling, which I would like to try and inculcate, especially in the bowling group. That is important. All of them must believe that they are leaders. Bowling is one area where I can contribute.

On MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli: The role of staying in the background and it is the captain who takes all the calls on the field. I can only assist him in giving him whatever necessary informations in terms of strategy, be it preparation. And whatever experience I have as a captain and player. It's the captain who is incharge. As a coach I need to organise preparations for the team and giving informed input to captain and the team to strategise better, inclusive of every player. It's not just 11 who are going to play but also six or seven who are not going to play. It was good initial interaction with the players, very welcoming. I also had a talk with MS after the Zimbabwe tour. Am looking forward to working with both MS and Virat.

On cricket's changing nature: Fortunate thing is I have been close to the game in various capacities. So I know what is the thinking for future, what youngsters are looking at. I have travelled with players in IPL, so I understand. I am close to the modern game. I am parent of teenage. I can blend my experiences putting across to the youngsters today. Communication is required and I can do that," said the bowling great.

On West Indies tour: Last time we went to West Indies, we had won the series 3-0, so we will take that confidence into the upcoming series. Indian team has been doing well in Tests. We have good chance of winning the series in West Indies and we will go there to win. Last time when we won the series, Ishant (Sharma) was man of the series. Virat, Murali Vijay and Amit Mishra also did well, so there is a bit of experience of those conditions. I have also been there before so I will also contribute. West Indies is always a tough team at home, although they are more formidable in the shorter format. However, conditions there is similar to India and the team is pretty geared up to live up to the challenge.

On current squad: I feel this team is very talented. One thing I will ensure is that whether we win or lose, the fighting spirit should always be there. Fielding of course. That probably stands out. Excellent to the see the agility and the fitness levels now. Also, now the average age is 25, 26, and they already have experience of playing at highest level. Virat has played close to 40 Test matches and he is just 27, Ishant 60. So there is experience and youth. Nice to see that mix. Some of them are in the making of becoming great players.

On Test cricket: Whatever it takes to popularise Test cricket, I am for it. We will play 17 Test matches in the next 12 months. That shows how important Test cricket is. Talking to the players I realised how much importance they give to Test cricket.

(With PTI inputs)