NEW DELHI: Spin great Anil Kumble says one of the biggest learnings from his previous coaching stints, including the controversial one with the Indian team, is to “back off and help the players relax”.
Kumble resigned as India head coach after the 2017 Champions Trophy final due to an “untenable relationship” with skipper Virat Kohli though the team did well under his tutelage.
The 48-year-old is back to coaching again, this time as director of cricket operations at Kings XI Punjab. He also held mentorship roles at Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.
“With RCB we did not win the title but we came close a couple of times. With Mumbai, we had wonderful success those three years I was there. It is nice to have the experience of crossing the line. It certainly helps (you as a coach),” Kumble said.
“It is all about a game of cricket at the end of it. If you simplify like that the job becomes a lot easier. The moment you start putting importance to result, wins, trophies then it puts more pressure on the players. So the learning is just to back off and help the players relax and when they are relaxed they tend to perform better.”
Kings XI Punjab have never won the IPL and Kumble has come on board to end the title drought. Kumble, who wants to add more experience to the Punjab squad, will soon start strategising for the IPL auction in December.
“You learn from the previous experiences you have had as a player, as a coach but IPL is a rollercoaster ride. You need to be patient and then back the players you have.
“Generally because of certain results you tend to start looking at other teams and that starts influencing your decision and that is the last thing you want.”
Earlier this week, Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia said that the franchise board had a rethink on Ravichandran Ashwin and it has decided to retain him. Ashwin captained the side in the previous two seasons but failed to take them to the play-offs. Kumble said it is not certain that Aswhin will captain the side again.
“We have not decided that yet. Some decisions need to me made but we don’t need to decide at this moment. IPL is still five months away. There is an auction coming up, we will start to build a squad around that as well.
“Ashwin had a wonderful two years but of course we did not get the right results but we have not made any decision who the captain will be.”
Kumble conceded that any decision will not be an easy one as he is a senior player. Ashwin has also done well for India in Tests of late, having made a comeback into the playing eleven in the ongoing home series against South Africa.
Besides Aswhin, Punjab boast of Indian stars such as KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Shami. Their foreign recruits include Chris Gayle, Sam Curran, Nicholas Pooran and David Miller.
“We have a really good young squad. Needs a little bit of experience. We do have Chris who is the most experienced player in the world. I have not really got into the specifics as I just have taken over. But yes we will be settling down soon and put together a strategy for the way forward.
“In 12 years the only time they have got close is in 2104 when they lost in the finals. So to win a maiden trophy is the ultimate goal,” added Kumble.