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Here's why Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble are made for each other...

Coach Kumble backs Test skipper's aggressive approach; says he will not ask him to curb his instincts

Bangalore: Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble may have a highly contrasting approach to life outside cricket but on the field, they seem to be made for each other. Both are aggressive, both always want to win and both will never take a step backward. All that and more was most obvious when the duo sat down for a media interaction here yesterday ahead of the Indian team's departure to the West Indies for a four-Test tour.

India head coach Anil Kumble (right) addresses the media with Test skipper Virat Kohli in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/PTI
India head coach Anil Kumble (right) addresses the media with Test skipper Virat Kohli in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/PTI

"Our intention will always be to go for a win. There have been situations in the middle where we have also lost but we know that we must play positive cricket so that we can get into a position where we can win and we can also lose. We must realise that we have got into that position playing good cricket 80% of the time. We must focus on the mistakes we made in that 20% and not change the remaining 80%. To have that mindset is very important and Anil bhai's arrival has given that a bigger boost because his mindset was also the same — that we can win a match from any situation," said skipper Kohli, who seemed very much taken up by his coach's never-say-die attitude.

'I was no different'
Kumble, for his part, was quick to say that he wasn't going to change Kohli's approach in any way. "I love his aggression. I was no different. I was also aggressive though very different in terms of how we probably came across on the field. But you know, you don't want to curb any of that. Of course we all know how important it is to be the ambassadors of India and be a part of the Indian cricket team. We will ensure that there is a thin line and that everybody knows that," said Kumble even as an admiring captain looked on.

India Test skipper Virat Kohli dives to take a catch during a practice session at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/AFP
India Test skipper Virat Kohli dives to take a catch during a practice session at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/AFP

Kohli was very pleased to have a coach who has done it all and he emphasized that part. "I have always felt that if you have yourself been in that situation and if you have executed that, you can explain it better. Because to teach the skill factor is a different thing, it is a very mechanical thing, it can become technical. But to teach and explain mindset is an entirely different skill altogether," said Kohli.

A match winner
"I think that's a big difference — the person has achieved so much on his own and executed for the team, has won so many matches for the team, that exact mindset you can explain to the rest and can portray it. I think that has been the biggest advantage from Anil bhai coming in as coach and that was our singular motive to have him here — this is the man who has won so many matches for the Indian team, not just at home but away too, more importantly.

The more information we can get from him on what skills are needed, what mental setup is needed to win Test matches, that's the biggest help for us. It has been very good so far and going ahead, we are all very excited with the association." A lot many people are similarly excited with this partnership but ultimately it will boil down to results too.

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