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Anil Kumble gets his hands dirty again

India Today logo India Today 02-07-2016

India's preparatory camp in Bangalore ahead of the West Indies tour hasn't been short on intensity.

© AP Photo

The players, however, had to make some minor adjustments to switch from the Ravi Shastri style of coaching to the more meticulous Anil Kumble training methods. But neither of the coaches fall short when banking on their international experience to motivate the wards.

"We had a great time with Ravi Bhai, and Anil Bhai has picked up for now, and hopefully we can have good time with him and learn lot of things from him. He has been an unbelievable cricketer for India," opener Murali Vijay explained.

On his first day wearing the India jersey again, Kumble was greeted by rain and the players were confined to practising indoors.

But in his first few days at work itself there have been many moments that spell out what Kumble meant when he said he wanted to get his hands dirty again. Whether it was meeting the KSCA ground staff personally to check on the ground conditions on a wet day or helping the fast bowlers with saw dust to help their run-up footing.

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"My effort will be to prepare as well as possible. Whatever problems and challenges there might be on the field, keep all that in the mind and prepare. Whatever is the support group, the coaching staff, our belief is that our job is to work in the background. Those who will be in the forefront will be the players, the captain," Kumble spoke in his first media conference.

Kumble could not resist rolling his arm over as he delivered many seam ups at the nets - an image that could become a regular occurrence as the year progresses.

Day three began with Test captain and leader of the batting group Virat Kohli starting off with a pep talk to his fellow batsmen, talking about the goals for the new season.

Then it was time for Kohli and his deputy, Ajinkya Rahane, to come out and face some inswingers.

Kumble's focus so far has been all on the players' skills and he got his batsmen out of the nets to bat on the centre wicket, simulating match conditions with the wicketkeeper and slips behind them.

It's early days yet with practice games to come in the West Indies but the first glimpse of the team's batting order under the new set up was Rahane at 3 and Pujara at 5 followed by Rohit Sharma.

For someone like Shikhar Dhawan, it was a perfect opportunity to iron out the flaws. Batting coach Sanjay Bangar offered Dhawan some minor changes to his batting grip.

With a number of reserve bowlers such as Varun Aaron, Sreenath Arvind, Vinay Kumar, Jayant Yadav and Shabaz Nadeem also being called up for the camp, Kumble's guidance has been on offer to a mix of players even outside the squad to West Indies.

All of them would be on show when they play an inter-squad match on July 3rd in Alur on the outskirts of Bangalore.

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