IMAGE: Anil Kumble bowls during a Test match against South Africa in Chennai, in March 2008. Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Former captain and spin ace Anil Kumble was named India's chief coach for a year, on Thursday.
The 45-year-old from Bengaluru was selected ahead of other high-profile candidates, including former India players Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil, Lalchand Rajput and Praveen Amre.
While the BCCI, without specifying any names, said there were 57 applicants for the job, Kumble's candidature was interesting by sheer weight of his stature.
He was a few notches above former team director Shastri and chairman of selectors Patil, who also applied but wasn't called to the interview.
Kumble is India’s highest wicket-taker, with 619 from 132 Tests and 337 in 271 ODIs. He also has 2506 Test match runs, which includes an overseas hundred.
He captained India for a year before retiring and is considered a credible voice in Indian cricket circles.
His coaching experience, though, is limited, as mentor of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Earlier this year, he was re-appointed Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee for a three-year term. He took over the post in 2012 and will continue to head it until 2018.
Here's more about the spin wizard from Karnataka.
- Born on October 17, 1970 in Bangalore.
- Tests: 132 matches, 619 wickets at an average of 29.65. 2,506 runs with one century and five fifties.
- Switched from pace bowling to spin very early due to a jerky action and after his debut, aged 19, in 1990 quickly became the pivot around which India began dominating home matches on spin-friendly pitches.
- Became only the second bowler in Tests to claim all 10 wickets in an innings in 1999, emulating England spinner Jim Laker, as India scored a series-levelling win over Pakistan in New Delhi.
- The third highest wicket-taker in Tests with 619 scalps, behind Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and retired Australian Shane Warne (708).
- Was captain for one One-day international only, a four-wicket win over England in 2002.
- Retired from one-day cricket in 2007 after India's first-round exit in the World Cup and finished with 337 wickets at 30.89 from 271 matches.
- Struck his maiden Test hundred in the drawn third and final match against England at the Oval in August 2007, scoring 110 not out in his 118th Test, the only hundred by an Indian during the 1-0 series win.
- Named Test captain in November 2007 in the twilight of his career ahead of One-day captain and front-runner Mahendra Singh Dhoni to protect the wicketkeeper from the burden of handling too much too soon after Rahul Dravid abruptly quit captaincy.
- Announced his retirement on the final day of the third Test against Australia in New Delhi on November 2, 2008.
- After calling time on his international career, Kumble represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League from 2008 before announcing his retirement in 2012. RCB then appointed him as the chief mentor for the team. He served in that role for one year before moving to a similar position at Mumbai Indians, which he quit in November last year.