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Lack of Indian head coaches in IPL isn’t true reflection of our resources, says Anil Kumble

The irony of being the lone Indian head coach in an IPL franchise is not lost on Anil Kumble who firmly believes that the piece of statistic is not a “true reflection” of country’s coaching resources.

A look at the IPL squad roster shows that seven franchises have non-Indian head coaches, namely Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals), Brendon McCullum (KKR), Stephen Fleming (CSK), Mahela Jayawardene ( Mumbai Indians), Trevor Bayliss (Sunrisers), Simon Katich (RCB) and Andrew McDonald (Rajasthan Royals).

“I would like to see more Indian coaches in the IPL. It is not a true reflection of Indian resources. I would want to see many Indians being part of the IPL as head coaches,” Kings XI Punjab head coach Kumble told a select online media interaction on Tuesday.

“It is a bit of an irony – one Indian as head coach. I think at some point of time there will be a lot more Indian coaches.”

Speaking from Dubai, where the team has been based since August 20, Kumble said his players were in good shape both mentally and physically while going about their job in IPL’s strict bio-bubble.

KXIP, who have never won the IPL, are aiming to go all the way this time with a strong squad at their disposal. Picking the best Indian players in the playing eleven will be tough but it seems picking the four overseas recruits will be even tougher as they are spoilt for choice.

Asked if 40-year-old Chris Gayle will continue to play bulk of the games like he did in the past two seasons, Kumble said Gayle would also be more involved within the leadership group this season and his mentor’s role will be as important as his big-hitting at the top of the order.

The other overseas players in KXIP are Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Jimmy Neesham, the in-form Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen and Sheldon Cottrell who was bought for a whopping Rs 8.5 crore.

“We still have to see the conditions at the main ground as we have been practicing (at ICC Academy). Chris has a major role even as player and even otherwise.

“His leadership, his experience, the youngsters look up to him. It is not just Chris the batsman we are looking at but Chris in a leadership role in terms of his contribution to developing young players. I want him to be active on the mentorship role,” said Kumble.

The coach said that a few practice games would give him an idea about the combinations he was looking for.