In his maiden assignment at home as head coach, Anil Kumble is excited that Indian cricket will hit a massive milestone in Kanpur on Thursday: 500th Test match. The former captain predicted that Virat Kohli's team is destined to touch the pinnacle of Test cricket.
The 500th Test match will be the first of the three-match series against New Zealand. This will be Kumble's second Test series in-charge. He started his assignment as head coach in the West Indies in July this year where India won a rain-affected four-Test series two-nil.
Kumble, 46 in October, is proud that he is involved with cricket at a time when India is playing their 500th Test.
"To be involved as a player for 132 Tests and then once again in the 500th Test is a milestone to celebrate... want a winning start at Green Park?" Kumble told reporters on Tuesday.
India's highest Test wicket-taker (619 scalps) is now looking to replicate his success as head coach and he feels blessed to have a set of young boys under Virat Kohli.
With all his respect for past Indian Test teams, Kumble believes Kohli's squad is a special bunch and has the potential to dominate world cricket in the next five to 10 years.
"This team is something special. We want to raise the bar in every Test. This team certainly has the potential to make Indian cricket something special in the next five to 10 years," Kumble said.
Kumble has his highest regard for the modern cricketer who has to constantly switch between formats.
"It is quite challenging for a modern day cricketer to keep changing formats. Shorter formats help batsmen... there's nothing for the bowlers," Kumble said, adding that India will profit against New Zealand because "we are coming off a Test series (in the Caribbean)."
"We know we will get better and we are focused on playing spinners better," said Kumble, who has clearly set the benchmark for Kohli's bravehearts.