India opener, Murali Vijay, has spoken of his admiration for new head coach Anil Kumble, describing himself as a big fan of the spin legend.
Vijay's career began as Kumble's ended, with the batsman making his debut in Kumble's final test, and he has huge respect for a man he believes India can learn a lot from.
Speaking from the India camp at the KSCA stadium in Bengaluru, Vijay said: "My first Test match was his last Test match and actually I did not spend lot of time with him, but I have been a great fan of him as an youngster,
"It is a great opportunity for youngsters to talk to him about cricket and learn from him and move forward. So it will be a great time for us,"
When quizzed about the new Virat Kohli-Kumble combination, Vijay indicated it was still too early to tell how successful they will be, but expressed confidence that the team will do well: "I can't talk anything ahead of time.
"It will be too early to comment on that, but it is going to be great 12 months for us as a team — that much I can guarantee you. We are going to be up for it and we just want to be best in coming 12 months,"
In response to being asked about Ravi Shastri, Vijay replied: "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,"
Vijay turned his attention to the upcoming tour to the West Indies next: "It is a great place to play cricket because there is more fun and there is competition inside. So, we cannot ask for more as a sportsperson. There is entertainment overall and we are looking forward for this series,
"It will be a confidence booster for us to play and perform and execute our plans. Thereafter, come back and play matches in the home series. So there is lot of stake for us,"
The opener was asked about the pressure on India, when they play at venues like Kanpur, and Indore, but he was keen to downplay the impact of the venue: "It doesn't matter where we play and which venue we play.
"It is about how soon and how faster than the opponents you acclimatise to the playing conditions there. It is a great opportunity to see how it works in that side of the country,"
After suffering disappointment last time out in the Caribbean, Vijay was keen to be more succesful on a personal level: "Last time I did not do well in West Indies, but the team did well. Hopefully I can pull it off this time,
"I have been to the West Indies three times before and I have a fair bit of idea of how it is going to be there … I am looking forward to stick to my basics and be as consistent as possible, hopefully, and if I can do that I will be happy at the end of it,"
His captain, Kohli, has placed emphasis on fitness in recent weeks a sentiment Vijay shares: "Definitely it (fitness) will play a major part on each and everybody. We are aware of it. We have our fitness regime and we are following and hopefully we can stay fit throughout the season."
India will face the West Indies in four Tests, the first of which gets underway on July 21 in Antigua.