Former Indian captain Anil Kumble had a one-of-its kind conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday afternoon. During this session, they talked about everything from growing up in India, to cricket, the need for empathy in technology and how sports can leverage technology better. Nadella who is currently in India to promote his book ‘Hit Refresh’, said three key technologies – mixed reality, artificial intelligence and quantum computing- will lead to massive shifts in the world economy and society.
On the other hand, Kumble talked at length about his childhood learnings that went a long way in him becoming a champion cricketer. He said that as a sports person, data always fascinated him. When Nadella asked Kumble about the values he inherited from his parents, Kumble said: “Self-belief. It comes from the values that you inculcate, looking up to your parents and grandparents.” The former Indian coach added, “My grandfather was a headmaster in school and I know that term (headmaster) kept coming back to me later in my career. Some of them here will understand (what I am talking about),” drawing a gentle laugh from the audience.
Kumble had earned the reputation of a hard taskmaster but had quit as India coach in June under controversial circumstances, citing his untenable relationship with India captain Virat Kohli. Since then, India’s leading wicket-taker has maintained silence on the issue and so has Kohli.
Talking about the Australia tour in 2003-04, when India managed to draw the four-Test series, Kumble said that it was the time when in he reinvented himself. “As a cricketer, you have to hit refresh literally at the end of the every series. Challenges from one series to another are different. But I would like to mention the Australia tour in 2003-04 when I was at the crossroads of my career. I was competing for a place in the eleven (with Harbhajan Singh). People had started talking about my retirement as I was in my 30s. I got an opportunity in the Adelaide Test which we famously won,” he said.
“I was expensive on day one but came back to take a five-wicket haul. I understood the need of doing something different. So I started bowling a different type of googly, something I had learnt during my tennis ball days. That is when I realised I can make subtle changes to improve my game,” Kumble added.