Muzumdar takes over from Powar who is now the head coach of India Women
“To get back on track as far as red-ball cricket is immediate priority because we haven’t won since 2015-16,” Muzumdar, a veteran of 171 first-class games, told ESPNcricinfo. “I think we’re in a good space as far as white-ball cricket goes. I’d like to impress upon the need to be multi-dimensional, it’s key for players at a personal level in today’s environment. So, these two areas are important.”
Wasim Jaffer and Sairaj Bahutule, Muzumdar’s former Mumbai team-mates, Sulakshan Kulkarni, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Pradeep Sunderram, Nandan Phadnis, Umesh Patwal and Vinod Raghvan were among the contenders for the job.
“I threw my hat into the ring purely on instincts,” Muzumdar said. “I think this is as good a time as any, when there’s a great blend of highly-skilled youngsters and experienced players there to guide them. We say Mumbai’s talent pool isn’t quite the same as yesteryears, but we’ve still got as many as seven players in the Indian team, which is still phenomenal. So, to work with this bunch is going to be quite exciting.”
Muzumdar says being already familiar with the role of a mentor during the fag end of his playing career helped him tune up. “For about four or five years, towards the end of my career, I played the role of a player-cum-coach both at Andhra and Assam. Even when I went over to the Netherlands, it was a similar role. So, in terms of approach, it’s something I’m tuned to.
“The difference, though, is during those stints, you’re still in control of situations as a player-cum-mentor. Whereas as head coach, you don’t have that control of things in the middle, Even if you may have an indirect control, that touch is missing. But it’s the about the experience and the excitement of working with a great bunch of players that I’m most looking forward to.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo