At a time when Team India is preparing to defend its ICC Champions Trophy title, the reports of a rift between skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble has overshadowed the Champions Trophy campaign to a certain extent.
Earlier this month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited applications for the chief coach’s post with Kumble’s contract expiring at the end of ICC Champions Trophy. And although the board is just following the procedure to appoint a new coach, reports are suggesting that all is not well between the coach and the captain and it might be a reason for Kumble not getting an extension despite tasting good success so far.
The former India bowler was appointed the head coach in June last year and began his term with a 2-0 Test series victory in West Indies. In the following mammoth home season, the Virat Kohli-led side won 10 Tests, registering series victories over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, respectively.
According to reports in The Hindu, Kohli has told the board officials that all is not well between him and the coach. Sources in the know of things believe that Kohli and Kumble are strong cricket personalities and that a clash between them was just a matter of time.
In fact, the BCCI, which knew about the rift between the two, went as far as asking former India opener Virender Sehwag to apply for the coach’s job during the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in Mumbai this month. Later, reports suggested that Sehwag was not interested in taking up the coveted job.
The board officials are also speculating that things began to turn sour between Kohli and Kumble during the Border-Gavaskar series earlier this year. Kuldeep Yadav, who starred with the ball in the final Test at Dharamshala, was a preferred option for Kumble for the third Test in Ranchi but Kohli shot down the idea but the left-arm chinaman made his debut when Kohli was ruled out of the last Test due to injury.
“This may or may not be the reason. But we believe the people in the corridors of power have been told that Kumble is overbearing and doesn’t give freedom to the players. It’s sad that aspersions are cast on a legend of Indian cricket,” an official was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
The new coach, meanwhile, will be selected in a similar process that saw Kumble leaving behind other competitors to land the coaching job last year. After the applicants apply for the post, they will be reviewed by the board’s three-member panel, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. The trio will conduct interviews and seek presentations before selecting the next coach.
Meanwhile, the news outlet also claimed that Kohli had spoken to Sachin Tendulkar about the declining relationship between the team and Kumble when the latter invited the whole team for the premiere of ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ on May 24. Interestingly, the BCCI invited the applications on May 25.
May 30, 2017 at 02:22PM