There is no smoke without fire and the fire was burning throughout the Champions Trophy. Finally, Kumble extinguished all speculation by indeed confirming that there was a problem between him and Virat Kohli. This led to Kumble stepping down as the head coach of the squad. The announcement came after a long month of intense speculation of a rift between the two.
What does this mean for Indian cricket? Read on to find out:
- Firstly, one of the reasons that were stated as Kumble’s resignation were that Virat Kohli had some “reservations” about the way Kumble handled things. The training methods were said to be very grueling and there were claims that Kohli had felt Kumble was a bit of a “taskmaster” with regards to his training and schedules.
- The first signs of a rift allegedly occurred when Kumble wanted to play Kuldeep Yadav in the final test in the series against Australia. Kohli, despite not playing was not interested in the idea.
- When Kumble claimed that the captain needed to be paid extra in his presentation to the BCCI, Kohli was upset because this time, he wasn’t consulted.
- The rift became something of a public issue after the BCCI advertised for the position of Head Coach on May 25th. This all but confirmed the fact that the BCCI were going to shunt Kumble out because of Kohli.
- The committee of Ganguly, Sachin and Laxman met Kohli in the presence of the BCCI CEO and had an hour long discussion with him regarding the matter. Kohli admitted that there was no chance of a truce and this was the final nail.
- Though Kumble was booked on the same flight from England to the West Indies, he stayed back as he had to attend the annual ICC Conference , of which he is the Chairman. He stepped down as the coach and bought an end to all the speculation.
Message it sends out:
The message that is being sent out from the Indian camp is that the players are the most important. Kohli may have reservations about Kumble’s style and methods but to be the cause for Kumble’s resignation shows that the players wield the power in the dressing room. Kumble had to step down as he was not ready to bow down to player pressure.
The next coach will have to tread carefully and this is not good because the team are not willing to relinquish their comfort for the coach.
For now, it is time to bid adieu to a pretty successful tenure for Anil Kumble. He did not lose a single Test series and also has an 8-5 record in ODIs since the time he took over. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
By Rohit Nair