What’s the story?
The sad end to the Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli association has been met with several responses from former players, who have taken either side to show their support and voice their opinion.
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar has come out with a scathing assessment of Kohli, lambasting the India captain for the way he handled his relationship with Kumble, even calling the Indian team a bunch of ‘losers’.
“Greatness and modesty should go along. And, in Virat’s case it is almost opposite. He should be feeling blessed to have Anil as a coach. If you are disciplined that doesn’t mean that you are not a good coach. I am sure Virat will realise soon what mistake he has made. I want to ask Kohli, how could he change his opinion in just one year? India were performing and giving positive results. Then why did he do this?. It’s a complete sign of immaturity”.
In case you didn’t know…
Kumble decided to not extend his contract with the Indian team, handing his resignation on the eve of India’s departure to the West Indies for their limited-overs series.
The turn of events has been largely attributed to the fractious association between the captain-coach duo in recent times.
The BCCI invited applications for the coach’s job last month, making it clear that Kumble would not have got an automatic extension.
The heart of the matter
Wadekar said he still believes that Kumble was best suited for the job, pointing out at India’s recent form and the success that they have tasted during the last one year under him. He was all praise for the former leg-spinner, reminiscing the time when he was the coach and Kumble was in the team, describing him as educated, sincere, and mad about the game.
He went to the extent of calling the Indian team ‘losers’ for the way they handled the whole saga and let ‘a gem like Kumble’ leave in this fashion.
The matter now over, Kumble will go back to his role of the Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee, Kohli will lead the Indian side for five ODIs and a one-off T20I against the West Indies in June-July.
While the general consensus is that Kohli is to be blamed for the turn of events, we should also wait for his side of the story to know the complete reason why he did what he did. While Wadekar has proper credentials to voice his opinion the way he wants (he was India’s first full-time coach in 1992), calling the Indian team ‘losers’ for a feud between two individuals, might not be totally warranted, for the team performed well in throughout the tournament and reached the finals of the Champions Trophy.