India news June 20, 2017

Kumble resigns as partnership with Kohli becomes 'untenable'


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Bal: Kumble's exit sends bad message to next coach

Hours after resigning as India coach, Anil Kumble has said he was "informed for the first time yesterday [Monday] by the BCCI that the captain had reservations with my style and about my continuing as head coach". While stating that the cricket advisory committee (CAC) charged with deciding on who will be coach had backed him for the job, Kumble said "it was apparent the partnership [with Virat Kohli] was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on".

Kumble stepped down as coach four days before the limited-overs tour of the Caribbean begins, even as the team was mid-flight to the West Indies. Kumble had remained in London after the Champions Trophy which ended on Sunday; as chairman of the ICC's cricket committee, he will be attending the chief executives committee meeting there.

Two days before the Champions Trophy had kicked off in England, it emerged in the media that India captain Kohli had told BCCI officials that some players were uncomfortable with the "intimidating" style of Kumble's man management. As a result, despite India's success in Kumble's year in charge, during which the team climbed to No.1 in the Test rankings, the board advertised for fresh interviews for the head coach's position instead of extending his contract.

Kumble, whose original contract ran till the end of the Champions Trophy, had already reapplied for the job and only last week accepted the BCCI's offer to extend his contract to include the West Indies series. However, Kumble said, in light of the reservations he came to know about through the board, he could not continue.

It is understood that, on Monday, before Kohli departed for the West Indies, he met the BCCI's top brass in London, as did Kumble in a separate meeting. The meetings were attended by BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, board chief executive officer Rahul Johri and MV Sridhar, general manager of cricket operations. The meetings were necessitated after the three-member CAC, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, informed the BCCI that it had failed to resolve the impasse between Kohli and Kumble.

The BCCI had received six applications including that of Kumble for the fresh interview process. But, considering it was the CAC that had recommended and shortlisted Kumble as the final choice last year, it still felt he remained the first choice for the head coach position going forward. However, given the current relations, it is understood that the CAC did not meet Kumble at all after it was asked by the BCCI to make the final decision.

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How the Kohli-Kumble saga played out

Kumble confirmed he had the CAC's backing in his statement, which began thus: "I am honoured by the confidence reposed in me by the CAC, in asking me to continue as head coach."

The BCCI was left not much choice other than accepting Kumble's resignation, given that the efforts of board officials, the CAC and the Committee of Administrators had failed to bridge the divide between Kohli and Kumble. Officials well versed with the meetings with Kohli realised that the differences with Kumble could not be "resolved" and the relationship could not be "sustained". "The differences seem irreparable," a board official, who is privy to the discussions, said. He said that Kohli was not ready to take a step back.

Once the CAC realised the relationship was beyond repair, it asked the BCCI to take the negotiation process forward. "It was not a pleasant meeting," the board official, who has knowledge of Monday's meetings, said. According to this official, Kohli remained "adamant" about his stand, which might have helped Kumble make up his mind.

"The CAC is likely to have told BCCI that the differences were not cricketing related but more of a personal nature," the official said. "If he were to stick on, it would be very awkward on Anil's part. It is not good to handle someone as big as Anil in this manner."

The BCCI said that MV Sridhar will travel to the Caribbean to "supervise the team management", while batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar will continue in their roles.

Besides Kumble, the other people who had applied for the India coach job were former India opener Virender Sehwag, former Australia allrounder Tom Moody, former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus, former India medium pacer Dodda Ganesh, and former India A and current Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput.

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • alenma3713954 on June 30, 2017, 13:42 GMT

    in test Rahane has got a better Captain material than Kohli , Kohli is too too aggressive for being a captain of team , I mean his emotions take over more than intelligence , Rahane earned opposition respect when he got the chance to lead team India against Aussies , Kumble needed someone like Rahane , Rahane is like an obedient student, but Kohli is like " I don't need your help " attitude

  • Cricinfouser on June 28, 2017, 11:15 GMT

    kumble had proved nothing . Indian team are invincible at home . kohli is the true leader . he is the one who deserves all credit for teams good showing. all failures also are responsibility of kohli as he is performing on field and not kohli. kohli real test will be how he motivates hid team and his personal performance in rsa on those juicy pitches .

  • bunty on June 23, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    @jk_1982 which eng series your so called sources r pointing to , if it was a odi series then how can kumble insist on pujara's selection when pujara was not even in squad of 15, if it was test series than how can b yuvi n dhoni part of test team? this saga reminds of flower- kp episode of eng, flower was also a hard task master , eng won a lot of matches under his coching but ultimately players stopped enjoying their game coz there was too insistence on practice sessions n discipline. cont

  • Naresh on June 23, 2017, 3:42 GMT

    Sounds like the whole system failed in India and cricket politics and individualism interfered. If there was a rift between the two, why was this not addressed earlier? Cricketing powers of India failed to hold the interest of India during a critical stage and let the team fail due to lack of timely action. Both these guys should have been sidelined no matter how big the stars are until the dispute was resolved. Would not have made a difference negatively in the ICC CT, may even have been a closer game if not a win. Country and team first, individualism last!

  • Hamza Salman on June 22, 2017, 18:01 GMT

    Why has it taken the shape of Kumble v Kohli? From the look of things, it as simply Kumble vs the whole team, as not a single player has offered their support or shown any consideration on Kumble's departure! It is obvious Kohli is massively popular as much as Kumble was unpopular with the team.

  • Srinivas on June 22, 2017, 16:54 GMT

    It is unfortunate that Kumble resigned. Virat Kohli should voluntarily step-down as captain and focus on his batting. He has the potential of being a very great batsman, but he is a terrible captain. Look at the plight of RCB and India. Virat's approach and body language is not appropriate for a captain as it causes a lot of stress. When he batted with KL Rahul, I noticed that Rahul thrives when Virat gets out and fails when Virat is still at the crease. Virat's approach of constantly coaching and driving his partner is counter-productive. There are things that need to be done in the pavilion and others on the field. In the ICC Champions cup final, Virat's body language in the last few overs of Pakistan batting clearly showed that we already lost the game. Regardless of the circumstances, he needs to be positive and enthusiastic for the team to follow. PLEASE VIRAT, step down from captaincy and focus on your batting.

  • Gautam on June 22, 2017, 13:08 GMT

    @MAHENDRA1 - have you seen how Clive Llyod, Viv Richards appearedto field - chewing gum and strolling leisurely? Rohit seems express by their standards. The point is appearance of lethargy has nothing to actual performance

  • Barry on June 22, 2017, 11:39 GMT

    I'm chuckling, much as I already rate Kohli as one of India's all-time Greats. Chuckling, because after a shocking Major Final performance, the odds on England emotionally winning The Other Big One at last at home have again improved dramatically (sorry Pakistan, but that was it for the decade). MSD crucially kept them together as a team. Look out for fearful fielders and compliant field marshals during the sun-god's reign.

  • joe on June 22, 2017, 10:08 GMT

    Brings back memories of Chris Cairns forcing Turner out as head coach of New Zealand. We are still paying the price of that. I cringe a lot of times when I think of how one of the most proficiently correct batsman (Turner) could have been of use to the set up now. But no slash and burn style batting nearly got us one World Cup since then and stuff all else. Sad really

  • Manesh on June 22, 2017, 10:03 GMT

    Kohli needs to be removed as ODI Captain. It can be a good warning to him. Otherwise he may create problems with future coaches too.

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