Anil Kumble gave us freedom to express ourselves at all times, says RP Singh
The alleged tussle between captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble is only getting murkier by the day. Every day there are different stories coming to the fore, about purported 'instances' of mistrust between the two most important men of Indian cricket. And amidst this ongoing 'crisis', there is only one casualty – the Indian Cricket Team.
What has made matters even worse is the fact that neither Kumble nor the BCCI has made any attempt to come out and clear the air. All this at a time when the Indian team is all set to defend its Champions Trophy crown does not bode well for the players.
Sportskeeda's expert and former Indian pace bowler RP Singh has played under both Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli. In an exclusive conversation with us, he weighed in on the biggest 'predicament' to have hit Indian cricket in the recent past.
The Influence of coach and captain
When there are two different opinions in a dressing room, there are bound to be differences. This coach-captain dispute is nothing new in cricketing parleys. But having said this, there has to be trust between the two as the team interests should take precedence over anything else.
There is no doubt that the captain should pick the final playing XI, but then the coach receives inputs from various quarters about different players who are young and hence the captain should also pay attention to what the coach has to offer. The coach's inputs hold a lot of weight as he is in touch with various people from the domestic setup who can provide some important updates on the growth and pedigree of new young players in the team.
Anil Kumble as a 'person in power'
I am not too sure about these reports, to be honest. I have played under Anil Kumble for India and have also played under Virat Kohli for RCB, so I am well aware of the type of people these blokes are.
According to me, Kumble is one of the best captains I have played under, and during that 2008-tour of Australia, his captaincy and leadership skills were paramount to our success and for my growth as a bowler.
Anil bhai was a bowler himself and this enabled him to understand the psyche of a bowler. He was a brilliant tactician too and knew exactly when to go for the kill. I could communicate with him personally and share my ideas and he was very receptive of them. Even if he did not agree with some of them , he never shunted them aside but gave good reasons as to why we should try something new.
Man management skills of Anil Kumble
He was the captain and we all gave him respect not only because he was the skipper but he earned them through his performances and by the way he controlled the team.
There are a lot of people in the team and no two persons are the same and I believe Anil bhai did a brilliant job as he was able to take everyone together and always placed Indian cricket first.
His ideas were always accepted as he was not only a senior player but his ideas bore results for us.
We had very few one-on-one meeting back then, we were given freedom in the team meetings to express our views and our thoughts were always respected by everyone.
Is he overbearing?
Personally, I believe these are all unfounded rumours. When I played under him, there was no such thing as being stifled. We enjoyed each other's company and Anil bhai's role was indeed brilliant.
As players, we had the freedom to make our own plans and if it benefitted the team, we were never stopped from executing it in the centre.
The communication was always smooth, and we had very healthy conversations about various strategies, owing to which I still think all these news doing the rounds are not true.
Captain or Coach, who is the boss?
In cricket, the captain is the leader, he is the boss, he is accountable for the team and he should have the say in every final decision.
But then, the coach is a critical cog and his inputs and observations should be given huge importance.
Look, the Indian team had a stellar run in the previous season and the credit cannot be bestowed on any one person. The contribution of captain Kohli is as important as the contribution of coach Kumble.
I am sure this 'tussle' will be sorted out, as both men have always believed that Indian team and the results of the team should be above personal grudges.