Anil Kumble's exit was an unfortunate episode, feels Rahul Dravid
What's the story?
Legendary batsman Rahul Dravid has expressed disappointment at the manner in which former teammate Anil Kumble was made to quit his role as Indian team's head coach. Lauding the iconic leg-spinner's immense contribution to Indian cricket, the 44-year-old put forth his displeasure at the way in which the entire episode played out in full public view.
"I think the whole thing got played out in the media which is very, very unfortunate for Anil and not fair on him at all. So, what's the reality of it and what happens behind closed doors is not something I'm privy to, so I can't comment directly. But it was definitely an unfortunate episode, especially to someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend of the game, someone who has done more to win Test matches for India than anybody I know. And he had a successful year as coach as well. But the fact is that it should never have played out the way that it did publicly," Dravid told reporters at the Bangalore Literature Festival.
Despite guiding the Indian team to consistent success across all formats, relationships between head coach Kumble and skipper Virat Kohli deteriorated beyond repair. As a consequence, the veteran stepped down from his position following the conclusion of the 2017 Champions Trophy in June.
The heart of the matter
Recurring differences in team selection, as well as match tactics, were believed to be the cause for the rift between Kohli and Kumble. While the accomplished wrist-spinner declared that his relationship with the Indian captain had become 'untenable', the 28-year-old was understood to have complained to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about the stalwart's 'overbearing' approach to coaching.
Playing down suggestions that enormous fame and bulging salaries had turned the current generation of Indian players into unmanageable stars, Dravid pointed to the humble backgrounds of the vast majority of the national cricketers before indicating that the intense media focus was one of the major reasons behind their elevation to heroes.
Dravid is currently coaching the India 'A' as well as U-19 teams. He will be in charge of the Indian colts for the 2017 edition of the U-19 Asia Cup which is scheduled to take place in Malaysia between November 9 and 20.
Considering the fact that he is India's greatest ever bowler in both Tests and ODIs, Kumble was definitely given a raw deal at the end of his tenure as India's head coach. For a man of such integrity, the manner in which the entire saga played out remains one of the most diabolical incidents in Indian cricket history.