What’s the story?
Putting to rest all the speculations hovering around the state of affairs inside the Indian dressing room, especially those concerned with the coach Anil Kumble, India captain, Virat Kohli, in a stern message to the media, has lambasted those spreading what he calls ‘rumours’ about the perceived captain-coach feud.
Vehemently denying that there is anything wrong between himself and Kumble or that there is a lack of unity or focus within the team, the 28-year-old said that a certain section of the public is more focused on spreading rumours and making a livelihood out of it.
“There are no issues whatsoever. (between me and Kumble) There's is a lot of speculation going around and a lot of things are being written without being a part of the change room, which is very strange,” Kohli said during the pre-match press conference in Edgbaston.
“In India, people lack patience and speculate a lot. Too much impatience, too much speculation. Without being a part of the process or the system, or without having a first-hand experience of things, I wouldn't pass judgments or speculate sitting afar.
“Even if I do, and I later realize that I’m wrong, I would admit that I was wrong. People write whatever they want to, but nobody has the courage to admit or accept if they have written something wrong,” he added.
In case you didn’t know...
Over the course of the past week or so, speculations have been rife that there have been disagreements over certain issues between Kohli and Kumble and the possible captain-coach rift has taken the cricketing world by a storm.
Several media outlets, citing several sources have reported that Kohli, being unhappy with Kumble’s ‘headmasterly’ method of coaching, had complained to the BCCI.
The board’s move to not give Kumble a second term as the coach, despite India’s superlative performance under his tutelage, has also been linked to Kohli’s unhappiness with the coach, despite it being a process followed since last year.
Citing that the selection of coach has been done through a process and the same process has been followed again this year, Kohli mentioned that the hullabaloo over the matter has been surprising and unnecessary.
“I have already said this before that everything is a part of the process, and I don’t see why people are creating so many speculations about it. Even the last time it had happened, and I didn’t find anyone creating speculations then. Then, why so many speculations now?
“There are no issues whatsoever, and the team is focussed on the Champions Trophy.”
Visibly disappointed at the way news had been circulating about the perceived differences in the dressing room, Kohli expressed frustration over the way such an issue has clouded the team and the fans’ conscience before the beginning of India’s campaign.
“This tournament is in focus so much that, a lot of people like to find rumours, especially before the start of the tournament. They are doing their job, they are trying to create some livelihood out of it.
“As far as we are concerned, we’ll make our livelihood, on the field. I’d say one thing and that is unless someone is part of something, I don’t think they should sit at a distance and speculate.”
However, on the question of whether there were differences in opinion between the captain and the coach, Kohli was quick to admit, although slyly, that differences in opinions do occur.
“In any walk of life, there are differences in opinions. It is quite normal. Even at your home, you wouldn’t agree with your family members. It is a very basic human nature. To conclude I’d say that without having a first-hand knowledge of the scheme of things, you must not speculate and spread rumours.”
With such a defining comment coming from the India captain, one thing that remains abundantly clear is that the captain’s focus is on the cricket and nowhere else and that one could take his word for his team.
As to what the future course of action is, we’d have to wait and see if Kumble is given a second term or he is replaced despite having a stellar term at the helm.
These statements from Kohli, bordering on the expected, have tried to kill whatever controversies had been floating around for the past couple of days. It does silence the fans of the game, making them aware that India are going into the tournament as a team, but as a part of the media, we’re supposed to ask questions.
Questions like why was the post advertised only a week before the Champions Trophy, why were these differences, if any, as Kohli himself hinted at, not solved before the ascent of such an important global tournament, and why are the BCCI not making public the list of applicants, something it had said it would do on Thursday.
If the motive was to follow the process and bring in the next coach through a transparent process, a seven-day window to invite applications for the head coach of a national team, as opposed to the 15-day window last year, doesn’t do justice to the motive.
The answers to these questions would have to be given by the BCCI, and until then, these comments by the India captain are to be swallowed as the pill that makes you numb before a life-altering operation.Published 03 Jun 2017, 18:22 IST