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Indian shooting legend Abhinav Bindra takes a dig at Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble fiasco

Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble
Tushar Varma
Modified 21 Jun 2017, 15:09 IST

What’s the story?

Five-time Olympian and Champion shooter Abhinav Bindra took to Twitter to give his opinion about the controversy involving Indian cricket coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli. Even though he did not name the two people involved, he tweeted, "My biggest teachers was coach Uwe.I hated him!But stuck with him for 20 years. He always told me things I did not want to hear.#justsaying.

The air rifle shooter was talking about his consultant coach Uwe Riesterer, who was part of his entourage at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 when he became the first Indian to win an individual gold at the Olympics.

Indian cricket's recent controversy came to an end with Kumble resigning yesterday. He tweeted after stepping down,”I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the Captain had reservations with my style and about my continuing as the Head Coach. I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between Captain and Coach.

"Though BCCI attempted to resolve misunderstandings between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I, therefore, believe it is best for me to move on."

In case you didn’t know...

Under coach Kumble's year in charge of the cricket team, India climbed to number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings after an amazing home season with 12 victories and one loss in 17 tests. Kumble also led India to one-day international series wins against New Zealand and England with the only major loss coming against the West Indies in a Twenty20 series.

His final loss came in last week's Champions Trophy final, where Pakistan thrashed India in an 180 run loss after outplaying the Men in Blue in all three departments of the game.


The heart of the matter

The controversy started two days before the start of the Champions Trophy in England when it was reported that India captain Kohli had told BCCI officials that players were uncomfortable with the "intimidating" style of Kumble's man management. As a result, the BCCI advertised for fresh interviews for the coach's position instead of extending his contract. Kumble, whose original contract ended with the Champions Trophy final, had reapplied for the job which had eventually been accepted, with the BCCI offering to extend his contract to include the West Indies series. 

After the defeat against Pakistan, Kumble apparently had one-on-ones with some players about their performance in the game, causing some frayed nerves in the dressing room. Kumble was reportedly very upset by the team's poor bowling in that match and is said to have mentioned to the bowling lineup that they compared poorly with some past legends of Indian cricket.

Prior to this incident, there were other rumours about Whatsapp groups, which the coach had apparently used to leak stories in the media, that surfaced. There were also other stories about Kumble as being overbearing for demanding punctuality. 

A breakdown of communication and a difference of opinion on multiple issues, with Kohli unwilling to take a backseat and seemingly uninterested in any compromise solution, meant Kumble was left with no choice but to hand in his resignation.

What’s next?


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

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, Australian Tom Moody, Englishman Richard Pybus, former Indian fast bowler Dodda Ganesh and former India A coach Lalchand Rajput are the candidates for the vacant India job.

Author’s take

Kumble has and always will be one of the biggest icons of Indian cricket but his resignation signals a shift in the balance of power in Indian cricket towards captain Kohli.

Published 21 Jun 2017, 12:00 IST
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