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Anil Kumble was the alpha male in the dressing room

It's sad that Virat and members of the team are being made to look like they're undisciplined brats who didn't want a coach: BCCI source

Anil Kumble
Former India cricketer Anil Kumble. (Photo by MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite a successful stint as coach of the Indian Cricket Team, Anil Kumble has had to part ways after a serious rift between him and captain Virat Kohli. Team India regained the no.1 Test rank and enjoyed a 70% win percentage in Test matches during Kumble’s supervision. However, the matter seems to get murkier by the day, with various new allegations and reports surfacing about both Kohli as well as Kumble.

Currently, Virat is being looked at as the villain of Indian cricket – although he is the heartthrob of the nation for his unmatched batting ability – for being the singular reason behind the coach’s resignation. BCCI officials have nevertheless come in support of Kohli saying that it was Kumble who was the man at fault all through.

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Sources who were kept in the loop of the Kumble-Kohli saga conceded that “the entire matter was not handled well at all.” Funnily enough, the BCCI, after consultation with the CAC consisting of Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, extended Kumble’s contract until the end of the Windies tour. Furthermore, the former Indian skipper also reapplied for the job of head coach – the BCCI stated that Kumble was indeed doing a “fabulous” job.

However, a board official revealed that on the day of the IPL final when the Committee of Administrators met Anil Kumble in Hyderabad to hear out his proposal on player salaries and other ideas he wanted to manifest, “everyone involved had a fair idea of the growing discord between him and Virat.”

“His approach – overbearing and haughty – was the same when he was talking with the CoA,” the official was quoted by TOI as saying.

Wanted a say in the playing XI

An individual in the know of every meeting held between the CAC and Kumble and the CAC and Kohli, said, “It’s sad that Virat and members of the team are being made to look like they’re undisciplined brats who didn’t want a coach who is now being made to look like he was perfect. That’s a very wrong perception. It’s understandable if BCCI is being seen in poor light given the way this entire matter was handled.”

“He (Anil) wants to be the alpha-male in the dressing room. He wants a say in the playing XI, the reason why he wanted the coach to be a selector too. It doesn’t work like that. It’s always the captain’s team – whether it was Sourav or Rahul or MS. And now, it’s Virat’s,” the source told TOI.

Virat Kohli was also made to sit through a four-hour meeting with the CAC in the middle of the Champions Trophy, during which he shared his fears to the administrators, citing why the team didn’t need Kumble, his rigidity in several matters, his overbearing nature and most importantly the manner with which he addressed the players.

Team India, without a coach, is currently in the Caribbean for a limited overs series against the Windies.

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