Anil Kumble and the turmoil in the Indian dressing room

Anil Kumble and the turmoil in the Indian dressing room

The Indian has been through a lot recently, first, the loss to Pakistan and then, the coach stepped down

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. (© Getty Images)

Currently, the entire cricketing world is rife with speculations about the boiling turmoil within the Indian Cricket dressing room. The ongoing tug of war for power between head coach, Anil Kumble and the Indian captain, Virat Kohli, reached an abrupt end with the former resigning from his position on Tuesday evening. Reportedly, the final chapter of this issue was written when Kumble let his displeasure be known, in no uncertain terms, at India’s defeat in the Champions Trophy finals.

The recently concluded Champions Trophy saw a big-margin defeat for India against Pakistan in the final game. Pakistan bowled out India for a mere 158 run total, winning by a humongous margin of 180 runs. Reportedly, Anil Kumble made no secret of the fact that he was extremely unhappy with his team’s performance and talked to some of the players to the same effect. Consequently, several players are said to have addressed their concerns about the coach’s “overbearing attitude” to Kohli.

Trouble has been in play for long

The first rumors of trouble in the Indian change room were reported after the last Test match in the India-Australia series. Kumble and Kohli allegedly opined differently on the inclusion of a certain bowler in the playing squad in that particular Test. Ajinkya Rahane had been the stand-in captain for that particular game, as Virat Kohli had been out with a shoulder injury.

Several speculations were made about the sense of hostility that loomed large within the dressing room, but there had been no official statement issued by either the Board of Cricketing Control in India (BCCI) or Kumble and Kohli.

Kumble’s resignation

The famed leg-spinner, Anil Kumble was appointed as the head coach of the Indian team with a one-year contract subject to extension, by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) in June 2016. CAC panel members Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman had been entrusted with the job of recruiting the national team coach and they selected Kumble for the role. It was considered to be an excellent selection until the reports of the alleged friction between coach and the captain came to the forefront.

On Tuesday evening, Kumble resigned from his position of Head Coach of the Indian team and also, issued a statement about his decision later in the social media. The resignation came at around the same time as the Indian team left for the Caribbean for an upcoming series against the West Indies. Kumble did not board the flight with the team and handed in his resignation subsequently.

The announcement came across as unprecedented, more so, because it was made only a few days after Vinod Rai, the head of Committee of Administrators (CoA) Rai had said that the former would be at the helm for the tour of West Indies.

What happened after Champion’s Trophy

India had conceded a mammoth total of 338 runs in the first innings to Pakistan. Illegal deliveries were in plenty and Young Fakhar Zaman was given a lifeline as his wicket was taken on a no-ball. This turned out to be crucial, as Zaman hit a blazing century in the game. Both the spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin had to face a brutal thrashing, with Ashwin conceding 70 runs in his spell of 10 overs, without a wicket.

Reportedly, after the defeat to Pakistan, Kumble had a one-on-one session with certain players and made his grievances been known, especially about the fallacy in the bowling department. Apparently, he told some of the bowlers that their bowling was poor when compared to the greats of the game. This did not go down very well with the players, who are said to have conveyed their feelings unequivocally, to Kohli.

Lack of clarity on the matter

As of yet, mere conjecture and over the top speculations are all that are available to explain for the series of events that has taken place. Now, it needs to be seen if some official statement is going to be issued in the near future by the authorities to clear the air about the problem, post which Kumble should come up with the names of the players he was disappointed with.

– Written by Rituparna Das