Complete coverage of Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli saga

Here is a detailed overview of the recent developments about Kumble-Kohli rift

Anil Kumble
Indian Test cricket team captain Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble (R) take part in a press conference. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian cricket team has had a dream run since Anil Kumble took over as the head coach, taking over from Team Director Ravi Shastri. The team won handsomely in the Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean, as well as at home against New Zealand, England, Australia and Bangladesh. India’s success wasn’t limited to Tests only as they won the ODI series against the English and the Kiwis.

Indian team appeared as one happy camp basked in the success of each other. The Kumble-Kohli partnership was lauded by many cricket fans and expected them to take Indian cricket to even greater heights by winning in Test overseas to complete their world domination in red-ball cricket.


However, it all changed prior to the start of the ongoing Champions Trophy in England and Wales. Reports started to emerge about rifts between players in the team and the coach, turning back the clock 11 years back, when Greg Chappell took over as the head coach of the team. It was said that Virat Kohli did not view Anil Kumble in the long term plans due to his overbearing and hard taskmaster attitude.

Though none of the staff members within the Indian team came out to authenticate the rift, but as they say, there is no smoke without a fire. It all started with BCCI deciding to advertise for the position of head coach, looking at the end of Kumble’s tenure. The Board had already issued a press release asking for applications for the post of Head Coach for the Indian men’s cricket team, the deadline for which ended on May 31.

The interviews are supposed to be held in England only. Few may join the interview via Skype. Former Indian batsmen Virender Sehwag, former Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody, and Richard Pybus are in contention for Kumble’s place in the Indian team.

Why just a 1-year stint for Kumble?

The question then arises, why Anil Kumble was appointed as the head coach when they had to look for a new personnel only after a year. The fact that Virat Kohli had a good chemistry with Ravi Shastri and wanted him to continue with Indian cricket team even after his termination of his contract played a major role in this decision. According to Ajay Shirke, BCCI breached all criteria to appoint Anil Kumble as the head coach after approval from the Big 3.

Big 3 consists of the three stalwarts of Indian Cricket by the name of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, forming the CAC i.e., Cricket Advisory Committee. The then BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, apparently, had to convince Kohli for the appointment of Kumble on a trial basis. Looking at the results, a decision had to be taken on Anil Kumble’s future as the coach of the Indian team after one year. His stint has to be renewed after the end of Champions Trophy.

The CAC now hold the key to decide whether Anil Kumble should continue as the coach or a new personnel should be hired for the position. That said, looking at the recent events, it is highly unlikely that the legendary leg-spinner would continue with the Indian team after the end of Champions Trophy.

Senior Members of BCCI broker peace at Team Hotel

The acting secretary of the BCCI, Amitabh Choudhary recently told the media that he wasn’t aware of what’s brewing inside the Indian dressing room. The secretary was sent to broker peace between the two parties in the Indian team along with Committee of Administrators (CoA) and Sourav Ganguly. The former Indian captain, who is already a part of the elite panel of commentators for the Champions Trophy, also met Indian cricketers in the team hotel at London for their feedback on Anil Kumble.

Apart from Choudhary, the General Manager of BCCI, MV Sridhar was also present in the meeting with the member of the cricket team to mediate peace between Kumble and Kohli’s men. These developments about the Indian Cricket Team has completely shocked the entire Indian cricketing fraternity. Only time will tell how the situation is going to unfold. But such distractions and disharmony are undesirable prior to the India’s defence for the Champions Trophy.