Champions Trophy 2017: Virat Kohli and Co unhappy with 'overbearing' Anil Kumble, claim reports
Whether there is any truth to the reports about Kumble remains to be seen, but the timing of the leaks do not bode well for the chances of India retaining their Champions Trophy title.
If media reports are to be believed, there seems to be trouble brewing in the Indian cricket team with the players reportedly unhappy with coach Anil Kumble.
According to a report on India Today, which quotes anonymous sources, some Indian cricketers are up in arms over the former leg-spinner’s “overbearing attitude”. The report added that the players had even taken their grouse to the Committee of Administrators (CoA).
The India Today report added that the players were disgruntled by the lack of freedom in the dressing room.
Meanwhile, a report in The Times of India said that skipper Virat Kohli and other senior players were unhappy with Kumble due to the fact that “he was a hard task-master”. The report goes on to quote sources as saying that the “players were happier with Ravi Shastri's style of working.”
Whether there is any truth to the reports remains to be seen, but the timing of the leaks to the media do not bode well for the chances of the Indian team retaining their Champions Trophy title this time around. The Men in Blue, having won the last edition in 2013, are heavy favourites to clinch the title this time around too.
Kohli and Co beat New Zealand handsomely in a warm-up match on Sunday.
Just a few days back, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had put out a press release inviting applications for the position of head coach for the Indian team. The timing of the release raised a few eyebrows, coming as it does on the day the Indian team landed in England for the Champions Trophy, which begins on 1 June.
With Kumble's tenure as head coach ending after this year’s Champions Trophy, the press release made it abundantly clear he might not be granted an extension by the BCCI. The release had added that Kumble was to be a direct entry into the selection process.
Having taken over as coach in 2016 after a similar selection process — where he was picked by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising his former teammates Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — Kumble has overseen five consecutive series wins besides limited-overs series victories over New Zealand and England.
The overbearing feeling is that the BCCI is unhappy with Kumble over his role in negotiations for a pay hike for the players.
It must be noted that back in 2007, senior Indian players led a revolt against then coach Greg Chappell, leading to the Australian getting the sack.
However, this time around the issue does not seem to be so open-and-shut, primarily considering the respect Kumble commands in Indian cricketing circles.
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