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Rahul Dravid Finally Opens Up On Kumble-Kohli Rift

Updated: 3:42 pm 30 Oct, 2017

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Months after the resignation of former Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble as team Indian coach, just after a year on the job, Rahul Dravid, a former skipper, for the first time expressed his views about the  much publicised Kumble-Virkat Kohli spat that had the 47-year-old abruptly call it a day and move on. Describing the situation as an “unfortunate event,” the former Indian skipper said that Kumble deserved to be treated with respect for everything he has done for Indian Cricket.

Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble were together in the Indian team for years and are also good friends source

Speaking to India Today, Rahul Dravid said:

It was very very unfortunate for Anil and not fair on him at all. What’s the reality and what happens behind the closed door, I don’t want to comment on that. But that was definitely an unfortunate episode and especially for someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend to the game. Someone who has done more than anybody to win Test matches for India and also had a successful year as coach of India.

Representational Image source

 

It needs to be recalled that during Kumble’s one-year term as the Indian cricket team’s coach, India won consecutive test match series from June 2016 to March 2017. Not only did India established itself as an invincible team in the longer format of the game but also won several ODI series as well, including those against New Zealand and England. The Indian team also reached the final at the ICC Champion’s Trophy, with him as the coach.

The rift between Kohli and Kumble first surfaced during the Champion’s Trophy earlier this year source

First Murmurs Of A Rift And The Subsequent Resignation

The first murmurs of the rift was reported during the Champion’s Trophy tournament. In weeks that followed, as the rift unfolded in turned out to be a very messy affair.

 


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The players were said to be unhappy by the “headmasterly” attitude of the Indian coach, which resulted in a breakdown of communication between the skipper and the coach. Even after a lot of consultations, none of the cricketing committees – Cricket Advisory Committee, Committee of Administrators or the BCCI – could help save the situation that ultimately saw Kumble gracefully stepping down from his position.

However, Kumble, who has always been known for his straight talk, wrote the reason of his resignation as reservations on part of the captain with his way of coaching.

 

Kumble’s resignation letter to the BCCI read something like this:

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 the BCCI attempted to resolve the 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.

Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the Coach’s role akin to ‘holding a mirror’ to drive self-improvement in the team’s interest.

In light of these ‘reservations’, I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and the BCCI deem fit.

Anil Kumble had once braved a broken jaw to bowl against West Indies in 2002 in Antigua. The first wicket he took was of Brian Lara source

 

During his prime, the Indian leg spinner was the backbone of Indian bowling attack. He was the first ever Indian bowler, and third in the world, to reach the milestone of bagging 600 wickets in Test cricket.

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