Kohli, Kumble at loggerheads?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017, 4:27 am

Kumble had replaced Ravi Shastri as Head Coach before last year’s overseas series against the West Indies.

Has India captain Virat Kohli taken cudgels against Head Coach Anil Kumble?

The answer, seems to be an emphatic yes.

Kohli, India captain across all formats, is believed to have told those running day-to-day cricketing affairs in India that all is not well with the team and the former India captain.

Kumble had replaced Ravi Shastri as Head Coach before last year’s overseas series against the West Indies.

Observers following the fortunes of the Indian team since last July believe that Kohli and Kumble are strong cricket personalities and that a clash between them was waiting to happen any time.

The BCCI, kept abreast of the personality clash, even asked Virender Sehwag to apply for the coach’s job during the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in Mumbai.

The ‘Prince of Najafgarh’ seems to have expressed no interest in the proposal. “It was virtually offering the Head Coach position to him,’’ said an official.

BCCI officials tracking the long home international season are not sure whether the fissure in the team harmony began to widen when left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav played the last Test against Australia at Dharamshala (India was led by Ajinkya Rahane for the injured Kohli). It is understood that Kumble’s proposal to field Yadav in the third Test at Ranchi was shot down by Kohli.

An official said: “This may or may not be the reason. But we believe the people in the corridors of power have been told that Kumble is overbearing and doesn’t give freedom to the players. It’s sad that aspersions are cast on a legend of Indian cricket.”

The Indian team members were invited for the premiere of ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ on May 24 and observers believe that Kohli may have even spoken to Sachin Tendulkar about the declining relationship between the team and Kumble.

And, the BCCI invited applications for the post of Head Coach on May 25.