Cricket: Ten insider reasons why Kohli & Kumble had to part ways

Ever since the Kumble Kohli breakdown in relations became public, media and social media, assuming on face value, have gone to town painting Kumble as the saintly figure while Kohli as the arrogant, egoistic brat who only wants his way, despite a humiliating loss to Pakistan in Champions Trophy 2017 Final. During my short India holiday, I researched various reports and compiled ten behind the scenes reasons why Anil Kumble had to resign from the position of head coach.


Truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. Hence it’s important that even in this social media age, we do not always take extreme positions.

1. As many as Ten team India players have given negative feedback about Anil Kumble to CAC (Cricket Advisory Committee) for various set of reasons. It ranges from high-handedness to headmaster like attitude, no freedom to express views and always acts tough making it a suffocating atmosphere.

2. During the home series vs Australia, some reports suggest Virat Kohli wanted Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav to be included in playing eleven much ahead of the final test match (when he was eventually included). Strangely Kumble always blocked that selection. This has been proven now that Ravindra Jadeja is warming the bench at West Indies while Kuldeep Yadav made his ODI debut. However there are other reports which say the opposite. They claim Kumble preferred Kuldeep, further proven, when Kuldeep played the last test in Virat’s absence. The jury is out on this.

3. Virat Kohli wanted Karun Nair out of the test team during the Australia series, unimpressed with his batting struggles and poor catching. But Kumble kept including Nair in the playing eleven. Apparently, some player management company interests also was the reason why one wanted Nair in, and another wanted out.

4. Kumble’s headmaster like outburst, blaming bowlers for extras given, just after the Champions Trophy 2017 final loss didn’t go down well with a crestfallen team. Kohli at the same time gave a very positive speech on how the team should be proud, that they were fantastic entire event and had one bad day. Kumble may have listed the correct reasons, but his timing was as poor as it can be. A clear case of poor man management skills.

Team India's preparatory camp for WI series

5. Kumble spilling beans in public that his relationship with the captain was ‘untenable’ and that he is committed etc was something the team always feared would happen due to his high-handed nature. Jumbo’s departure, while it has added load on Virat’s shoulders at Caribbean Islands (Team has no head coach now), has got the unit happier. Virat not once has spoken a word, about the coach nor about dressing room details.

6. Not just with Virat, Kumble was at loggerheads with BCCI also. The veteran leg spinner and ex-India captain wanted pay hike for himself at par with Grade A players (9.5 crores) when his current pay was 6.5 crores. Some reports suggest, he only wanted it hiked to 7.5cr. Either way, BCCI didn’t like that.

7. There is a belief that Kumble & Kohli’s respective player management companies are also at loggerheads; and this could be one of the many reasons too, for two strong personalities unable to gel.

8. Historically, Kumble was also in the forefront in removing Kapil Dev as coach in late 1990s. This actually points to fact that BCCI has often treated Indian coaches very poorly and dismissed them often, without proper communication. Today, that has come to bite Kumble. While overseas coaches like Gary Kirsten, John Wright, Greg Chappell and Duncan Fletcher have had long stints; most Indian coaches have been dismissed randomly – Sandeep Patil to Madan Lal to Anshuman Gaekwad to Ravi Shastri last year.

9. Most celebrated teams don’t like coaches with headmaster like attitude. Be it cricket or football, there is always the preference for coaches with better man management skills and expertise in handling global superstars. Indian players had also voiced against Madan Lal or Greg Chappell before, due to extreme or complicated coaching methods – some of which were responsible for player fatigue or injuries or confusion in roles, before key games. It’s possible the players also complain when they find a coach not allowing them their, at times, tantrum ways.


10. The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), formed by the BCCI, is not in sync with BCCI’s preferences. BCCI had formed that team to oust Ravi Shastri but little did they see CAC buddies Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman would elevate old buddy Anil Kumble to the coaching position. Kohli preferred the then coach Ravi Shastri to continue but welcomed Kumble with an open mind. However, when Kumble’s coaching tenure neared expiry, Kohli expected better judgement from CAC. It went worse for him as CAC only spoke to Virat Kohli, and not to Kumble, during the Champions Trophy 2017. Which gave the impression, the CAC saw nothing wrong with old buddy Kumble and only wanted to settle things with Kohli as the team was doing well. Kohli didn’t like that stance of CAC and hence took the matter to BCCI.

Compiled from news reports, sources:



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