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  Sports   Cricket  22 Jun 2017  Ungentlemanly clashes

Ungentlemanly clashes

THE ASIAN AGE. | DYUTI BASU
Published : Jun 22, 2017, 12:31 am IST
Updated : Jun 22, 2017, 12:31 am IST

Despite a tremendously successful one-year stint, Anil Kumble has stepped down as coach, post a showdown with team captain Virat Kohli.

Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli
 Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli

With Anil Kumble’s resignation from the post of head coach of the Indian cricket team causing waves on social media, experts give us the intel on coach-captain dynamics.

Despite a tremendously successful one-year stint, Anil Kumble has stepped down as coach, post a showdown with team captain Virat Kohli. While disappointed with India’s recent loss in the ICC finals, cricket fans seem to be united in the opinion that Kumble’s stepping down is unnecessary and will only prove detrimental to Indian cricket.

From former English cricketer Michael Vaughan to Olympian Abhinav Bindra, sports buffs from across the board have expressed their dissatisfaction, creating a storm of criticism on Twitter. However, all that is known about the clash is that Kohli was unhappy with his coaching style. While disagreements between captain and coach are par for the course, the nature of these arguments, is what matters, according to former cricketer Aakash Chopra.

“We can’t say for sure what happened between the two. The first speculation is that it was because Kumble was too much of a stickler for discipline, but then Kohli is also a very disciplined player. Clashes of opinion between captains and coaches are bound to happen and are, in fact, healthy. It gives two different perspectives to the leadership. This was a rather unfortunate escalation of events,” says Aakash.

However, when there is a clash between a captain and a coach regarding any tactic, the ultimate decision lies with the captain, Aakash adds. “At the end of the day, it is the captain who takes the final decisions on the field, while the coach can only give his opinion on what should be done off the field,” he explains.

Cricket coach Mobin Shaikh, trainer behind the 1000-run-scoring Mumbai youngster Pranav Dhanawade, further elaborates that the relationship between a coach and his player is a lot like a father and son. “A father can only guide and nurture his son and tell him not to do something. If the son insists on doing it anyway, there is little the father can do. It’s the same for a coach and a captain,” he says.

Though the coach gives his due to cricketers, he also believes that coaches deserve a certain amount of respect, which is lacking in today’s time. “I have always said that the cricketer does 95 percent of the job and the coach only guides him.

However, that does not mean that one can disrespect the coach. One has to have a teacher and give that person a certain amount of respect,” he states.

John Manoj, who coached VVS Laxman, also cautions that discord between the two can also lead to a very negative ambience in the dressing room, something that proves to be demoralising for the team. “The sports fraternity is like a family, and just as is the case with family discords, you have people taking sides, and the overall morale of the team is down. That being said, it is regrettable that a disagreement between Kumble and Kohli could escalate to this extent that one had to quit. Kumble has nothing to prove at this point, with an illustrious career behind him, but still, it doesn’t bode well for Indian cricket,” he prophesies.

Clashes of these sorts are, however, nothing new, says Aakash Chopra. “There will always be conflict. It’s the nature of the job. This makes it the second clash of its sort, the first being between Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell. But even abroad, this has happened over time — take Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis of Pakistan or Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur of Australia for instance. In both cases the coaches were forced to resign. These things happen and are bound to happen and there’s little that can really be done about it,” he signs off.

Tags: anil kumble, virat kohli, michael vaughan, abhinav bindra