Kolkata: Of late, there has been a lot of tension surrounding the internal conflict in the Indian team between the players and head coach Anil Kumble but Indian legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes that a coach and a captain will never have all the same opinions.
The iconic cricketer said, “You will never have situation where a captain and a coach will always be on the same page. It cannot happen because the coach is invariably somebody who has played in an earlier generation, so their attitude will always be slightly different.”
The former opener also said that a coach should have always have the long-term plans for cricket in mind.
“I don’t think this should be taken seriously, this kind of discussion is in fact healthy. Coach should be somebody who is good for Indian cricket. He should have a vision for Indian cricket which would carry Indian cricket forward for the next eight to 10 years,” said Gavaskar.
Narrowing down his thoughts to this issue, Gavaskar was unsure as to whether the reports of the rift between skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble are authentic or not.
But he was sure of the fact that the timing of the incident isn’t right as India are just a few days away from beginning their Champions Trophy title defense against arch-rivals Pakistan.
“I’m not sure whether these reports of a rift between Kumble and Kohli are true or not but the timing of this is certainly not right. We have got such a big game, which would decide how the Indian team would do in the tournament” said Gavaskar. “Off days, when there is no cricket happening, are the ones Indian cricket team dreads the most, that is when such reports come out because there is no actual cricket to cover” opined the former Indian cricketer.
The 67- year old said that it’s ‘hard’ for him to say as to how to solve such issues. “It is hard for me to say how it should be resolved. I hope better sense prevails because nobody is bigger than the game and I think Indian cricket has got to be No 1 priority. We can all differ on how that but as long as our heart beats for Indian cricket, I think we should encourage” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar was all praise for Anil Kumble who he feels, has done a commendable job with the team in the past one year.
“Kumble has done a very good job as coach. I am simply going by the results and when you go by the results of last year, you can say he has done nothing wrong” said the legend.
He also believed that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Anil Kumble’s former teammates- Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman would be in a good position to hear things from both the coach and captain and resolve this issue.
“Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman – these three have played with Anil and they will get the respect and will be heard by both Virat and Anil” said Gavaskar.
He further added, “These three have nothing but the interest of Indian cricket at heart. In case there’s any truth in the matter, I think that should be the way forward.”
Talking of India’s chances of defending the title in the Champions Trophy, the legend said that the Indian bowling is ‘better’ than the batting. He said, “I think India’s bowling is slightly better than batting.” Harbhajan defends Anil Kumble; calls him a man of respect.
Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh defends his former teammate Anil Kumble on the reports of the internal conflict within the Indian team and said that he’s never had any conflicts with the current coach when they played together.
“In my 15 years of playing with him, there has been no instance of any fight with him and he’s the best bowling mind in cricket, he’s always there to help” said Harbhajan. He also said, “Only present players will be able to tell what his relations with Anil bhai are.”
The off-spinner who was ignored by the selectors for the Champions Trophy further suggests that Kumble needs to be talked to directly by the people who have issues with him.
“If someone has issues with Kumble, he should go and talk to him because he’s a person of respect and as per my experience, he can’t have issues with anyone” added Harbhajan.
(With inputs from Scroll.in and newindianexpress.com)