Kolkata: After Anil Kumble stepped down as the coach of the Indian team many cricketing legends have turned their attention to Indian skipper Virat Kohli. While there’s Sunil Gavaskar on one hand who had asked the star batsman to clear the air from his side and open up on this issue, legendary off-spinner Eerapalli Prasanna lashed out at the Indian captain and indirectly had a go at him when he said that there’s no need for a coach for the Indian team if the latter thinks that he is the , ‘boss’.
A cynical Prasanna spoke to the PTI on the Kohli-Kumble saga that led the former Indian leg-spinner to quit as the coach and said, “Why do they require a coach, if the captain is the boss? I don’t think they even need the services of batting or fielding coaches (Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar),”
The 77-year old also doubted Kohli’s captaincy skills when he said, “Kohli is undoubtedly a very good player but I do not know whether he is a good captain or not,”
Days after India’s painful loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy, Kumble made up his mind to step down and thus decided to stay back in England and not travel with the team to the West Indies. In his resignation letter, he clearly stated that Virat Kohli had some strong reservations about his, ‘style’ of working and that the partnership between the both of them is, ‘untenable’.
Thus the Indian team would be without a coach during their limited overs’ tour of the West Indies which includes five ODI’S and a solitary T20. “If a legendary cricketer like Anil Kumble is not respected, I do not think neither of them — Bangar and Sridhar — will have the guts to speak to Kohli in a confident way. None of them are as experienced like Kumble,” said Prasanna.
Disappointed with Kohli’s behavior, he added further, “Just hire somebody for the physical training and that will be enough. If such is the attitude of a captain I don’t think you require a coach,”
He also suggested, “We can go back to the good old days of appointing a manager to look after the logistics, if he (Kohli) takes up the responsibility. The role of a coach is not defined.”
The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of legends like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman who has been given the task of choosing the next coach for the Indian team but Prasanna felt that an overhaul was required in the entire coach appointment system.
He also raised questions about the retention of veterans Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the squad and said that ‘young and agile legs’ were required in the Indian team.
“I don’t think they will be able to continue till the next World Cup in 2019, they will be 38 then. We need fresh and young legs and players who are extremely agile” he said.
He went to add, “Okay, Dhoni will be the wicketkeeper but Yuvraj is going to be a liability as a fielder. In fact, the selectors should have tried out more youngsters for this West Indies tour, as they are one of the weakest teams at the moment.”
Earlier, Sunil Gavaskar has asked Kohli to give his take on the Kumble issue to which the skipper said that he respected Kumble as a player and his decision to step down but remained adamant in giving it other information to maintain the ‘sanctity of the dressing room.’
Also the BCCI, after Kumble’s resignation had made it clear to Kohli that he would have to perform well to prove himself, now that he had his way on the legendary leg-spinner’s tenure as the coach.