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Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble rift: Generation gap can hurt relation, says Gavaskar

Indian cricket team head coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli are engaged in an alleged rift, according to some media reports. But former captain Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t want to read too much into the reports.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 31, 2017 22:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,Virat Kohli
Indian cricket team head coach Anil Kumble (left) and captain Virat Kohli are currently in England for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. There are reports that all is not well with Kumble and Kohli. The BCCI has also advertised for a new coach.(AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the Indian camp is suddenly feeling the heat. There is a speculation of a rift between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble, former captain Sunil Gavaskar said it is impossible for a captain and coach to always be on the same page on all cricketing issues.

“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,” Gavaskar said at the Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket 2017.

Read | Why Anil Kumble could lose his job as Indian cricket team’s head coach

The legendary opener also feels that coach is one who should have a long term vision.

“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 8 to 10 years,” Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar also questioned the veracity of reports. “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,” he said.

Read | Virat Kohli hurled bottle at Aus official, Anil Kumble the puppeteer: Oz paper

“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,” Gavaskar had his tongue firmly in cheek.

‘Nobody bigger than the game’

The veteran, however, sidestepped the a query where he was asked as to how a rift like this should be handled.

“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,” he said.

Gavaskar was all praise for Kumble’s track record as a coach. “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.”

Read | Why Anil Kumble won’t ask Virat Kohli’s boys to curb aggression

Role of CAC

Gavaskar hopes that the Cricket Advisory Committee (Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman) would be able to speak to the skipper and coach.

“Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman - these three are legends of the game - these three have played with Anil and they will get the respect and will be heard by both Virat and Anil.

“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.”

Looking at India’s performance in the two warm-up matches, they should be able to defend their Champions Trophy title.

“I think India’s bowling is slightly better than batting,” said Gavaskar.

First Published: May 31, 2017 18:08 IST