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Cricket controversy: Rahul Dravid says Anil Kumble’s axing was ‘unfortunate’

Rahul Dravid, former Indian cricket team captain, has said that Virat Kohli’s statements before the start of a major series are sometimes ‘cringe’worthy while the Anil Kumble sacking was a sad affair for the team

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 30, 2017 15:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Rahul Dravid,Virat Kohli,India vs New Zealand
Rahul Dravid has termed Anil Kumble’s sacking as Indian cricket coach an unfortunate incident.(AFP)

Former India captain Rahul Dravid has said he ‘cringes’ on some of the pre-series comments made by the incumbent Virat Kohli, while adding that the exit of Anil Kumble as coach should not have played out the way it did.

Kumble, despite having an excellent record, had resigned admitting that his relationship with Kohli had become ‘untenable’. The Indian cricket team was reportedly not happy with Kumble’s strict ways, with Kohli favouring Ravi Shastri as the head coach.

Speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, Dravid said Kohli had the tendncy to say some interesting things before the start of a major series.

“I would not have been authentic to myself if I would have put tattoos and tried to behave like Virat. In the end, I think, one of the important things is to feel authentic to who you are. If that is who Virat is, and that is what gets the best out of him... for example, before the Australian series you will find Virat saying the most outrageous thing and I will read the paper and cringe at times,” he added.

Players more powerful than coaches

Dravid, who is in-charge of India’s U-19 and A teams, acknowledged that player-power has increased, but acknowledged that the Anil Kumble episode was a sad affair for the Indian cricket team.

“What’s the reality and what happened behind closed doors, I’m not privy to and I don’t want to comment. But what I do want to say is that it was definitely an unfortunate episode and especially for someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend of the game and who has done more to win Test matches for India than anyone I know. And he had a successful year as coach as well,” he added.

Anil Kumble’s sacking was a sad episode in the Indian cricket team, according to Rahul Dravid. (AFP)

Dravid said, “Coaches get sacked. The first thing you know when you stop being a player and be a coach is that some day you are going to get sacked. I know that as the India A and India U-19 coach, at some stage I am going to get the boot. That’s reality. But it’s the way that it played out.”

Aggression redefined?

On the topic of whether Indian cricketers like Kohli and several young players are redefining aggression, for example, by getting tattoos done, Dravid said, “I think the game is still about performance. Let’s us not take that away from someone like Virat Kohli. Just because he is in your face... that’s his personality, that’s what gets the best out of Virat. People have asked me why you didn’t behave like that. But that is what got the best out of me. But then I think that maybe he wants that contest; he wants that little bit of lip on the field because that gets the best out of himself.

Should players get to chose when they retire?

“How do we know (MS) Dhoni is choosing when he wants to retire?” Dravid questioned. “You might have an opinion Dhoni is good enough or not, I might have an opinion. But at the end you have three selectors, a captain and a coach making the decision and you have to trust them to make that decision. If they feel that Dhoni is good enough, irrespective of what other people may feel, then he has every right to play till whenever he wants,” said the former India captain.

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 14:40 IST