India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli hints Anil Kumble broke dressing room ‘code’

Virat Kohli, India skipper, has said he will not reveal details of the differences that led to Anil Kumble stepping down as team’s coach.

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jun 22, 2017 22:22 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Trinidad
India vs West Indies,Virat Kohli,Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble resigned as Indian cricket team’s head coach earlier this week. He said his ‘untenable’ relationship with captain Virat Kohli led to the decision.(AFP/Getty Images)

India captain Virat Kohli didn’t say in as many words but politely hinted that coach Anil Kumble’s decision to make public the differences between them broke an unwritten code that everyone must respect the sanctity of not revealing dressing room matters.

(Read | ‘Anil Kumble - Virat Kohli communication had stopped six months ago’)

“I attended eleven press conferences in Champions Trophy and created a culture in the team wherein the sanctity of the dressing room was maintained,” he told a media conference at the team hotel on Thursday when asked if the situation could have been handled better.

“I tried to maintain that and the belief that whatever happens there (in the dressing room) stays there.”

(Read | Anil Kumble says ‘untenable’ relationship with Virat Kohli led to his resignation)

It seemed the India skipper, who had been denying that there was any rift and had even alleged that journalists were concocting stories for a living, was let down by Kumble who chose to reveal his side of the story and the differences with the captain through social media.

“Anil bhai has expressed his views and taken a decision to step out. We all respect that decision. It is something that has happened right after the tournament.

(Read | Virat Kohli-led India look to prove a point vs inconsistent West Indies)

“I always maintain whatever happens in the change room is sacred and is not to be expressed in public. But his opinion is there and we respect it,” said the India skipper.

Anil Kumble stepped down as coach on Tuesday, deciding not to travel with the team to the West Indies. He released a statement on Twitter, saying there were ‘untenable’ differences between him and Kohli.

(Read | Virat Kohli put on notice by BCCI after Anil Kumble’s resignation)

Both Kumble and Kohli are strong personalities and the decision to pick certain players led to flare-ups, if talk doing the rounds is to be believed. There is also talk that Kumble being a strict disciplinarian didn’t go down well with Kohli who, though intense, is more outgoing.

This ODI series is happening right after the Champions Trophy and Kohli says coming to the West Indies is a welcome change as the atmosphere is always relaxed.

Focus on World Cup

However, a bigger task for him will be to prepare the team for World Cup 2019 all by himself now that Kumble is not there.

(Read | Windies board almost messed up Sunil Narine’s career, says coach David Furlonge)

“I have great respect for him (Kumble) and there’s no taking away from him what he’s done for the team,” he said.

The India skipper confirmed that Ajinkya Rahane will open with Shikhar Dhawan in place of Rohit Sharma, who has been rested.

Confirming that the core of the team will remain the same for World Cup 2019, he said there will be slots up for grabs.

“You have to identify the 15 out of a pool of 25 and pick those who are performing and handling the pressure well. There is plenty of exciting talent and opportunities to prove and there’ll be slots up for the grabs.”

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 21:48 IST