Former cricketer and coaches weigh in on the Kumble-Kohli saga.
Anil Kumble, who stepped down as Indian cricket team’s coach, informed in a letter that one of the reasons which prompted him to resign was skipper Virat Kohli’s reservations about his ‘work style’. Since then, many have been accusing Virat for his temperament and for not being a team player.
India’s former cricketer, Venkat Sunderam, who played for Delhi and Tamil Nadu, and later became Delhi selector and national pitch consultant, says that Team India needs no coach.
Speaking exclusively, he said, “Now that Anil Kumble has stepped down, there is a need to review whether a coach is required. A national team should have players capable of fine-tuning their game and equating the requirements to different formats.
“India needs no coach because a renowned coach (like Ramakant Achrekar and a few others) can groom the players at the young age. Once the players reach a higher level, they play in Under-19, Under-23 teams, etc. After that, they play in different countries and on various pitches. Now, only motivation can make them retain their game at the top level,” he reasons and adds, “If the captain does not need a player like Kumble, BCCI should ask Kohli, which coach would he prefer?”
Kohli has not revealed the reasons for not wanting Kumble as the coach. Even Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Bedi criticised Kohli, implying that he wanted a soft coach who would allow him to go for shopping and bunk practice.
When we informed that all other national teams do have a coach, Sunderam shot back, “Their players are not Lords to oppose like India. We have specialist coaches in the spheres of batting, bowling and fielding. What is the need of having a super coach above them? We should only have a manager for the administrative work,” says the 68-year-old, who acted as a team manager in 1990s.
Geoff Marsh, who was hired by the BCCI as a cricket consultant in the past, believes that the task of selecting the coach should have been given to the professionals. Speaking from Perth, he says, “The leader of a cricket team is the captain. The coach is the manager who prepares the players to perform and supports the players to give their best. It’s essential that the captain and coach have a good working relationship. If there was a problem between the two, the BCCI should have appointed a professional mediator and gone through the problems.”
Australia’s most successful coach John Buchanan, meanwhile, adds, “For a team that is capable of dominating the world of cricket in all formats of the game for an extended period, there must be a very close relationship between the captain and the coach. There is little doubt in my mind that one of the key ingredients for our successes between 1999 and 2007 was the close relationship between myself and Steve Waugh firstly, and then with Ricky Ponting, till I retired at the end of winning our second World Cup, undefeated, in 2007.”
If there was a problem between Kumble and Kohli, the BCCI should have appointed a professional mediator.
— Geoff Marsh
One of the key ingredients for our success was the close relationship between myself and Steve Waugh, and later Ricky Ponting.
— John Buchanan
We have specialist coaches in the spheres of batting, bowling and fielding. What is the need of having a super coach above them?
— Venkat Sunderam