Former Australia fast-bowler Jason Gillespie feels a ‘clashes of personalities’ could have led to the apparent rift between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble which culminated with the latter stepping down from his post on Tuesday (June 20).
Kumble, whose contract with the team had ended after the Champions Trophy, was given an option to extend his stay for at least one series as he was asked to accompany the team to West Indies for the upcoming limited-overs series, starting on Friday (June 23). Initially, Kumble seemed to have accepted the proposal but changed his mind after knowing Virat Kohli’s reservation over his ‘style’ of coaching. The outgoing coach made the reasons clear behind his sudden decision in his statement.
“He [Virat] is a fine player and done some fine things as captain and it appears from the outside there’s a bit of a clash of personalities. If that’s the case then everyone shakes hands and moves on. If it’s not working, it’s not working,” Gillespie told cricket.com.au.
“It [a captain-coach relationship] needs to be a strong relationship, that’s for sure, they need to be on the same page,” he said before adding: “You don’t want a ‘yes man’ one way or the other.”
“The overriding thing I would say is that if the captain and the coach have a shared vision, an overall goal, then how they get there is going to vary from situation to situation, said the player who represented Australia in 71 Tests and 97 One-Day Internationals.
Gillespie further said Kumble might have stepped down after finding out that the discussions with the captain weren’t working out.
“Anil has decided not to (return) in the job so he must feel that those discussions and debate about what’s best for the team isn’t working in the current environment.”
“I read his statement and he basically said he likes to have good discussions about the betterment of the Indian side and he doesn’t feel that’s working, so he’s dusted himself off, shaken hands and walked away with his head held high. That’s part and parcel of professional sport,” said Gillespie.
Kumble has had a very successful stint with the team that began with a 2-0 series in West Indies last year. Under his guidance, the team reached the summit of the ICC Test rankings, beating West Indies, New Zealand, England, Australia and Bangladesh. They also won limited-over series against New Zealand and England and ended the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017 as runners up.
The BCCI had advertised for the coach’s post last month and has received applications from Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Dodda Ganesh and Lalchand Rajput. When asked whether he was interested in taking up the lucrative job, Gillespie said: “It would be a special role but I haven’t applied.”