When Kohli raised issue, I spoke to SRT: Vinod Rai on Kumble coaching stint Photograph:( AFP )
Former Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai reflected on Anil Kumble's coaching saga. He revealed how he had to involve Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar when he felt Virat Kohli and Kumble weren't on the same page.
Anil Kumble coached India for a year, from early 2016 to mid-2017. The former Indian captain's tenure was a quite a tale in itself. While he led India to considerable success across formats, his term came to an end unceremoniously after a fallout with then skipper Virat Kohli.
As a result, Kohli got the upper hand and Kumble was succeeded by ex all-rounder Ravi Shastri who later forged a lethal pair with the former. Former Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai reflected on Kumble's coaching saga. He revealed how he had to involve Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar when he felt Kohli and Kumble weren't on the same page.
"See, I have on record said that we couldn’t have got a better coach than Kumble and we could have treated a cricketing legend like him much better. I find it intriguing that he was given a one-year term in 2016, while his predecessor (Ravi Shastri) was given two years term. Kumble was not only given one-year tenure but also there was no extension clause in his contract. Had there been an extension clause, I would have readily extended it," said Rai in conversation with FirstPost.
He further opined, "It was on this issue that Ram Guha was upset. He wanted us to automatically extend his term. Now, just imagine if we had extended the term, and somebody only to embarrass the CoA had gone to court, he could have easily stalled our move. So, I decided to follow the process and let Kumble be an automatic inclusion in the process."
Rai added, But when Virat Kohli raised the issue of younger players being intimidated by Kumble’s disciplinarian approach, I took the lead in speaking to Sachin Tendulkar. I saw myself as a rank outsider. Why would players listen to me? But if someone like Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav (Ganguly) or VVS (Laxman) speaks to the team management or the players, there is a greater chance of a breakthrough. Still, I believe the entire episode could have been handled 100 times better."
Eventually, many firmly believe that the entire Kumble-Kohli saga could've been handled in a much better way. With the former leg spinner being one of India's biggest match-winners to date, his exit from the head coach position remains one of the forgettable chapters of Indian cricket.