Virat lands Committee in a fix

Panel grapples with 'strong reservations' and Kumble's track record

  • Published 18.06.17

London, June 17: The Board's star-spangled Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) is in an absolute fix as India captain Virat Kohli has conveyed his "strong reservations" about head coach Anil Kumble, who has applied afresh for the post.

Kohli, one understands, met the three members - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman - together with Board acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, CEO Rahul Johri and Dr M.V. Sridhar, a general manager, last evening.

According to well-placed sources of The Telegraph in the Board, the meeting lasted "around an hour".

"Kohli is very clear about where he stands vis-a-vis Kumble. It seems the relationship is beyond the repair stage....

"From Kohli's side, at least....

"However, the CAC will now meet Kumble and see if a patch-up is possible," one of the well-placed sources said rather late in the day.

The CAC may meet Kumble on Monday, the reserve day for the Champions Trophy final.

But why is the CAC in an absolute fix?

Because Sachin, Sourav and Laxman themselves hand-picked Kumble a year ago and India have fared very well in that period.

Surely, the head coach too deserves some credit.

"Kumble's track record as head coach is almost without a blemish. How does one remove him? On what grounds? Moreover, other issues come up....

"To what extent should the captain have a say? Also, can we have a situation where Kohli, no matter how successful and brilliant he is, gets complete charge? Big questions need to be settled," the well-placed source maintained.

Another question probably bothering the CAC is what if Kohli has a problem with the next head coach as well?

Virender Sehwag is one of the six applicants, but he's not the type to listen to anybody.

What if the CAC selects Sehwag and there are issues between him and the captain within months or even weeks?

There's talk that Ravi Shastri's easy-going manner is being missed, but Kumble is of a different make, so any comparison wouldn't really be fair.

Shastri, who had to make way for Kumble, hasn't applied but he has backers.

That said, having overlooked Shastri's credentials when it came to giving him a longer run, the CAC wouldn't exactly be enthusiastic about going back in time.

Like Kumble, Shastri is a former captain of India.

Looking at the immediate future, it's still not clear who will wear the head coach's cap on the short tour of the West Indies, straight after the Champions Trophy.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators wants Kumble to travel, but there's no clarity.

Actually, it's a real messy situation off the field. On it, India are favoured to put it across Pakistan in the final at The Oval.

After that, if push comes to shove on the captain vs head coach front, then one will have to go.

One needn't guess hard on the identity of the one who'll have to go.

Right now, in our cricket, only one individual is indispensable.