India coach Anil Kumble has been bagging all the limelight of late, for negative reasons, especially after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to invite applications for a new coach.
There has been a number of reports, which have shown Kumble in low light. The members of the Indian team are not happy with the way Kumble is functioning, especially his hard task attitude. India captain Virat Kohli is believed to have spoken against such kind of functioning as well, which might have played an important role in BCCI looking for coaching options elsewhere.
Kumble's image getting hit does not end there. Kumble is also said to have a WhatsApp group, which includes his close friends from the media, where he leaks some crucial information regarding the team.
Even the BCCI have not been too happy with his off-field behaviour. Kumble has been vocal about the need for his players to be paid well. Kumble even informed the board that his players are keen to play in the Champions Trophy when the Indian board were thinking of pulling out, which might have irked off the BCCI too.
The situation seems to be murky than ever before for the Indian coach, though he might have become the Indian coach last year in June only. The writing is pretty much clear on the wall for Kumble. Change your ways or the exit doors are staring you at your face.
Kumble has achieved great success with this current Indian team, especially a brilliant home season, beating teams like New Zealand, England and Australia.
However, the role of the coach is not only about helping the team emerge victorious, but also build a great relationship with the set of players at his disposal, and the former leg-spinner seems to have failed in this aspect. Great teams in the past have always developed from outstanding team bonding, on and off the field.
Had the players been happy with Kumble, such negative reports would have been swept under the carpet.
With the situation looking grim, there are talks about the BCCI's CoA keen to play a peacemakers' role in this episode, which has been putting a bad light on Indian cricket too.
Not only the CoA, the cricket advisory committee, who are entrusted with the job of finding the coach, members including Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly may also put their best feet forward to resolve the ongoing issues with Kumble and Kohli.
But, the point remains – the damage might have already been done. Kumble, during his cricket career for India, was not involved in many controversies. So, he might not like all the negative media space he is receiving on various platforms.
Even if the CoA or legends Sourav and Sachin coax Kumble into changing his ways and offer him the coaching job again, but his relationship with Kohli might have already changed with the recent turn of events.
One has to remember Kohli has some good ten years left in his career, and it would be huge threat to keep Kumble and further risk the future of India cricket.
Looking at how things have shaped during the entire episode, one would not be surprised if Kumble, whose contract expires at the end of the ongoing Champions Trophy, calls it a day after the ICC event.
That could be an ideal situation and also lead to a comfortable dressing room, which may keep one of the most important cricketers in India, Kohli, happy.