Was Kohli opposed to Kumble’s appointment as head coach from the beginning?

“There had been some murmurs about this (Kumble-Kohli rift) even at the time of Mr Kumble’s appointment”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Ajay Shirke has claimed that captain Virat Kohli was less than impressed when Anil Kumble was first appointed as India’s head coach.

Shirke’s comments come after reports emerged that members of the Indian team, including Kohli, are “intimidated” by Kumble’s coaching style, which has been described as being similar to that of a “headmaster”.

Even though India have fared well under Kumble’s guidance, especially during their season at home, Shirke insisted that Kohli was unhappy about the decision to make Kumble head coach right from the get-go.

However, Kohli had no say in the matter as Kumble was chosen by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which consists of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.

“There had been some murmurs about this (Kumble-Kohli rift) even at the time of Mr Kumble’s appointment,” Shirke told the Indian Express. “At that time, our president (Anurag Thakur) had taken the initiative and had a detailed discussion with both parties, and it was decided that since the cricket committee (CAC) had recommended Mr Kumble as the best option, we should go ahead with that.

“Therefore, I think the real reason for a one-year contract was that we would work and evolve, and see how this went, so as to keep the options open at a future date.”

Despite Kohli having a problem with Kumble being chosen to coach the national team, Shirke pointed out that Thakur was confident that no issues would arise as a result of it.

“Let us say he (Kohli) had his own views about it,” Shirke said. “And like I said, our president, Mr Thakur, took the initiative and told him that this was the unanimous choice of the cricket committee and we would have to abide by their recommendation and Kohli should accept it.”

Kumble’s tenure as head coach comes to an end after the Champions Trophy later this month and the BCCI have already received applications from candidates interested in the job, which include former opener Virender Sehwag and ex-Australia all-rounder Tom Moody.

Kumble, however, will also be in the running to keep hold of the role, but it seems that his chances of accomplishing this are slim at best.

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