Harsha Bhogle: Disappointed with Kohli-Kumble saga being a media spectacle

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Harsha Bhogle: Disappointed with Kohli-Kumble saga being a media spectacle

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SportsCafe Desk


Harsha Bhogle expressed his disappointment at how the difference of opinions between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and former coach Anil Kumble ended up becoming a public spectacle. The renowned commentator, though, added that the clash of cultures of the duo was the reason of the row.

Anil Kumble resigned from the post of the Indian head coach terming his ‘untenable’ relationship with Virat Kohli, who had reservations over his style of functioning. The differences surfaced before India left for England to begin their Champions Trophy title defence and following the news, multiple rumours regarding Kohli and Kumble kept emerging which were made public by anonymous BCCI sources which resulted in the controversy becoming a media spectacle. 

Renowned commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle gave his observant views on the saga terming their difference of opinion to be a “clash of cultures” while suggesting that the controversy could have been handled behind closed doors which would have benefitted Indian cricket big time.

In a special video for Cricbuzz, Bhogle explained, “Like everybody else, I am deeply disappointed that Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli are not working together. I like Virat’s ferocity, his desire, commitment and all that goes out along with him to the cricket ground. But take out these three words and replace the frame. Take out Virat Kohli and replace him with Anil Kumble. What do you see? Do you see that ferocity, Do you see that commitment, do you see that desire? You see all that and much more from a cricketer who became much much bigger than most people thought he could by the sheer strength of his will power. It was a cricketing match that was made in heaven.”

Kohli and the whole team were apparently unhappy with Kumble’s demand of a regimented and disciplined lifestyle which caused the rift to start with. Even though Bhogle noted that, he termed it an ordinary disagreement while highlighting the qualities Kumble’s successor would require to enjoy success with the team. 

“It was supposed to be the fire of a young man and the very organized ambition of the veteran. But it wasn’t to be and it is important to understand that it was not because the clash of objectives rather it was because of the clash of the cultures. It can happen. Two people may not think on the same wavelength, they may not have the same approach and might not even get along and there is nothing wrong with that.

“What rather disappointed me was the public spectacle it became. These are two giants of Indian cricket- one right up there and one getting there and to be suddenly seeing them in public as Kohli vs Kumble or Kohli vs CAC. So, I don’t think it did too much good for Indian cricket. Sometimes, when you get figures like these, got disagreements like these, the best way is to nip it in the bud and handle it very quietly. Being the legends of the game, you can gently move on from that and that was what disappointed me.

"Because when things become a media spectacle, things start being assigned to each other. I just hope, whoever comes in next, he spares this public scrutiny. When there is a tussle between coach and captain, it is always the captain who wins. And even the great players who became coach realized that coach was always a behind the scene person. Much like John Wright, muck like Gary Kristen, and much like I thought Anil Kumble would be as well.

"Now it is the captain’s call. Whoever comes in has to have same objective, same wavelength, and same ferocity as of the captain. He should be someone who really wants the younger players to get better. But I do hope, whoever will be the next coach will be able to be the elder brother that Indian cricket needs. He should occasionally put their arm behind, occasionally a kick on the back-side and he should have ideas and perspectives that are little different. You can’t have one plan, one thought going everywhere. But more than anything else, I really hope that he handles the team in a very organized and very dignified manner," he added.

The 55-year old concluded the video with best wishes for the future of the Indian cricket team while expecting Kumble to return in a much bigger capacity for the betterment of Indian cricket.

"I am searching for such a character because I was disappointed with what has happened. So I wish Virat Kohli well, I wish Indian cricket well. But more than anything else, I wish Anil Kumble well because he has been a giant of the Indian cricket and I have no doubt in mind at all that there is a far bigger role for Anil Kumble to play."

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