CAPTAIN Virat Kohli has clarified that the Indian team offers its suggestions to the BCCI only when asked, as the board continues to look for a new coach after Anil Kumble’s resignation 10 days ago.
Kumble had stated his partnership with Kohli had become “untenable”, even though Kohli had said at the beginning of the Champions Trophy that there were “no issues whatsoever” between the two.
Kumble later said in his resignation that he was informed by the BCCI that Kohli “had reservations with my style and about my continuing as head coach”.
“From a personal point of view I can’t pinpoint anything or give details,” Kohli said a day before the third ODI against West Indies in Antigua.
“We, as a team, contrary to a lot of perceptions, only voice our opinions when asked by the BCCI for suggestions. So that is something we have always gone through as a process and that’s something we respect as a team.
“It’s been asked together, it’s not like segregation of anything so we respect that process and that same procedure, if and when it takes place, we’ll give our suggestions to the BCCI.
“The suggestions are given to the board who handle the procedure and there’s no point saying anything out in the open because that is for us as a team to convey to the board as and when we are asked, and it’s something I’ve mentioned before.”
It became clear in Kumble’s resignation that there were “misunderstandings” between him and Kohli and ESPNcricinfo had reported a month ago that the captain, and possibly a few other senior players, had expressed a lack of confidence in their coach.
Kohli has hardly opened up on the issue since then, mainly saying he has “total respect” for Kumble as a cricketer, and did not want to divulge details, to “maintain the sanctity of the change room”.
Kohli stated on Thursday that the team was a “very closely-knit unit” and the players got along with each “really well”.
He also said their focus right now was on the ongoing ODI series against West Indies, which the visitors lead 1-0 after the first match was washed out.
“Right now we have a series at hand and this is what we are focused on,” Kohli said.
“The process (of selecting the coach) is taking place and that is something that is in control of the BCCI and the process has always been in place. We, as a team, are focusing on this series right now and we are not focused on anything else at the moment.
Our priority is coming here and winning this series, and preparing for the games that lie ahead of us.”
Once Kumble resigned, the BCCI decided to invite more applications for the position of the coach, extending the deadline to July 9.
Among the newer applicants is Ravi Shastri, who had applied for the position last year too, but lost out after the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, picked Kumble for one year. (ESPNCricinfo)