Birmingham: With Team India’s crucial ICC Champions Trophy group-stage opener against Pakistan just a couple of days away, reports have emerged that India captain Virat Kohli walked out on head coach Anil Kumble, during a practice session near the Edgebaston Cricket Ground, in Birmingham, on Thursday.
Kohli and Kumble are said to have been at loggerheads since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia, which the former clinched 2-1.
However, according reports, the two had fallen out over the team selection during the third Test, in Ranchi. Although Kuldeep Yadav, who Kumble was backing to be included in the XI, was not picked for the Ranchi Test, he made his debut in the Dharamsala Test, where Ajinkya Rahane led the team in the absence of the injured Kohli.
Certain reports have also suggested that Kohli was not too happy with Kumble’s iron-fisted approach to team management.
With Kumble’s contract coming to an end after the end of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in England, the BCCI had invited applications for the head coach job, the deadline for which, closed on Wednesday, May 31. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, and Richard Pybus are said to have sent in their applications, while Kumble gets a direct entry into the application process.
Kohli, who was already said to have been displeased with the training facilities that were provided to Team India, walked out on Kumble, while the Team India coach was walking into the training pitch with some equipment, according to Bangalore Mirror.
While the alleged walk-out may have been nothing more than Kohli being disappointed about the training facilities adjacent to Edgebaston, it remains to be seen how this entire saga affects the morale of the Indian cricket team, ahead of their crucial Champions Trophy opener against arch-rivals Pakistan.