Mumbai: Team India captain Virat Kohli finally broke his silence on his long-drawn rift with Anil Kumble, saying that he respects the former head coach's decision to step down.
This comes just two days after Kumble resigned from his post as the head coach of the Indian cricket team.
Speaking to the press on the eve of the first ODI against West Indies on Friday at Port of Spain, Virat Kohli said, “Obviously Anil bhai (Kumble) has expressed his views and he’s taken the decision to step out and we will respect that decision. It’s something that has happened right after the tournament.
“We have created a culture over the last 3-4 years that whatever happens in the chang-room, we’ve tried to maintain the sanctity of the change room throughout. That is what the whole team believes in,” he added.
When asked how Kumble's style of management affected Team India, Kohli refused to give a direct reply. He said, "Like I said, for me what's most important is to maintain the sanctity of the change room and what happens in the change room is something that's very sacred and private to all of us, and something that I would not express in details in a public scenario. As I said, his point of view is out there and we respect that decision."
The 28-year old Delhi batsman said that he will not lose respect towards Kumble. “I’ve always respected that and we have continued to maintain that as well. As I said, it’s his opinion which I respect.
"I have total respect for him as a cricketer and what he’s achieved as a nation. All the years that he’s played. That’s no taking away that aspect of him at all. And we all respect him totally,” the Kohli added.
India are currently in the West Indies and will play 5 ODIs and one T20 in the Caribbean.
Here is what Virat Kohli said: