BCCI rubbishes talk of rift as India brace up for Pak

BCCI rubbishes talk of rift as India brace up for Pak

Kohli, Kumble focused on the task at hand in Birmingham

BCCI rubbishes talk of rift as India brace up for Pak

As reports of the alleged rift between coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli continue to hog the headlines in India, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary vehemently denied any issue between the two.

Speaking to reporters as Team India trained hard at the compact practice facility at Edgbaston, Choudhary, sent along with M V Sridhar (General Manager-Cricket Operations, BCCI) to apparently quell the supposed tension in the squad, rubbished all the reports back home, saying all is well within the team.

“I’m not aware of any (rift between Kumble and Kohli),” responded a smiling Choudhary, completely aware that would be the first question posed to him. “It’s purely in the realm of imagination,” he said, shifting the blame on the media, although all reports on the latest controversy have been attributed to sources in the Board itself.

The entire controversy erupted after the BCCI sent out a communication inviting applications for the coach’s job soon after the team touched down in England. Although it had a rider saying that Kumble, who lost just one T20I series against West Indies before enjoying a phenomenal home run where they beat New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia to end the season as No 1 side in Tests, would be an automatic choice as a candidate.

While that shocked many who felt Kumble, whose tenure ends after the Champions Trophy, should have had an automatic extension, things kept going from bad to worse with various theories emerging. While some reports said a few officials in the Board were unhappy over Kumble’s role in the ongoing pay negotiations, others said Kohli found Kumble ‘overbearing’ and the team is having a tough time working under a ‘hard task master’.

Choudhary defended the Board’s move to send out an email just before a marquee event, blaming it on the cramped calendar. “You can see the full calendar and tell me at what position there was a free slot. After one tournament, there is another, then another series, home series, away series.

Something is always on throughout the year. This is a process which is well defined. The Cricket Advisory Committee is seized with the matter and will deal with it. To add, if we don’t follow a process it’s not supposed to be good. If you follow a process, it’s not supposed to be good,” said Choudhary, sidestepping the fact that BCCI slept through the entire IPL in April-May well aware of the fact that Kumble and the support staff’s reign would come to an end this month.

Training hard
Meanwhile, the Men In Blue slogged it out in an intense session attended by all. Given space in the practice area at the stadium complex as Australians used up the main ground ahead of their encounter against New Zealand on Friday, the Indians looked focused and determined.

Although there wasn't much communication between Kumble and Kohli, both were committed with the task at hand. Kumble, like he does many times during practice sessions, bowled to a few top-order batsmen while Kohli was seen giving instructions to the players as well.

All the top-order batsmen had a decent hit at the ‘nets’ while the bowlers too went full tilt. R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami, two key bowlers who are retuning from injuries, bowled without much discomfort while former skipper M S Dhoni was seen joking around. That’s the mood one wants to see in a huge event and ahead of the mouth-watering match against Pakistan on Sunday.