Anil Kumble Vs Virat Kohli: Should players question their coach?

Anil Kumble Vs Virat Kohli: Should players question their coach?

Anil Kumble Vs Virat Kohli: Should players question their coach?

India is a land rich in heritage and traditions and that extends to the world of sports too. The guru culture tends to permeate in sports whether we consider the proteges of Pullela Gopichand making it big in the world of badminton or PT Usha's triumphs as a coach of Tintu Luka and many other shining stars on the track. But one such instance of coach-player synergy is missing from the recent Kumble-Kohli spat which has led to the Indian cricket team sans a head batting coach.

India's dismal performance in the CCI Champions Trophy 2017 leading to a Pakistan win claimed more than one casualty when coach Anil Kumble resigned as he cited how his position became untenable because Kohli and he were not on the same page. India's cricket captain, Virat Kohli on the other hand has said that he respects Kumble as a brilliant player. Looking more closely, the chinks in the relationship surface, as Kohli deleted his tweet welcoming Kumble on board, while the erstwhile Indian coach refused to comment on developments that took place saying he wanted 60% of the captain's salary increments. But regardless of what issues are being tossed, the deeper question here is “Should players listen to their coaches?” Let's see who has the edge and which side emerges winner.


1. Coaches have rich treasure trove of experience

The coaches in any discipline are veterans with a rich knowledge of the field and an accumulation of experience. They have the diversity of exposure and an understanding of the sport in a way the player cannot. The coach organises, handles, manages and motivates the team. His role is central for the player's welfare.

2. Coach should always be the guide

The coach is a seasoned player in the field. So he has plenty of experience of how to harness the talent and skills of players for winning outcomes on the field. At the end of the day, performance on the cricket field counts and here, Kumble scores over his detractors as the team had performed exceedingly well under him, barring the Pakistan debacle.

3. Welfare of players paramount

The coach always considers the welfare of the players and offers them a unique chance to excel globally. Drawing on their knowledge and skills, coaches know how to tackle stress, lack of motivation and several other such obstacles in the way of smooth performance by the player.

4. Coach sees the whole picture

Rather than seeing just pieces of a puzzle, or focusing on the individual, the coach serves as a valuable learning experience for the player because he sees the whole picture. Consider Olympic ace Abhinav, Bindra's revelation that he stuck for 20 years to a coach he hated and learned so much in the bargain.


1. Players have a share in the game

While the coach only cheers and guides the players, it is the bowlers and batsmen or sportspersons on the field who have to perform. Their comfort levels matter the most. When it comes to players, their concerns should be considered because they are on the frontlines.

2. Coach is not always right

Coaches may vary in their perspective. For example, Kumble spoke of coaches drawing a sizable proportion of the skipper's salary. In such a case, the coach is clearly being partial to his own interests. Coaches are also humans and they are also fallible.

3. No one is indispensable

Considering the game is good only if team synergies are harnessed by a skilled coach, and players are comfortable with him, the value of the team as a whole is massive. When it comes to performance, the interests of the players matter as much as the coach. If a line is crossed, the results will be dismal.

Reports of how Kohli demanded more money for players and Kumble demanded a chunk of the skipper's salary are doing rounds. What is equally important is the two sides arguing over the scene in the changing room following the loss to Pakistan. Whether Kumble was an alpha male in the dressing room, or the Indian cricket team would have benefited from a more paternalistic style of coaching remains a question that will never be answered. What is important here is performance and now, as Kohli and his team batter West Indies, the next matches become more important than ever. Coaches have a responsibility to players and vice versa. It runs both ways. So, while players should listen to their coaches, the coach should also be ever willing to not drown out the player's voice.
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  • RE: Anil Kumble Vs Virat Kohli: Should players question their coach? -Anil Kumble Vs Virat Kohli (04/23/18)
  • A coach has a role to play in any sports, he is the actual captain off the field, planning, analyzing opponent game, helping players to augment performance etc. While he colludes with captain to set game plan for upcoming match, he also manages the synergy among players. Understanding players' mindset is important to guide them for match winning performance, communication and understanding with players are exceedingly important. It is not important for coach and captain to be on the same page on every issues, as long as both are able to harness best from the team, questions shouldn't be raised. If there is a rift between couch and captain and the team is severely down, then the call for action is paramount. While the captain play in the front line so the coach's head will be on the chopping board. If the players are unhappy with the coach, they may put their concern across, ultimately, the board decides and take call.