Ian Chappell defends Kohli in Kumble coaching controversy


Australia legend Ian Chappell has backed India captain Virat Kohli following the controversy over the stepping down of Anil Kumble as coach of the Indian team and then Ravi Shastri’s appointment. Following Kumble’s stepping down from the role of India’s coach, there was a clash between the two with Kohli unhappy with the former India bowlers’ approach to things within the team.

“Kohli didn’t have the same harmonious relationship with Anil Kumble that he enjoyed with Ravi Shastri when he was cricket director. The fact that India have now reverted to Shastri as coach prompts the question: ‘Why change something that isn’t broken?’,” wrote Chappell in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

“If a coach is to be inflicted on a captain then at least it should be someone with whom he’s comfortable,” he added.

Chappell’s final suggestion on the process to be followed while selecting a coach was that the right captain needs to be appointed first before going after a coach. “The moral of this story? Make sure you appoint the right captain, ensure a strong selection panel and only then worry about finding the appropriate coach,” wrote.

In his message after stepping down as coach, Kumble wrote that his relationship with Kohli had become untenable. His final assignment with the team was the ICC Champions Trophy where India finished runner up to Pakistan – losing the final by 180 runs. On his part, Kohli has remained tight lipped on the issue.