“There are no problems whatsoever,” as a batsman, ViratKohli might not have a prolific record in England, but he looked solid in his technique while defending bouncers in the form of questions from the Indian media at Edgbaston regarding the widely reported rift between him and coach Anil Kumble.
In that interesting press conference, on the eve of the big-ticket encounter against Pakistan, most of the questions were related to this off the field issue, which has been making headlines in India for the past few days. Kohli was probably anticipated those and had enough time to rehearse his answers and when the moment came, he just played with a straight bat.
As they say, practice brings perfection.
“So there have been a lot of speculations and a lot of things being written by people without actually being a part of the changing room, which is very strange. There are no problems whatsoever. As I mentioned before, if something is put in place as a process, I mean, I don’t see why people are creating so many speculations about it. It’s been followed last time as well, and I didn’t see any issues being created last time. So it’s the same process.
“It’s just happening after 12 months. And there are no issues whatsoever. The team is totally focused on the Champions Trophy, and I honestly don’t even know … people who even try to tell me about this I don’t even want to know anything of this sort, because in a tournament that is in focus so much, and it’s such a big stage, a lot of people like to find a lot of rumours flying around, especially before the start of the tournament,” the skipper mentioned.
However, Kohli did not justify the timing of this process; neither did he try.
The Indian captain, meanwhile, did acknowledge that differences and disagreements could exist in cricket, but according to him, these are signs of progress. He had reportedly given feedback to the BCCI expressing concerns about Kumble’s style of coaching, which one board official said had been described as “intimidating”.
“In any walk of life, there are agreements and disagreements always. If you don’t have knowledge of something, unless I am there myself in a particular situation and I am aware of what is happening, I will not pass any comment. I will not pass any judgment.
“I think in India there is a lack of patience. People speculate from a distance. They apply their own idea. And when that thing does not happen, nobody admits his mistake. That is why I do not focus on these issues. If you write something you should take the ownership that I was wrong.
“These are normal things. Even at home, you do not agree on everything with your family. The people who speculate should also think do you agree on everything in every situation. It is not possible. All I can say is if you do not have the knowledge about something does not spread rumours do not speculate and focus on the cricket.”
Since Kumble was appointed as the coach of Indian team ahead of their tour of West Indies last year, Kohli’s boys have won seven out of their eight international series across all three formats. Their only defeat was the two-match T20 series in Florida against West Indies.
When Kohli was asked to comment on the journey along with coach Kumble, he just had this to say.
“It’s been really good. The whole journey has been good.”
Whether Kohli agrees or not, there has been a clear discomfort between him and Kumble. On the field during India’s practice session on Saturday, both were seen maintaining a distance from each other. Their difference is even evident through, the naked eye and it will be interesting to notice whether the performance of the Indian team gets affected because of this ego clash or not.
A poor show in the Champions Trophy and the skipper will have to answer a lot of tough questions.