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You can’t make villain out of Virat Kohli: Vikram Rathore

CricketYou can't make villain out of Virat Kohli: Vikram Rathore

NEW DELHI: Former selector Vikram Rathore, who very briefly worked with Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble during the last tour of West Indies, described the impasse in the team as an extremely unfortunate incident. Without playing the blame-game, Rathore however backed Kohli by saying the Indian captain can’t be blamed if he isn’t able to work with Kumble. “You can’t make a villain out of Kohli after Kumble resigned from head coach position because the captain spoke his mind. He just expressed his thoughts over Kumble’s style of working and that snowballed into a huge controversy. This is after all between the two best players. The episode could have been handled better. There was a difference of opinion,” Rathore told TOI on Saturday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11:  Virat Kohli of India celebrates running out David Miller of South Africa during the ICC Champions Trophy Group B match between India and South Africa at The Kia Oval on June 11, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

The former Indian opener also made it clear that he isn’t too surprised by the captain-coach spat that has plagued Indian cricket in the past. “This is not the first time that a spat between coach and captain has happened. I was part of the West Indies tour last where I saw both Kohli and Kumble working together. I didn’t see anything then but it was early days,” he said and added that both captain and coach have a say in final team selection while the selectors are just there to pass on their suggestions.
Rathore batted for an Indian coach to take over the position of head coach in place of Kumble. “The Indian coaches have been doing well with the team. Before Kumble came, Ravi Shastri did a good job with the team. Even Kumble’s record as a coach was impeccable. Therefore, it’s important to continue with an Indian coach,” he said.

The former Punjab cricketer then went on to say that Kumble’s services could be used in administrative purpose, which is also widely discussed after he decide to quit his job. Rathore even does not mind Kumble in a role of a director. “Kumble should now be a part of the administrative set-up and in a director’s role to guide Indian cricket. It should be good for BCCI,” Rathore said.

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