Rahul Dravid condemned the manner in which former spinner Anil Kumble was replaced by Ravi Shastri as the head coach.
While Indian cricket fans keep lauding skipper Virat Kohli’s on-field aggression – which apparently helped India to reach the top of the ICC ODI rankings – batting legend Rahul Dravid said that some of Kohli’s bold pre-series statements make him cringe. ‘The Wall’ of Indian cricket further suggested young players to not imitate the firebrand captain, stating that matches are won by performances and not compulsorily with a rock star image.
Speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, the former Indian skipper said, “Virat sometimes comes across as outrageous and I cringe on reading his statements before a series. But if he can bring the best out of himself by needling the opposition, so be it.”
However, Dravid pointed out that Kohli’s aggressive attitude won’t matter much for the team till he keeps performing consistently.
As reported by ESPNcricinfo, Dravid said, “I think the game is still about performance. So let’s not take that way from someone like Kohli. That’s his personality. People have asked me, ‘Why didn’t you behave like that?’ But that’s not what got the best out of me. I would have been inauthentic to myself if I had tried to put tattoos and behave like Virat.”
Dravid, who is also the coach of India Under-19 and India A team, condemned the manner in which former spinner Anil Kumble was replaced by Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the ‘Men in Blue’. Dravid clearly stated that the way Kumble was targeted and sacked after the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was unpleasing.
However, Dravid – a long-time teammate of Kumble, from the Karnataka state cricket to the international arena – did not blame Kohli for the humiliation Kumble had to face.
“I think the whole thing got played out in the media which is very, very unfortunate for Anil and not fair on him at all. So, what’s the reality of it and what happens behind closed doors is not something I’m privy to, so I can’t comment directly. But it was definitely an unfortunate episode, especially to someone like Anil who has been an absolute legend of the game, someone who has done more to win Test matches for India than anybody I know. And he had a successful year as coach as well. But the fact is that it should never have played out they way that it did, publicly,” said Dravid.
Despite maintaining a clean image throughout his career, Kumble found himself in troubled water since his appointment as the head coach of the Indian team. The veteran cricketer became part of an ugly controversy in the cricketing space, after former Team Director Ravi Shastri replaced him as the head coach of the national side.