Former India captain and current coach of India A and India U-19, Rahul Dravid has spoken his mind on the Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble saga that rocked Indian cricket and subsequently resulted in Kumble’s ouster as a coach. Speaking on the sidelines of the Bangalore Literature Festival, Dravid said that while he did not have specific knowledge regarding the issue, Kumble’s ouster should never have panned out the way it did and the way the entire incident was carried out in the media was rather unfortunate.
“At the end of the day, I don’t know the specifics of that particular issue, but it shouldn’t have got played out in the way that it did,” said Dravid as per Cricbuzz before adding, “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 preview 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 the way that it did, publicly.”
Speaking at the session titled ‘India Democracy XI’, Dravid also went on to draw an analogy with football managers when he said, “See, coaches get sacked, the first thing you know when you stop playing and become a coach is that someday you are going to get sacked. That’s the reality. As an India A and Under-19 coach, I know that someday I’m going to get the boot. Some football managers get sacked after two games, so that’s the reality. Players are more powerful than coaches, we know that because we were more powerful than coaches when we played.”
On the increased aggression shown by players of the current generation, Dravid concluded by saying, “I do not believe earlier players were not aggressive or mentally tough, it’s just that players now are in your face, even literally, they’re always in your face on television.”