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‘I have total respect for Kumble as a cricketer’ – Kohli

'I have total respect for Kumble as a cricketer' - Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli, while speaking of the respect the team has for Anil Kumble’s achievements as a cricketer, has offered little about the events that led to Kumble’s resignation as head coach on Tuesday, three days before the start of the limited-overs series in the West Indies.

“Anil bhai has expressed his views and taken a decision to step out,” Kohli said at a media briefing in Port-of-Spain, where India play the first ODI against West Indies on Friday. “We all respect that decision. It is something that has happened right after the tournament (Champions Trophy).”

On being asked whether Kumble’s approach affected the team (negatively), Kohli didn’t give a direct reply. “Like I said, for me what’s most important is to maintain the sanctity of the change room and what happens in the change room is something that’s very sacred and private to all of us, and something that I would not express in details in a public scenario. As I said, his point of view is out there and we respect that decision.”

Hours after resigning as India coach, Kumble said he had been informed for the first time on the same day by the BCCI that “the captain had reservations with my style and about my continuing as head coach”. Kumble, whose contract ended with the Champions Trophy but had been given an extension to take the team to the West Indies, termed his working relationship with Kohli ‘untenable’. He announced his resignation while the squad was flying to the Caribbean.

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