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Aakash Chopra: Don’t make villains out of people without hearing both sides of a story

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A lot has been said from all quarters of the cricketing fraternity ever since Anil Kumble stepped down as coach of the Indian cricket team.

While, Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Indian team players for their attitude and approach, former World Cup winner Madan Lal slammed their ‘superstar’ culture in the team. Amidst all of this Virat Kohli has ensured the players don’t get distracted as they prepare themselves for the series in West Indies.

While, Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Indian team players for their attitude and approach, former World Cup winner Madan Lal slammed their ‘superstar’ culture in the team. Amidst all of this Virat Kohli has ensured the players don’t get distracted as they prepare themselves for the series in West Indies.

While it would be fair to say that Kumble as won a lot of sympathy during this whole episode, former India opener Aakash Chopra believes it is very important to know both sides of the story before passing any judgment especially in the media. Chopra was of the view that, it would be unfair to make any assessment of the situation with getting an account from both sides, though he admitted that the captain has a say in the selection of a coach. “There have been instances where players have had their say and sometimes not had their say. Let’s not cherry pick cases. Maybe Kohli wanted Kumble too. A player doesn’t get everything every time they ask – sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. That’s just part of team culture. Sometimes they comply and sometimes they don’t. In this case, it is best to hear both sides of the story before making villains out of people,” he said while speaking to IndianExpress.com.

However, Aakash was quick to admit that the treatment given to Kumble was a little unfair and could have been handled much better. “It could have been handled much better. As per Kumble’s statement, he was informed of Kohli’s reservations only recently. That leaves a sour taste in the mouth – that single factor. He would feel slightly hard done by. I do think he would have known about the rumors circulating though. Had attempts been made to appease things earlier maybe the episode could have been done better. It is understandable that a professional employment has to be created after the end of his contract.”
“For a coach and a team/captain, the performance and inter-personal relationship both are important. If one doesn’t work, it is tough to continue,” he added.

Chopra though differed from a lot of former India coaches on the nationality issue. Chopra believed the credentials of the coach mattered a lot and what the coach brought to the table. “Nationality of coach doesn’t matter. It is the credentials that matter. Just take a look at what they bring to the table and discuss with team captain or the team to keep them in the loop. If they have any reservation, and the reasoning is just, take that into account too. Many players have played under the different type of coaches and personalities. It would be unfair to say that only ‘yes men’ survive.

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