The Kumble Factor

A decision on retaining him as head coach must not be muddied with personal agendas

The Indian cricket team should have been exuding confidence as it begins its title defence in the ICC Champions Trophy in England from June 1 to 18. It comes off a long and successful season at home, and in the normal course of things the buzz would be about India’s match against Pakistan at Birmingham on June 4, given how rarely the traditional rivals play each other these days. However, all is not right in the dressing room, and there is distracting speculation about an imminent change in leadership. It started with the Board of Control for Cricket in India calling for fresh applications for the head coach’s post since the incumbent, Anil Kumble’s one-year contract will end after the Champions Trophy. The BCCI clarified that Kumble would have a direct entry for the process, but the last-minute scramble, just as Virat Kohli’s men landed in England, raised questions. There had been enough time for the Board to take a call on the head coach, whether it meant retaining Kumble or opting for a new candidate. It did not come as a surprise, therefore, when leaks surfaced about Kumble seeking a higher pay package for the Indian players and support staff. Disgruntled BCCI officials painted Kumble as a man extracting his pound of flesh, and the anti-Kumble campaign was sharpened with suggestions that Kohli is not comfortable with his “overbearing” ways.

Such talk about differences between coach and skipper does nobody any good. Whatever be the nature of their alleged differences, the Kumble-Kohli combination has delivered excellent results. While there could be the odd difference of opinion, on the field it is entirely the captain’s call on how to guide the team. Last year in the West Indies, when Kohli preferred Rohit Sharma over Murali Vijay in the third Test at Gros Islet, Kumble backed his decision. Victory in the West Indies and a golden run at home against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia are a testament to Kumble’s and Kohli’s man-management skills and a validation of the talent within the ranks. The unsavoury tidbits planted in the media about Kumble are a terrible contrast to the can-do spirit with which he took charge as coach in June 2016. Now, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Kumble’s former team-mates Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman has an unenviable task. They have to sift through fresh applications, besides having to assess Kumble’s performance, and then take a call on who should be the head coach. Positions of authority in cricket teams usually have a four-year cycle coinciding with the World Cup. Ideally, the next head coach, be it Kumble or somebody else, should be given a contract till the 2019 World Cup in England. The focus must be on the demands of cricket. SOURCE:THE HINDU


1) Speculation (सट्टा) - Specu-la-tion
Meaning - the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence - Noun
Synonyms - conjecture, thesis
Antonyms - reality, truth
Example - His private life is the subject of much speculation.

2) Imminent (आसन्न) - Immi-nent
Meaning - about to happen - Adjective
Synonyms - impending, approaching
Antonyms - avoidable, distant
Example - He was in imminent danger of dying.

3) Scramble (संघर्ष) - Scram-bul
Meaning - make one's way quickly or awkwardly up a steep gradient or over rough ground by using one's hands as well as one's feet - Verb
a difficult or hurried clamber up or over something - Noun
Synonyms - clamber, struggle
Antonyms - peace, order
Example - They tried to scramble up the cliff.

4) Disgruntled (ख़फ़ा) - Dis-grun-tled
Meaning - angry or dissatisfied - Adjective
Synonyms - dissatisfied, discontented
Antonyms - happy, pleased
Example - The players were disgruntled with the umpire.

5) Alleged (कथित) - L-edge-d
Meaning - said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality - Adjective
Synonyms - purported, averred
Antonyms - certain, definite
Example - It has been alleged that Jack stole the money.

6) Unsavoury (नीरस) - Un-sav-a-ry
Meaning - disagreeable and unpleasant because morally disreputable - Adjective
Synonyms - disreputable, unpleasant
Example - The club has an unsavoury reputation.

7) Tidbit (छोटी-मोटी बातें) - Tit-bit
Meaning - a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information - Noun
Synonyms - delicacy, morsel
Antonyms - lot
Example - While passing through the room, I heard a tidbit of news on the radio regarding the presidential election.

8) Unenviable (अवांछनीय) - Un-en-vi-able
Meaning - difficult, undesirable, or unpleasant - Adjective
Synonyms - disagreeable, difficult
Example - The residential staff are presented with an unenviable task.

9) Indefatigable (अथक) - In-de-fati-gable
Meaning - (of a person or their efforts) persisting tirelessly - Adjective
Synonyms - diligent, relentless
Antonyms - idle, inactive
Example (English) - For the next thirteen years, with indefatigable zeal he rummages the libraries for charts and details of the spice trade and Pacific voyages.
Example (Hindi) - अगले तेरह वर्षों तक अथक जोश के साथ वे गरम मसालों के व्यापार और प्रशांत महासागरीय यात्राओं के नक्शों और विवरण के लिए पुस्तकालयों को छानते रहे।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • What should be the qualities in a Coach to motivate his team?
  • What are the gaps being created between a coach & Skipper?
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Exuding
  • Distracting
  • Extracting
  • Validation 

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