Former Indian cricket team coach Gary Kirsten after winning the 2011 World Cup famously said that he would go out on a war with the then Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his side. However, this does not mean that all the coaches and captains get along so well. Something similar happened when everything started going South for the former Indian skipper and coach Anil Kumble as BCCI had asked for applications for Team India coach right before the team had started its campaign in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. This was followed by reports of a rift between current Indian captain Virat Kohli and Kumble until yesterday when the latter decided to step down from his post.
Let’s have a look at some other notable captains and coaches who locked horns against each other in the past:
Sourav Ganguly v Greg Chappell:
Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell shared a toxic relationship, with multiple break-ups and make-up which was followed by a divorce.The story began in 2005 during a warm-up game prior to the Zimbabwe tour. The then Indian coach Greg Chappell had asked the then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly to step down. The reason given by Chappell for this was the poor form of Ganguly. Chappell then decided to bench Ganguly and played Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh ahead of him. This was the onset of a big storm.
The next thing Chappel did shortly after the tour was sending an email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India which was leaked to the media in September 2005. In the email, Chappel had stated that Ganguly was mentally and physically not fit to lead the side. Ganguly was then omitted from the captaincy and team.
However, he eventually made a comeback in both ODIs and Tests. Greg Chappell had to resign shortly after India’s elimination from 2007 World Cup group stage.
Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar:
It was not a big encounter between the two of India’s biggest cricketing names came head to head. The master blaster was reportedly not very impressed with the coaching style of Kapil Dev. In one of the revelations in Tendulkar’s autobiography “Playing It My Way,” he stated the disappointment towards Kapil’s method as a coach during his second stint at captaincy in November 1999.
In a report by WisdenIndia Tendulkar had said, “I have always maintained that the coach’s job is an important one, for he is in a position to play a key role in formulating team strategy. However, his method of involvement and his thought process was limited to leaving the running of the team to the captain, and hence he did not involve himself in strategic discussions that would help us on the field.”
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Shahid Afridi v Waqar Younis:
Pakistan is no stranger to conflicts, be it between teammates, with the opposition, former players or within the board. In this chronicle, the feud was between Boom Boom Afridi and former Pak captain Waqar Younis. According to WisdenIndia, during the Caribbean Series in May 2011 Waqar in his report had said, “as a captain, he is very immature, has poor discipline, lacks a gameplan and is unwilling to listen to others’ opinions or advice.”
The end result was that Afridi was removed from captaincy but Waqar Younis also quit on the same day. Afridi had later shown a desire to make a comeback and in November 2011 returned to play for Pakistan. The funny part of the story is that Waqar was reinstated as the team’s coach in May 2014.