Dhaka, June 23 (IANS) The private coaches of India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Test captain Virat Kohli have spoken to TV channels, giving indications that all is not well in the dressing room.
Some Indian channels are putting up screaming headlines like ‘Knives out after humiliating defeat in Bangladesh’, reports bdnews24.com.
Dhoni’s coach Chanchal Bhattacharjee told a TV channel that the Indian skipper was “tense”. “The dressing room atmosphere is worrying him, he is not able to concentrate on the game.”
Within hours of Bhattacharjee’s comments, Kohli’s coach Raj Kumar Sharma was seen on another channel describing the One-Day International (ODI) series loss to Bangladesh as “the most humiliating thing for Indian cricket”.
“I have no hesitation it was the Black Sunday of Indian cricket,” Sharma said.
Sharma did not blame Dhoni’s captaincy for the defeat as some cricket writers in India have suggested – his choice of players and his on-field decisions. But some cricket analysts in India see in the ‘war of coaches’ a bigger problem – that Dhoni and Kohli are not pulling on well.
Many players have also asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel the impending tour of Zimbabwe on grounds that they were very tired.
TV channels running the story had not identified the players or the reaction of the BCCI so far but former captain Krishnamachari Srikanth said the team had been playing continuously since October last year.
But some channels raised the question: Don’t they feel tired when they play the IPL?
The ODI loss to Bangladesh has opened the proverbial can of worms in Indian cricket.
In the post-match conference on Sunday, Dhoni himself hinted at all not being well.
“If it is felt that I am the problem and team will do well if I am removed as captain, I am willing to step down,” said Dhoni.
He promised to come out all guns blazing in the third ODI on Wednesday because “we have nothing to lose”.
It is unlikely the Indian captain or the team can put behind uncomfortable questions haunting them when they take on an upbeat Bangladesh in the final ODI in Mirpur on Wednesday.