NEW DELHI, India – Batting great Sunil Gavaskar lamented a "sad day" after Anil Kumble stepped down as India coach over a rift with captain Virat Kohli, leaving the hotseat vacant once again.
Kumble said Tuesday his position was "untenable" after Kohli questioned his leadership style and told the Indian board he had reservations about the spin legend extending his one-year stay.
Since Duncan Fletcher left in March 2015, India, currently the world's top Test team, have struggled for stability with Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Bangar both taking on temporary roles before Kumble's reign.
"I have very little knowledge about the differences between Virat and Anil. But it is a really sad day for Indian cricket," Gavaskar told NDTV.
"India have won everything since the time Anil took over," he added. "I can't see Anil doing much wrong in one year. Differences (can) happen in any team but see the results."
India suffered a humiliating defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday, but Kumble also helped them reclaim the number-one Test ranking and maintained an unblemished record in five Test series.
Former India captain and coach Bishan Singh Bedi also signalled his disappointment on Twitter.
If there's more intelligent/committed Crkt analyser than @anilkumble1074 on Indn horizon V r ignorant really!BCCI's tainted bosses laughing?
'Kohli-Kumble relationship was not sustainable' is BCCI statement suitable 2 BCCI's scheme o things-now all tainted officials r shying away!
Kumble, 46, had already appeared headed for the exit after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) advertised for a new coach last month, although he was an automatic candidate.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag and Australia's Tom Moody are reported to be among the possible replacements for Kumble, whose contract ran out after the Champions Trophy.
Sehwag, who seems to be the frontrunner for the job, believes it would be tough for anyone to match Kumble's success as coach.
"The way this Indian team has performed under his coaching, I doubt whether anybody else will be able to replicate his success," Sehwag told UC News.
"I don't know about his coaching style but as a player, as an individual and as a senior he is just brilliant," said Sehwag, who played under Kumble's Test captaincy.
A three-man panel of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, who picked Kumble in June last year, will deliberate over Kumble's replacement.
As well as Sehwag and Moody, reports say other candidates are Englishman Richard Pybus, who has coached Pakistan and Bangladesh, former India manager Lalchand Rajput and ex-paceman Dodda Ganesh.