WANTED: A coach to deliver goods
WANTED: A coach to deliver goods. In view of the backgrounds of our cricketers, the new man should be a versatile communicator and yet be able to deliver his point of view in a forceful manner. Knowledge in psychology and proven motivational ingenuity will be plus points.
BCCI to announce name in June
The players don’t need any coaching, but what is expected from the coach is that he is good at man-management skills, involved in strategising and planning and studying the weaknesses of the rival players
Duncan Fletcher's assignment is over. The hunt for a new coach has begun. The responsibility to search and choose the right man has now been given to Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. These wise men have seen many coaches, some good, some bad and some ugly during their respective illustrious careers. They are well aware of what the present bunch of players requires. Not just coaching skills, but the new coach will need to have special man-management attributes.
In view of the backgrounds of our cricketers, the new man should be a versatile communicator and yet be able to deliver his point of view in a forceful manner. Knowledge in psychology and proven motivational ingenuity will be plus points. He has to also be a hard taskmaster but with a comforting touch and understanding. The modern day coaches know the parameters within which they have to work. They are professionals, well versed in theoritical requirements and practicalities of the job on hand.
Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher's term ended after this year’s World Cup. There was speculation that Ganguly would be the right choice, but the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) scotched the ‘reports’ when it clarified that the former Indian captain will not be made a coach because he has ‘an important role with the working committee.’
Dilip Vengsarkar and Wasim Akram had come out in favour of Indian coaches. But the moot question is which homegrown coach/player is ready to take up the job. The names of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have also made the rounds.
Though they were excellent cricketers they might not take it up immediately. A coach's job is a different cup of tea, altogether. Pragmatically speaking, Praveen Amre and Lalchand Rajput should have been groomed for the job. Some of the seniors are tied up with their broadcasting engagements, so it will be difficult, unless the Board lures them with fabulous monetary benefits.
No one works for a pittance these days as eventually, money matters. Shashtri took up up the team director's job after many deliberations. The transaction would have been a huge one for the Board. With the exception of Ajit Wadekar, who had a long successful combination and enjoyed a good rapport with former captain Md Azharuddin.
Others like Bishen Singh Bedi, Sandip Patil, Madanlal, Anshuman Gaekwad, Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri had brief stints in the hot seat. John Wright, the first foreign coach, brought about a change in the team's attitude and approach to the game. The New Zealander’s successor, Greg Chappell, who was expected to bring about a turnaround in fortunes, got involved in a needless controversy with the then skipper Ganguly.
Wright and Chappell were different in their approach. Chappell helped the otherwise sober Indians to imbibe the Aussie pugnacity. He infused a competitive atmosphere in the dressing room. The concept of a cricket coach was new to Indian cricket in the late eighties. England and Australia were perhaps the first to have full-fledged coaches. Otherwise, there was only a manager who took care of the administrative issues, particularly during tours.
India too jumped onto the bandwagon soon and inducted former cricketers as coaches to utilise their strategic expertise and advice. Then there was a craze for foreign coaches and physios. South African Gary Kirsten was another coach who helped the Indian team to the 2011 World Cup success. It must be said that foreign coaches had helped improve the Indian team's standards.
The players don’t need any coaching, but what is expected from the coach is that he is good in man-management skills, involved in strategising and planning and studying the weaknesses of the rival players. The assistant coaches Sanjay Bangar, Bharath Arun and R Sridhar have been retained. It must be mentioned here that the Indian team's fielding has shown a remarkable improvement ever since Hyderabad's Sridhar took over as the fielding coach.
Earlier too Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh were part of the coaching staff, but they could make little impact on the prospects.The coach's role is well defined. This time the Board is planning on a long term agreement with the new coach. The coach, who will be picked in the first week of June, will be expected to deliver the goods.
By Valentine Wilson