Tag Archives: Coach

Indian team coach news update

Cricinfo in this article speculates that today we will hear further news about the appointment of the coach for the Indian team. It is likely that the coach, as expected, will not be appointed for the  home series against Pakistan. I think the BCCI will wait for the Pakistan series to get over and if the performance is reasonable then will announce that the coach will not be appointed for the Australian tour. One possible reason for the delay in this appoinment according to speculative sources on this blog is that the BCCI found it cheaper to pay selectors a match fee and make them ‘professional’ instead of a full time coach. Of course all this will immediately get pushed to the background if India do very badly against Pakistan. That is when the Indian media and TV channels will start highlighting the fact that India does not have a full time coach, and the BCCI may be forced to act. Meanwhile the TV media is happy reporting on Dhoni’s new haircut while the tamizh weekly ‘Ananda Vikatan’ has a cover story on Dhoni’s ‘involvement’ with Deepika Padukone, the daughter of former badminton star Prakash Padukone.

— Sanjay

Rahul Dravid for “player coach” anyone?

As confusion continues to surround India’s coach-search, here is a left-field solution for Team India “coach”.

What do we know?

  • Rahul Dravid is in the last few years of his tenure as Team India player.
  • He is a deep thinker and a student of the game.
  • He is also perhaps a bit unsuer of his team-role after his captaincy relinquishment — and that reflected in his uncharacterestically lackadaisical ODI batting in the series against Australia.
  • The Team India players respect him as a thorough gentleman.

Why not appoint him as “player coach” and even a “coach in waiting” with Venkatesh Prasad (bowling coach) and Robin Singh (fielding coach) as his assistants?

Why him? And why not any of the others in the Big 3 of Big 4 or Big 5 as player-coach?

A couple of reasons spring to mind (although I need to think this through some more).

But before I develop this further, any comments/views on this left-field idea?

— Mohan

Coach appointment news update

The news is that nothing is happening. We will keep updating on a regular basis that nothing is happening until something happens.

Meanwhile here is a link for you to read about this issue.

— Sanjay

No deadline for Coach!

After Greg Chappell’s resignation in March, the BCCI initially said that it would have a Team India Coach ready and appointed by the time the team left for England in late-June. That deadline passed. Then it said it would have a coach ready by the time the Twenty20 Championship came around. That deadline slipped. Then it indicated that the coach would be ready for the home series against Australia and Pakistan. That deadline came and went. Then as recently as last week, the BCCI said that the coach would be ready before the away series to Australia in December.

Now, in a thoroughly distasteful development, the BCCI postponed todays’ coach-selection meeting at Bangalore and, furthermore, issued a statement that it was not going to fix any deadline on the appointment of a coach!

Initially, the reason provided for the delay was the non-availability of Messers Gavaskar and Shastri, who were both busy on commentary duty! And yet, it is Ravi Shastri who has been approached to Chair the National Cricket Academy, post Kapil Dev’s sacking! One does wonder if Gavaskar and Shastri were the only two cricketers to ever play for India! No one can and will deny that these two fine gentlemen did play for India — and with distinction too — but surely there are a few hundred other honest ex-cricketers in search of a plum job!

Why was the recent coach-selection meeting postponed? Well, because, “Our president (Sharad Pawar) was not available for the meeting. We have not met yet and gone through any applications for the job that have been received by us,” BCCI Treasurer, N. Srinivasan said.

So rather than embarass themselves once again — surely, they must be used to it by now after a string of repeat performances on-demand and at will — the BCCI refused to put any further deadline on the coach-appointment. Aaah! Smart thinking 99. However, N. Srinivasan did commit to the appointment being, “done in reasonably quick time“.

But the real pearl from the media release was this one, “There has been little time. Players have just come back from England and then from the World Twenty20 Cup. We have back-to-back matches against Australia,” he added.

Hang on a minute! Are the players playing these matches or are Srinivasan, Pandove, Pawar, Shastri, Gavaskar, Venkatraghavan and Shetty playing for India? Haven’t these dills understood that their role is to select the coach and not to either play the game or indeed, watch it! There is a job to be done guys. The players will play. You guys need to administer the game!

— Mohan

Glimpses of the future…

The current Team India at the Twenty20 World Cup offers a glimpse of a possible future for Indian cricket sans the Fab Five — Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, V. V. S. Laxman and Anil Kumble.

In the T20 World Cup, India has bowled well, fielded exceptionally well and played with self-belief and aggression. There are pointers to a potentially bright future. These are early days still, but I believe that this team is a good step in the right direction. This direction commenced with Rahul Dravid’s announcement that he, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly would make themselves unavailable for T20 selection.

This then commenced a shift in thinking at the top with the leadership reigns being handed over to M. S. Dhoni. As a leader, I think he is a good investment for the future. Gauging from his conduct on the field, he appears to have the backing of his young players. He is not a formula-captain. He reacts and changes somewhat instinctively. His decision to swap Harbhajan Singh’s end in the game against South Africa would have left him with no option but to bowl Harbhajan Singh in the last over. This could have had potentially disastrous effects. But he followed his instincts and went with it. After a costly 1st over, Harbhajan Singh proceeded to bowl 3 tight overs on the trot! Dhoni appears to have a level head on his shoulders and gauging from the post-match interviews, he is handling his appointment with aplomb… but these are still honeymoon-days!

It is quite an exciting future, in my view, particularly if we add to the mix players like S. Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Kaif, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Yo Mahesh, Praveen Kumar, Pankaj Singh, et al.

At 29 years and 247 days, Ajit Agarkar is the oldest player in Team India for the T20 World Cup.

Name | Age (years — rounded to nearest integer)
Ajit Agarkar | 30
Virender Sehwag | 29
Harbhajan Singh | 27
M. S. Dhoni | 26
Yuvraj Singh | 26
Gautam Gambhir | 26
Yusuf Pathan | 25
S. Sreesanth | 24
Joginder Sharma | 24
Irfan Pathan | 23
Robin Uthappa | 22
Dinesh Karthik | 22
R. P. Singh | 22
Rohit Sharma | 20
Piyush Chawla | 19

The average age of this side — even with Ajit Agarkar in it — is 24.33y, which is not a bad average at all!

Firstly, this team has shaved 3 years off the average age of Team India’s World Cup squad!

But more importantly, the drop in average age reflects on the fielding. With Irfan Pathan’s improvement as a fielder, there is really no one in this team that needs to be “hidden” on the field. With a proper long-term fielding-coach and a focus on fitness and intensity, the standards can only improve from here on in. All of this points to a potentially exciting future of Indian cricket. It has been most gratifying to see the self-belief in youngsters like Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth and R. P. Singh.

— Mohan

Dravid made the right decision

Mahesh has analysed the reasons for Rahul Dravid’s decision to quit as captain of Team India.

This issue has been thrashed to death in the media in India Once again several ex-players and expert-wannabes have been wheeled in and out of TV studios to talk the issue to death. A cricket-related exciting news item is probably the only thing that stirs up the emotions — as well as a parade of expert-wannabes — in the media in India. A heck of a lot of newsprint as well as bytes have been swallowed up by this news already. Ironically, most media outlets have been quite glib in reporting that the irrepressible media in India may have been one of the reasons for Dravid’s seemingly hasty decision — the media that cites this as a reason thereby, by merely reporting this as a factor, attempts to exclude itself from the “irrepressible media in India” collective! There has been very little analysis but a lot of scuttlebutt and rumour in the media in India. The more serious analysis has been on Cricinfo. In an well-written piece, Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan bemoans a legacy that lost its way. And Ian Chappell opines that

Dravid’s decision was right, in my view. I personally feel that the BCCI did not deserve a professional like Rahul Dravid, and in announcing his decision to quit, Dravid has severed his ties with an idiotic organisation that would not be able to organise a booze party in a brewery. The professional in Dravid had perhaps rubbed against the idiocy of the BCCI machinery once too often. He was perhaps tired of dealing with an organisation that did not have a strategic-vision or a success-blueprint. It continues to stumble from one thing to the next and finds itself with a half-baked alternative to the ICL, a team without a manager and now, a team without a captain.

Sourav Ganguly was perhaps able to deal with the extreme ambiguity that exists in BCCI-land. He, in fact, thrived on it and may have even, at times, used this as rope to do what he pleased! Rahul Dravid, the organisational-allegience-type-of-professional perhaps found it hard to cope with.

He quit when he was ahead. To quit after the World Cup would have been a bit too much for him and his pride as a leader. He now had reason to exit on a high and on his terms.

Some media-experts have labelled him as opportunistic and a few others claimed that he put his own self-interest ahead of those of the team. We can argue about the merits of these judgements till the cows come home. But the country and its media must pay a price for the tripe that gets put out. Sooner or later, someone has to pay the price for the constant random-speculations, the irrepressible-intrusiveness, the needless scuttlebutt and the opinion-dominated tripe. Moreover, the bottom line is that an organisation like BCCI that exists comfortably in a strategy-free zone gets what it deserves — and it certainly does not, in my view, deserve a strong, visionary, dedicated, skilful, composed, articulate, determined and courageous leader like Rahul Dravid.

Rahul Dravid had to fight for a bowling coach and a fielding coach. I do not believe he won the team-selection battles — he can’t have got the teams he wanted. The team still does not have a full-time media manager.

Something had to give… It did.

The time was right for him to leave on his termsa and leave the BCCI to pick up a few more pieces. They are, after all by now, so used to picking up pieces — those that create the mess need to clean it…

– Mohan

Wanted: Coach for Indian Cricket Team

I’ve been quite busy the last couple of weeks (the quality and quantity of my posts in this blog are probably a testament to it 🙂 ) and I didn’t really read through the statement that BCCI put out  last week for recruiting a coach for the Indian team – until today.

In case prospective coaches are looking at our blog ( 🙂 ) rather than at the official ICC site or news sites elsewhere, here are the details about the roles and responsibilities:

a) Working closely with the selection committee and interacting periodically with the review committee to be set up by the Board
b) Should have the ability to plan and manage programs for the elite cricketers
c) Should be capable of building positive relations with the public and media
d) Should be capable of motivating players and thus helping them to optimise their performances at all times
e) Should be familiar with the use of performance analysis software packages
f) Should be available to conduct clinics and workshops for the local coaches
g) Should have excellent communicating skills as he is required to communicate at different levels like players, team management, selectors and the board
h) Should be capable of providing the team with tactical expertise

a) Should be a qualified coach with minimum level III coaching accreditation from Cricket Australia, England or India
b) Should have played at least level of first-class cricket
c) Extensive coaching experience and expertise in working with elite cricketers
d) Should possess basic IT skills to be able to operate the match analysis program
e) Should have been a coach of an international or national team or a coach at an elite coaching centre of international repute
f) Should have basic knowledge of Indian cricket, Indian player pathway and Indian culture and ethos
g) Should have basic knowledge of Sports Science and Sports Medicine
h) Should be capable of handling the team under high pressure situations
i) Should possess outstanding organizational skills
j) Should have knowledge of international coaching trends
k) Should have experience in using video technology

a) The appointment as coach shall be for a period of two years, starting from October 1, 2007
b) The job requires a great deal of time away from home traveling with the Indian team both in India and abroad
c) Terms and conditions are negotiable

BCCI have set the last date for applying for the position as 15th of September (which curiously is a Saturday), but what I found really funny was one of the e-mail addresses to apply to at the end of the statement : cricketborad@gmail.com

What?  “cricketborad“? Maybe the person typing it out was really bor-ed or maybe Niranjan Shah thinks of himself as the Borat of Indian Cricket. Or maybe they’ve transcribed the word as it is pronounced in certain parts of India and they really wanted it to be ciricketborad, but someone made a typo 😉

In any case, you would expect a board that has its coffers full to the brim to have their own domain, and not use a free e-mail service.


Coach-search saga…

India’s coach-search travails continue with the BCCI finally admitting that it was going to advertise for the post! It admitted that it had reached this decision “after its informal attempts ended in failure”! Blind Freddie could have told the Board that that was exactly where its informal and arrogant approach was going to lead it to!

As expected, the coach will not be appointed before the Twenty20 World Cup! The T20 team will be managed by Lalchand Rajput, current India-A coach and ex-Mumbai player. Of course, the coach had to be a Mumbai-player. That was established way back in the selection (non)process. Could the BCCI not find another 70-year-young ex-Mumbai player to manage the team?

Should the search committee not resign for the abject mess that it has landed Indian cricket in?

Where is the accountability in this whole process?

I am reasonably certain that these committee members won’t be able to organise a booze party in a brewery, leave alone organsing the process for selecting a national team coach!

— Mohan

India Coach Search…

Sharad Powar, the BCCI President, said that although the hunt for a coach for Team India was still on, he was confident that the players were handling the situation quite well. “What would a coach teach to players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly?,” he thundered and continued with this pearl, “They have played so many matches and made world records and these senior players are also good coach for the new comers.

My question then is: Will Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly travel to the Twenty20 Cup in South Africa as Coaches/Mentors?

I wonder whether someone — anyone — is really thinking about the coach issue. A young India team without a coach in the Twenty20 tournament — which is just over a month away — could potentially put a lot of pressure on the captain of a relatively young team.

— Mohan

BCCI may advertise for post of coach!

According to this article in the The Hindu, BCCI may actually advertise for the post of Indian Cricket team coach according to Niranjan Shah. It is a bit of a U-turn from a few months ago, when he said “No, we won’t. There’s no need to; we will do it in our own way.” in response to a question on whether the post will be advertised. Hmm….