Saturday, 16 June 2007

Team India coach: Much ado about nothing

When Shane Warne said the only coach he needed was the vehicle that took the team from hotel to ground, he was not just taking a swipe at John Buchanan. It was actually an Ian Chappell chesnut and the brouhaha over Team India's new coach has again irked Chappelli.

Chappell warns India should not simply crush the new coach with the burden of expectations. A reneissance can come only via "proud and spirited players" led by a "strong coach", he asserts.

Sanjay Manjrekar, one of the rare sane voice in the mad melee, harps on the same issue. Coach has a very limited role to play and it's the players who would have to go out and actually play.

I think Greg Chappell's tenure proved the point beyond doubt. Chappell exceeded brief and encouraged by the coy captain in Rahul Dravid, he became larger than the coach. And it clearly backfired.

Chappell was calling the shots in each and every aspect and Dravid's diminishing stature, especially among the senior teammates, undermined his authority. Chappell did tried some new ideas but his growing stature came in the way of its fruition.

Chappell succeeded in convincing Irfan Pathan that he could bat. And every time Irfan scored, Chappell got unfair share of the kudos. By that time, the coach had outgrown the players, and it was never going to augur well for Team India.

Ian Chappell cries hoars to convince us that coach's can be instrumental behind a revival of fortune but they can't be the instrument. He cited the best example of John Buchanan.

Buchanan's exit did not make Australia a weaker side but if Ricky Ponting is not able to skipper the side, it would well create a problem, he said.

BCCI roped in Chandu Borde to prolong the stop-gap arrangement first made for the Bangladesh tour. Hoping the septuagenarian to free Team India of all its ills would be unfair and brickbats or bouquets -- depending on how the side fare in England -- should be addressed to Dravid and Co. only.

Image: PTI

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