Sunday, 9 December 2007

Gary Kirsten's Ten Commandments

So Gary Kirsten takes over Team India’s coaching reins. First of all, he deserves a pat for showing the guts and taking over what is arguably the toughest assignment in the world of sport. Remember how it left Graham Ford shaking in his boots and never returning again?

Well, though Kirsten apparently has not coached any team yet, I’m ready to give him a chance and here are his TEN COMMANDMENTS that would stand him in good stead.

1. Handle Stars With Care: This is going to be Gary’s real test. A team teeming with prima donnas, with fragile ego needs careful handling. Accept the fact that Tendulkar-Ganguly-Dravid-Kumble have an aura about themselves and don’t equate them with, say a Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthick. Make Yuvraj Singh believe that his turn would come soon and he should not feel hurt about losing ODI captaincy to Dhoni. Pamper him, for the team needs him.

2. Blood Young Turks: While pampering the stars, make sure you don’t end up making them feel like second class citizen. Motivate them and convince them that the seniors are in the twilight of their career and they should prepare themselves to step into those shoes.

3. Shun Newspapers and News Channels: Read business daily only, keep a tab on the bullish stock market and if you wish, invest part of your package there. Don’t worry, you won’t lose anything. But reading newspapers or watching news channel is a strictly no-no. Else, sanity would be hit for a six.

4. Columns Only Confuse: Don’t heed to what former players write in their columns. Get it right, they get paid for writing nothing, mostly it’s ghost-written. And all of them have an agenda. It would only increase the confusion. Be polite to them but don’t lend your ear.

5. No Day Dreaming Please, We’re Indians: If the BCCI brief says you are just in charge of a squad, t can’t be more misleading. Gary, you have put yourself at the mercy of a volatile cricket-crazy populace that would garland and guillotine you with the same passion. So sound realistic, avoid making tall promises and don’t encourage day dreaming. We have miles to go before we can dream of catching up with Australia. Aspiring to be the second best sounds pragmatic.

6. Don’t Exceed Brief: A crucial survival mantra. Get it right, you are not the pill that would kill all the ills that plague Indian cricket. You are not here to overhaul the system. Your job is to make the best use of it, and at best, suggest changes that would suit us. Any deviation and you have Greg Chappell waiting in Jaipur to tell you how badly it hits you.

. Don’t Impose Things: The players are essentially Indians, not South African players in Indian bodies. Don’t try to force them into becoming Jonty Rhodes overnight. You have a heterogeneous group at your disposal, be patient and seek co-operation before introducing anything new. Accept that you can’t make much difference to Ganguly’s fitness level. Just make sure his bat keeps talking. Don’t impose things, else…well you know Chappell’s number.

8. Retain the Support Staff: Retain Prasad (bowling coach) and Robin Singh (fielding coach). Don’t ape Chappell and make it an excuse for generating employment for your friends. Already you have recruited Paddy Upton. Having Indian support staff also ensures you get the right translations of the abuses hurled at you by the players.

9. Pick Up Bit of Hindi: Well, nothing pleases us more than distorted Hindi words from foreign tongue. For starter, greet people with a NAMASTHAY. If you don’t believe me, ask...not Chappell but fellow Australian Brett Lee, who has made a fortune by now.

10. Keep A Copy of ‘Indian Summers’: This is a must. Read it carefully and you know what it takes to be a successful coach of the Indian team. Call him meek, timid, browbeaten…Wright loved India and India loves him. Chappell was too cocky to understand that and he promptly vanished into wilderness, well almost so.

All the best Gary.

Image: Getty Images


Uncle J rod said...

11 stay in south africa. safer that way.

Som said...

Probably so. But then if you love to be in the thick of things, it's in India. Let's wish him luck, he would need plenty of them.

Poonam said...

Brett Lee made a fortune out of just saying "namasthey"!!!! Come on sir, the man does a lot more than that to earn his money in India.

He works bloody hard for all the moolah he makes.

To start with, he doesn't even need to say namaste for pocketing those millions. I (and mind u there are many like me) think his smile and affable persona can do the trick.

Besides, Binga is one of the rare species of cricketers, who can actually be called a role model for his impeccable on-field and off-field conduct.

Remember, he refused a multi million dollar endorsement contract with an alcohol company because he didn't want kids to see a Test cricketer guzzling booze!!