Does Team India really need a coach now?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jun 2017 13:37:43





By Rahul Dixit

“THE only good coach is the one that takes the players to the ground,” spin legend Shane Warne’s sneer for coaches in international cricket is well known. The Australian leggie’s distaste for coaches stemmed from the hatred he had for then national coach John Buchanan. And yet the two lived on, in a marauding Aussie team.
It is not known whether Virat Kohli is a big fan of Shane Warne’s way of life. But Anil Kumble’s resignation has brought to fore his distaste for the coach, who is not a ‘yes man’. The Kohli-Kumble saga has opened up an entirely new chapter in Indian cricket. The moot question that should not be missed is; When the captain wants his writ all the way, do we really need a coach for Team India?
Kumble’s resignation has certainly cast questions over Kohli’s demanding attitude. The pair was always going to be a Fire-n-Ice combination. But never did one think that the chemistry would melt so quickly and trigger ouster of one of Indian cricket’s true servants.
In Indian cricket the captain runs full charge of the team. It has been a practice for years. He also has a say in choice of the coach. So did the Cricket Advisory Committee -- comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman -- not take Kohli into confidence while appointing Kumble as the chief coach a year ago? In last one year, there was hardly any issue where the coach and captain had differences. Both used their aggressive ways in winning Tests, ODIs and T20s. Both got the wickets they wanted in last home season. Both got the team combination of their choice. So what brought in a sudden change that Kohli developed a dislike for Kumble’s ‘style’ of functioning?
These are pricking questions which only Kohli can answer. For all his straight-forward ways the Indian captain was totally off the mark when he chose to deny the differences between him and Kumble. Now that the truth is out he needs to come out clean on the issue.
The episode has certainly left a bad taste in cricket lovers’ mouth. Nobody expected such a treatment to a former legend. Not even Tendulkar, Laxman or Ganguly were able to convince Kohli. It sets a dangerous precedent of a captain overpowering the authorities.
The BCCI, run by whomsoever, was never going to take a step to diffuse the tension. Nor the Committee of Administrators (CoA) showed guts to put its foot down. That begs another question; What is the CoA there for? It cannot make the BCCI fall in line, it cannot implement the Supreme Court order on Justice RM Lodha reforms. The resignation of one of its members, Ramachandra Guha, has hinted at the CoA pandering to totally wrong policies of the BCCI. The mess still stinks despite the Apex Court’s clean-up order.
The Kumble episode also points towards the utility of the CAC. After going through the process (ill-timed) of interviewing coach candidates what if their next choice is not compatible with Kohli? It is better to release the greats of the game from doing the dirty work of choosing a candidate whose future is not known to them.
Kumble’s ouster has also sent a bad signal to the aspirants for the most famous post in world cricket. Their CVs might have the laurels on the field in their hey days but the only thing mandatory would be their ‘style’ of coaching. It must get the stamp of approval from the all-important Indian captain.
Given Kohli’s position in Indian cricket it would be better if BCCI arranges a “coach that takes the players to the ground”.