Home > Features >

India’s coaching saga: Need stable options leading up to the ICC World Cup 2015

Is Ravi Shastri's appointment is the permanent solution for India? © Getty Images
Is Ravi Shastri’s appointment the permanent solution of India’s problems? © Getty Images

In 2007, India appointed cricket managers as they went about searching for a coach. Back then, Ravi Shastri was the first man to take charge after the World Cup debacle and began the rebuilding process. However, seven years down the line, India do not have the luxury of time and may have to choose a stable support staff ahead of the 2015 World Cup, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.

The last time Ravi Shastri took charge of an Indian team, it was a demoralized unit that had faced ignominy at the 2007 World Cup. The famed stars had failed to turn up at the big event resulting in humiliating defeats against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which saw India’s ouster in the first round. Greg Chappell’s stormy regime had run its course with a public war of words between the coach and the players. Amidst all the drama, Shastri was appointed the cricket manager for the tour to Bangladesh; Rahul Dravid was retained as captain and a few youngsters were taken on the tour.

The presence of Shastri was quite significant. Since 2000, India had only foreign coaches dealing with the players — apart from one series in 2003 where Ashok Malhotra filled in for John Wright. In bringing a former India cricket, one who had travelled with the side as a commentator after his playing days, the management relief on Shastri’s experience to commence the rebuilding phase. On what was a good tour, India managed to gain some confidence and Shastri had done a decent job. It was supposed to be the only series with the manager in place as the search for the coach was on.

However, the coach-hunt of 2007 was perhaps the most dramatic in Indian cricket history. Dav Whatmore very nearly became the coach, but was then handed a job at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). John Emburey and Graham Ford flew in for the interviews with the latter winning the race. But, Ford went on to decline the job and stayed on at his county. India were left with no option but to stay on with the cricket-manager. Chandu Borde was summoned for the tour to England and Ireland.

Borde’s presence in the Indian dressing room was praised by some of the players — Sourav Ganguly being one of them. In fact, in an interview with CricketCountry, Borde revealed how he worked with the side. When Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed while playing an iffy shot during a One-Day International (ODI), Borde approached him as a mentor and pointed the error. Tendulkar then requested his presence at the nets to work on the mistake. Thus, Borde was more a mentor who took care of cricketing affairs and passed on his knowledge and advice when needed.

With the first edition of the ICC World T20 2007 approaching, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) opted for the younger Lalchand Rajput. The former Mumbai opener had his experience in dealing with age group sides and had made his plans for the tournament. In partnership with MS Dhoni, Rajput masterminded India’s remarkable victory and then held on with the team until the end of the Australia tour in 2008. Meanwhile , Gary Kirsten entered the foray and took over in March 2008. Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh remained as the batting and fielding coaches respectively.

Though the post of the cricket manager shifted between three men, India did manage to rebuild and regained its lost footing. Within a year of the 2007 World Cup disappointment, they managed to win a Test series in England, clinched the World T20, won a Test in Australia and took the Commonwealth Bank (CB) Down Under. It was quite an interesting phase as India found its seniors getting back into rhythm and MS Dhoni emerged as a future captain.

Most of that consistency came when Rajput was in charge. He held on to his spot longer than the others and that is when the young guard gradually came into shape in one-day cricket. Kirsten then took over from there and built that side in the lead-up to the 2011 World Cup. Thus, having such cricket managers could work for a few sides but there has to be a clear vision. The last time, India had four years to go for the World Cup, a luxury they don’t have now.

With a few months to go for the World Cup, India should be clear about their coaching options. The word is that Shastri’s appointment could be a warning for Duncan Fletcher and BCCI may accept if he resigns. But, a similar cricket-manager scenario may not be ideal with the World Cup to come. India can still find stability ahead of the big event. Though there are a few months left, it still is a lot of time.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Phil Hughes injury: Indian team sends its best wishes

India’s bowling performance on Day One of tour of Australia is a promising sign

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can India afford such a rigorous tour just ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Cheteshwar Pujara faces crucial series in Australia following England nightmare

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes injury: Current round of Sheffield Shield called off

Phillip Hughes to have more scans after surgery

Sachin Tendulkar to meet Sports Minister to discuss Sarita Devi ban

Sourav Ganguly: Fights and controversies are a part of sport

Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Playing It My Way’ launches in Delhi

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and other uncapped players who impressed in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15

Karnataka’s team spirit is their secret to phenomenal success in recent times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 27 of your pregnancy

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s greed ruins Praneet Bhat’s opportunity to meet his girlfriend

What was Abhishek Bachchan’s T-shirt doing on Priyamani’s bed?

Indian-American Singer Dixi Patel’s Journey with Music Helps her Excel in Life

Revealed — number of calories in different types of milk

ISL 2014: Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone could attend Indian Super League semi-final if Atletico de Kolkata qualify

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here