Written by Staff Writer
17 Apr, 2015 | 1:15 pm
Dean Jones has made an out-of-the-box “two-coach” proposal to India’s cricket bosses who sit down later this month to choose Duncan Fletcher’s replacement.
The Zimbabwean, who replaced Gary Kirsten after the 2011 World Cup, ended his tumultuous assignment with BCCI after India bowed out in the semifinals of the World Cup Down Under.
Jones pointed out India have some great options in Sourav Ganguly (for shorter formats like T20s and ODIs) and Rahul Dravid (Tests). The Aussie said Ravi Shastri should be appointed as the high-performance manager, who will oversee everything.
India’s tryst with foreign coaches has been mixed. Generally, low-profile men have done well in a team where players, across generations, are high on ego. Personality clashes are therefore not uncommon.
Fletcher was a great survivor. After India lost eight Test matches overseas, experts like Sunil Gavaskar wanted the former England coach sacked. But Fletcher completed his full tenure largely due to the support he got from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Fletcher managed to retain his job after India’s horrible show in England last year. Ravi Shastri’s appointment as Team Director somewhat clipped Fletcher’s wings. The decision to appoint Shastri was reportedly taken without keeping Dhoni in the loop. The captain was merely conveyed the BCCI decision over a late-night call.
Jones suggests India should retain Shastri as a high-performance manager. Australia have a similar position under which a coach (Darren Lehman) works. Shastri was India’s director till the recently-concluded World Cup. The new BCCI management may not be willing to retain Shastri in this role and then have a Ganguly and Dravid under him. The equations just don’t work.
Ganguly and Dravid have their hands full with media assignments. Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals mentor, is happy doing short coaching stints and handle his media assignments at the same time. He can balance that much better and would not like to wear a cap of thorns. Invited by Fletcher, he had a short stint with Team India at the start of the England series.
Ganguly is keen to seek a future in cricket administration. He is the joint secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal and hosts a popular reality show on TV. Ganguly remains one of the most sought after TV experts. And Ganguly will certainly not work under Shastri. At best, short assignments as team director may suit him.
Jones’ Australian model sounds nice. “India have enough coaches. No need for a foreigner. Two coaches under Ravi will be great. There is way too much cricket and players hate to see the same face every time,” professed Jones.
India already have two captains – Dhoni for shorter formats and Virat Kohli for Tests. The two-coaches theory looks good on paper but it is impossible to see Shastri, Ganguly, Dravid and Anil Kumble (Jones mentioned him too) working together as coaches.
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