Saturday, May 21, 2005

Predictable Outcome, Uncertain Future

One of the two front-runners for the post, Greg Chappell has got the Indian coaching job. Good. Now that we got that sorted out, we can focus on actually doing something on the ground. Playing cricket and winning, namely. Of course, the board still has to sort out the thornier issue of captaincy, even though in the minds of many it's a no-brainer. I don't think that's necessarily the case and Ganguly could be back after the suspension, but I could be wrong. One of the notable aspects of the whole coaching position affair was that being Indian actually seemed to be a handicap. This is something unique to the sub-continent - all the coaches are from overseas, even though Dave Whatmore has Asian lineage. This does have a lot to do with a shortage of qualified coaches. However, Farrokh Engineer was quoted on BBC as saying that somehow he felt the players would better respond to an overseas coach better. This also seems to be prevailing view among fans, both lay and knowledgeable, and of course, among media people. I think it says something about the character of our part of the world. And being able to use a laptop was made out to be an important criterion for the position. I'm not sure whether the selection panel actually agreed with that assessment, but let's think about this, is Alex Ferguson an expert on the latest cool app from Apple? Or is Felipe Scolari? Does anyone even ask the question? The laptop, I think rather fancifully, has become sort of emblematic for modern coaching methods. Frankly, most of us are talking through our hats when we talk about these modern methods. What are they, exactly? And how does one establish if Mohinder Amarnath actually knows about these? Going by his sound bites, as unimpressive as they sounded? It was also amusing to see the (Indian and other) media talk up the prospects of Tom Moody, in particular citing his being a part of two World Cup winning teams. He hardly got off the bench in 1987 when he was quite young, and was an important utility member of the side in '99. Compare that with Amarnath who was the player of the tournament in '83. The point is not that it makes Amarnath better qualified; it's just about the garbage that gets printed as if it were the gospel. There can no doubt of course about the cricketing credentials of Chappell, even though enough people are skeptical about his coaching resume. My take on that is, coaching in international cricket is still in infancy, and so if we look for a proven international coach, we'll end up with a pool of about five people. There is already a great deal of speculation about whether he will gel with Ganguly or Dravid etc. It is just speculation (more garbage). Well, he is the coach now, period. If someone in the team has an issue with that, he can either put aside his personal preferences, or find out an alternative means of living. - NK


Blogger shakester said...

Fair enough. Let's get on with it. Enough time has been wasted looking for a coach, though I don't see the Coach coming down and spending time with the people that matter anytime soon.

As for the technology issue, the laptop comment itself may have been abit of a flat joke and nothing more. But I think it would be right to say that Amaranath has come off as being a little disconnected with the immersion of technology in the game today. And while a foreigner being a good choice because he is a foreigner doesn't make sense, neither does Amarntah's pseudo patriotic calls for him being chosen.
I would think Ganguky for one would be very happy. In terms of 'gelling' with the coach, I mean. I, too would be surprised if he is removed from the captaincy right now.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Gameboys said...

AKR, I agree, Amarnath didn't come off too brightly there and his comment was crude and in bad taste.

- NK

1:06 PM  

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