Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pawar's dilemma: To find a leader

As long as the Indian team won about half its one-day matches, which it had done until recently, the board could let things drift even if the performance was below par given the available resources. But an inept coach and weak captain have brought things to such a pass that inaction is not an option with the ad revenue at stake.
Replacing Greg Chappell is the easy part. Dav Whatmore, John Buchanan, Tom Moody or Sandeep Patil -- each one of them has had more success as a coach than Chappell. Of course the board would prefer somebody more pliant, but that can hardly be expected to lift the team out of the morass it finds itself in. Sunil Gavaskar has been plumping for Mohinder Amarnath but that would be another mistake: this time, it should be somebody with coaching, not cricketing, laurels. [Read Blame the board for picking Chappell]
Finding a replacement for Rahul Dravid is trickier because the best qualified for the job is obviously Sourav Ganguly. BCCI chief Pawar would have liked to go with his Maharashtra star Sachin Tendulkar, overlooking his previous failures as captain, except that his form and fitness have brought his own future into question. Kumble has announced his retirement from the one-day game, and none of the younger experienced players can be assured of places in the side. Yuvraj Singh's name has come up, but he only looked good against Bermuda.
Apart from Dravid, Ganguly's the only one who can hold his own in the current team. He has shown amazing mental toughness and self-belief to keep working at his game and fitness to be able to force his way back into the team after a long gap. These are also the traits that made him India's most successful captain. Reinstating him is more likely to rejuvenate Indian cricket than continuing with Dravid or giving Sachin a second chance.


Rita said...

Hmmm... I don't know about that. Sure, Ganguly has shown grit and
determination to fight his way back into the team - but that was a personal point he wanted to prove. While the Ganguly of the initial years of his captaincy would indeed be an ideal choice, I don't know if today's Ganguly is quite the right choice. Will he allow young talent to get a chance, a few of whom could challenge his position, given that he himself is aging? I have serious doubts about that. Will he be above "cronyism" now, as he used to be? I don't think so - given the factionalism that is evident in the team now. Looks like a new Team India has to be built right from scratch - new coach, new captain, et

Rita said...

Carrying on from that... And why not... This is the right time to hunt for young talent (there must be so many waiting in the wings), and groom them for the next World Cup. We need a captain like Ganguly used to be... completely focused on proving himself as a captain, which would naturally entail picking a fighting team, intent on winning. A captain with no old baggage that he carries around. And yes, we need a professional coach to help achieve that - not a BIG NAME.