Earlier in Forum







Q: Should foreign coaches be appointed for the Indian cricket team?
This is the second instalment of readers’ response

Foreign coach, Indian assistants; howzzat?

The main criterion to select a coach should not be his nationality. One should be selected for his capabilities to get the best talent out of the guys and imbibe enthusiasm in them to cultivate their minds towards achieving success for the nation.

The new foreign coach should be able to take the team to the next level. We don’t expect him to be biased. He is experienced, keen and confident, but players should have faith in him. He should not hesitate to consult or take the services of another specialist for all-round development of his pupils; he could have Indian support staff.

In India, where there is an ancient but relevant slogan like Vasudeva Kutumbakam (all the world’s a family), people should not debate over the nationality of a "guru".



Chappell plays to win

It doesn’t matter whether the coach is an Indian or non-Indian. A non-Indian coach with a wider experience of international cricket will certainly be better for the Indian cricket. India should hire a professional coach who always showed a winning spirit in his playing days. Our motto should be: "To be a champion, learn from a champion." That champion may be an Indian or a non-Indian.

At this time, the Indian cricket team needs a coach like Greg Chappell, a cricketer known for his optimism and play-to-win attitude. Presently, this non-Indian looks far better than any Indian as a coach on the basis of his "experience" as a player and a coach. He could be the sign of a bright new future dawning for the Indian cricket.

Paonta Sahib

Players’ selection matters more

Right game at the right time should be the guiding principle for better results. Foreign coaches do not solve our problem, as we can learn from coach John Wright. Talented cricketers should be picked at the school level and developed without corrupting their natural style. Coaches destroy natural flair.

Players’ selection should be fair and the formula of giving equal representation to each region should be discouraged during selections. Selection of players should hold more weight and selection of foreign coaches should not be given much weightage.

Stress should be on including morally upright and disciplined sportsmen in the team. Good pitches and modern technical support should be offered to players. The government should offer jobs to talented international cricketers who are consistent performers. Only then Indian coaches will serve their purpose.



Have faith in Indian coaches

It is not a matter of selecting a coach. What is required is developing sportsmanship in players and coaches. The remark by fearsome fast bowler Jeff Thompson that "I want to see blood on the pitch" symbolises the killer instinct in Australian players.

Still, there are instances where foreign coaches failed and were replaced; and the expenses and time spent on them were wasted. If our country hires an Indian cricket veteran as coach, he is not going to be any better or worse than a foreign coach.

Foreign coach may not show a superior outcome every time. Secondly, he will demand huge money from the Indian cricket board. Foreign coaches are also not well cognizant with the psychology of Indian cricket players, so it takes time for them to understand each player.

When we have our own greats with excellent record, why do we wait for a foreigner to get us out of trouble? Indian coaches will put their best effort, because they are well aware of the cricket-mania in India. Give them an opening.



Situation isn’t all that desperate

The present Indian cricket team is the strongest among all sides, only because of its hard work and devotion. Last year, the team won much of its matches because of sheer will and hard work.

Foreign coaches are now being appointed for the Indian team, but I think our team will do very well with Indian coaches. I don’t think they’ll perform any better or worse.

The state teams are doing well with Indian coaches. Secondly, foreign coaches should be appointed for the Indian team only if the best Indian coaches have failed. The Indian team shows no sign that it desperately needs a foreign coach.



We can’t limit our search

A coach is an instructor who breathes enthusiasm and confidence into the team. Indian cricketers have the potential, but they are incapable of converting this into performance. Lately their performance has slipped further, so they need someone who can teach them to perform under pressure and up to the last ball.

Only a person who is well organised, unbiased and a good organiser and has the right aptitude can bind the team together. We should not confine our search for the coach to Indians alone.

The BCCI has very rightly selected Greg Chappell to coach Team India. Apart from being a likeable and nice fellow, he is a seasoned professional cricketer and master strategist, who commands a great respect. Given a free hand, he will surely take us to the top again.



Tap into the local talent pool

The debate on the appointment of a coach for the Indian cricket team was laid to rest with Australian Greg Chappell picking up the job. As a discerning student of cricket, I feel that a foreign coach is not the remedy for reviving Indian cricket.

We in India are not prepared to acknowledge the rich wealth of our cricketing talent—the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil and Ajit Wadekar, who can vie with the best of the foreign coaches.

Most of our cricketers come from the middle-class background and language always remains a big drawback for them. In this situation, an Indian coach is an ideal choice. It is wrong to say that only a foreign coach is unbiased and more committed. Can anybody doubt the commitment of Kapil or Gavaskar? We Indians have a knack for running down our own people in all walks of life and cricket is no exception. A reassuring pat on the back from an Indian legend would help a cricketer more than the long drawn out sermons of a foreign coach.


Judge him on all counts

Cricket has become more of a psychological battle. There has been a quantum jump in the level of competition and expectations. Players, nowadays, are always under pressure to perform due to this factor, the role of coach has become pivotal.

Only a person of great capability and merit should be appointed the team coach. The other questions the board should look into are the following: Is he a good counsellor? Is he technically perfect? Can he bring out the best in a team?

Can he keep the team united? Can he improve the psychological level of players? Can he spot the flaws in the players’ technique and rectify those? Can he make the team perform consistently? Is he able to work out new ideas? How he takes criticism?

Above all, the board should ask itself whether the selection was in a democratic way and had it exhausted all the local options first?


No Indian coach got full term

Looking back to the statistics of the former Indian coaches, it was only John Wright who completed his term of contract (November, 2000, to May, 2005). No coach who belonged to Indian origin did that before him. Foreign coach will give the players an equal opportunity to showcase their talent. There will be no bias in his selection of players. Players are more eager to learn the latest skills and techniques and also put these into practice.



We need to win abroad

Foreign coaches are impartial and their technical knowledge is more advanced. Politics and money game in the gentlemen’s sport is a cause of worry. Foreign coaches will curb, to a great extent, regionalism, nepotism and favouritism in the selection process.

It cannot be said that Indian coaches were not tested; before John Wright, India had only Indian coaches, but they got entangled in one controversy or the other before they could finish their tenures and, subsequently, had to be removed from their post. In contrast, John Wright was clean and he produced the best results for India, both on the Indian soil and on tour.

Foreign coaches generally promote offensive and attacking tactics. Only a high-handed foreign coach can tackle star players like Sachin, Dravid and Sehwag. Only foreign coaches could teach us best how to improve our results on foreign pitches and counter pressure tactics.



Get the best

If we have set a target to be among the best in the world, then we should pick everything that is best, including the coach. He can be from our own country or from outside. The emphasis should be on getting the best in the world. Then, the best players, of solid constitution, need to be short listed and handed over to the new coach. The grounds, the equipment and the diet also need to be up to the international standard and this process should continue.

On e-mail


"Cricket now belongs to millions of its fans on this Earth. It’s the most competitive of all sport. Cricket boards of all nations have long been organising themselves in the pursuit of finding and supporting the best players and teams. In India, cricket fans just tend to be crazier and even go to the extent of pelting their stars with stones, if they don’t perform every single time they enter the ground. Indian fans no longer tolerate a Sachin who loses even one point in the rating. It’s a trend catching up in all countries, so the time has come when only the best in the world should be hired as coach; his nationality doesn’t matter."




Divided board finds it best to look out

No foreign coaches should be appointed for the Indian cricket team. India has produced great cricketers and, given an opportunity, they can produce better results. I think local coaches are not given a free hand to take crucial decisions, especially when it comes to disciplining our superstar players.

The BCCI ‘s fascination for foreign coaches is based on factors they’d not like to admit. An important factor is that BCCI does not want to build up the local talent, as it feel that, in future, this local talent might pose a threat to them in one way or the other. There are a lot of lobbies within BCCI and these are not able to decide among themselves which local talent to pick, so they decide to have a foreign coach.

Our slavish mentality and inferiority complex is also to blame for this. The other reason can be that the BCCI thinks that a local coach cannot handle our superstars properly.


To learn to face the pace, we need Greg

A coach conditions the team mentally, solves their problems by offering apt solutions and analyses their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Team India takes time in adapting to conditions on the foreign soil. The batting falters on seaming and bouncy pitches. A foreign coach can solve these problems better than an Indian coach.

The interviews for selecting the Indian coach suggested that Mohinder Amarnath was not judged fairly, but the fact is that Greg Chappell’s presentation was more detailed and he was analysed the capabilities of every player in a much better way than his nearest rival.

In India, cricket is a rich sport and the BCCI can afford to hire a foreign coach. The past few years have shown how John Wright was more helpful for our team as compared to Anshuman Gaekward and company. The panellists—Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, S. K. Nayar, Jagmohan Dalmiya and Ranbir Mahendra—have made the best possible choice for our team.



BCCI has dumped Indian coaches

It is matter of shame for India, a country of 110 crore, if we have to hire a foreign coach for our cricket team. In India, extraordinary brains are working in various undiscovered fields and a devising their own novel training methods. Can’t we pick a coach out of them? Many of them are in the country and are already sharing their experience with budding cricketers.

They can be compensated according to their ability to guide the Indian team and share with it their views on the influx of technology. We will get many great Indian coacher, if we offer a level playing field to the Indian and foreign coaches. Their success on this part will definitely be proved. The BCCI should consider, in nation’s interest, trying out Indian coach/coaches before it reaches out to a foreigner.



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