Earlier in Forum







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

Only Indian coach can fill the bill

It is matter of national shame and speaks volumes for the slavery embedded into the psyche of Macaulay’s disciples that a foreign coach has been appointed for the Indian cricket team.

A coach is not such a rare phenomenon that a nation of over 100 crore people with unparalleled heritage of thousands of years cannot provide. In fact, only minnows need a coach. The Indian team has no dearth of talent. Hence the recent hype about the selection of the coach was most sickening and demeaning. It is high time that our media should start paying more attention to science and creative arts rather than wasting time and energy on trivialities.

Moreover, myriads of coaches can be found among the retired players. Only an Indian, who is conversant with the Indian way of life, can fill the bill.




The pleas for foreign coaches by some to train Indian cricketers perhaps remind us of our colonial mindset. The appointment of "videshi" coaches is not only an insult to the whole country, but it also sends wrong message across the whole world that Indian coaches are not as talented as their foreign counterparts. Indian cricket is not a newly born baby, which needs help to walk. We have very talented cricketers in former players who can coach the team. Paying a hefty amount and parks to foreign coaches a matter of concern while the criticism of our best talented Indian player, who always kept the spirit of the team as well as the country’s flag high, is uncalled for and self-humiliating. It will not do any good to the cricketers and country in future.



Integrity of our veterans is suspect

When no one from the country can get the job done, the board has every right to go for a foreign coach. Many of our former players have either gone on to become selectors, where they make more money, or fixed matches in their playing days, so there’s no point in bringing someone from within. I felt ashamed to back this team and call it my own. From a population of over a billion, if we can not put together a team of 11 committed men, then it would be better if we don’t have a team at all. Don’t make the coach’s appointment such a big issue because it’s the players who perform on the field and not the coach.



Appointment should be result oriented

Globalisation has become an order of the day. In all spheres of economic activities, except for a few select areas concerning national security, several countries have started hiring foreign professionals. The aim is to derive benefits of expertise and specialty. Thus, there is no harm in hiring foreign coaches but the exercise should be result oriented.

Despite having all capabilities and credential to lift the World Cup, the Indian team doesn’t win. In the just-concluded series against Pakistan, the spirit of oneness was missing in the team. The players were found in disarray in almost all departments of the game. To keep the game alive, the winning-spree should be maintained by the players. The traditional weakness and the tendency to succumb to pressure should be curbed.

Nirmal Kumar,


Needed: good coaching centres

In India, where cricket is a religion and Team India has 11 god-like figures, the question of coaching this team is indeed most significant. Any international coach would begin with the aim of beating the best with whatever side he gets. The coach may be an Indian or foreigner, he but must be the ablest.

It has been observed by many that foreign coaches are often more trained and better professional than their Indian counterparts. India does not have enough good coaching centres, which certain other countries have. It is these countries that produce world-class coaches, hence selecting a coach for the Indian team from there is only wise. The criterion for that is merit. Greg Chappell will prove to be a good coach for India.

On e-mail


Pick one from Kapil’s Devils

The coach is there to unite the players and put the team on the winning track. A foreign coach can very easily train the team better, but for the task we have described, only an Indian coach is suitable because only he can know the inner feelings of players. Only he can make them play as a team instead of as individuals. The BCCI may have enough money to hire foreign coaches, but this big amount should instead be paid to the Indian coaches and players to create more facilities for them and raise their standard. The Indian team has won the World Cup once, so at least one member of that winning team must have it in him to become a world-class coach.

On e-mail


Language is a barrier

In our country, where 70 per cent of the population lives in villages, from where most of our players come, the standard of education is not all that good. The players converse in dialect and don’t understand much English, so appointing a foreign coach to train our players will not fully serve our purpose, as it will create a huge communication gap between the players and the coach.

What we need to do is stop the interference of politicians in selections and let the good players emerge for the national team. Then only the real purpose behind appointing a coach will be served. Only then can he motivate and train the players better.

This country has produced some legendary sportsmen on its own, so where is the need to appoint a foreign coach. These coaches not only consume more funds, but also have little knowledge of our culture and playing conditions. Indian coaches are less expensive to get and even understand the environment inside our dressing room.



If it’s Greg, he must be right

I am ever in favour of hiring foreign coaches because of their much wider experience. A foreign coach will never be under pressure from the board regarding selections. All players will be equal in his eye and he can guide the team better. Our last coach, John Wright, proved his mettle and became very successful. He was able to take the team into the final of the World Cup.

The history of sport in India is very old, but we are behind everyone in most sport. India has failed to get an individual gold medal in the Olympics. Greg Chappell, who has recently been chosen as the Indian cricket coach, has been an all-time great player of Australia. This Indian team is slipping; his first priority is to regain the strength and prepare India for the next World Cup. This foreign coach can guide the Indian cricket team with his much better vision, zeal and discipline.



Some things even a coach can’t mend

A foreign coach is not necessary; former Indian captains are fully capable of training the team. Our foreign coach was not able to save us from defeat in the recent India-Pakistan home series. What our cricket needs is the inner strength, some team spirit and self-confidence, which they seem to have been searching. Our cricket players are experienced enough to perform well at the international stage; no coach can create magic, if a player is weak both physically and mentally.

The player himself should have the courage to deliver under stress. Sachin and Sehwag don’t need any coach. The BCCI should select players on the basis of form and not their previous records, and the team will start winning, with or without the foreign coach. The media should not overplay the appointment of the coach and the star status of the players. Players should focus on cricket and not endorsements.

Col BEANT SINGH (retd),
Jalandhar Cantonment


Culture shift a minor problem

The selection and appointment of a coach should be on merit alone. It does not matter whether the coach is Indian or foreigner, but the quality of his experience and his personal traits matter the most.

He should know the intricacies of the game and should also be able to motivate, coordinate, communicate and innovate. He should be a non-partisan person, capable of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the team, confidence builder and an expert in physical training.

Any professional coach can easily study the behaviour pattern of world-level teams. Knowing the regional, physical and psychological background of each member should not be a problem for him. His land of birth should not be the consideration for his selection.



Coach must understand players’ lifestyle

Coaching cannot remain restricted to the cricket playground only. It should encompass overall development of players, both on and off the ground. The coach, therefore, has to be fully conversant with Indian players’ way of life, food habit, physical standard, inter-relationship, social and family strengths and weaknesses, religious beliefs, etc. I doubt that a foreigner may not be able to do that as adequately as required.

Besides, cricket has three distinct areas of play—batting, pace bowling and spin bowling. An expert in one area may not be able to coach the players well enough in other areas. Even an all-rounder, who is generally a good batsman and a bowler, will also not suffice. Does that call for three coaches? I think we should seriously deliberate on this point.

Wg-Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd),


Have faith in our own talent

The moot question concerning the appointment of a coach can be answered by selecting an efficient all-rounder who is experienced and friendly. I perceive that an Indian coach has the ability to fit into the role. Apart from other qualities, he has an added advantage of knowing the psyche of players. Instead of running after foreign coaches, we should have faith in our own talent. Moreover, have you ever seen any country asking for the services of an Indian coach? So think wisely as well as economically and choose the coach from the best of Indian cricketers like Sunil Gavasker, Kapil Dev, etc., who had won the World Cup in 1983 without a coach.



Nationality shouldn’t matter

India needs a qualified coach to train the cricket team for the World Cup to be held in 2007. The coach should have the following inherent qualities:

Firstly, he should be a skilled man who knows all the intricacies of the modern cricket. He should be man of practical experience and cricketer par excellence. Modern cricket needs a specialist batsman, seamer, spinner and wicketkeeper. Thus, he should be an expert of the game and a man of alert mind and decisive nature. There should not be any question mark on his competency and sincerity towards the game and the team.

Secondly, he should be a man of discipline, integrity and impartial behaviour. He should be an inquisitor who can find out the hidden talent in the players. His work and conduct should be above board. The elements of his being coach should find superiorly in the minds of players. The team should have confidence in his teachings. He should be a man of steering qualities and dominance. The players and coach should work in unison to carry forward the mission of success.

Lastly, the appointment of a coach shouldn’t be questioned on the ground of nationality. Thus, the appointment of Greg Chappell as Indian cricket coach finds credence and merit, and appears to be justified one.

Charkhi Dadri


Wright was the right choice

Everyone can err, and a coach is no exception. However, the question is: are we prepared to back the decisions taken by a foreign coach in a sporting spirit? The answer is: "No, we are not" How can we back a foreigner when we don’t even stand by our own players? Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly had not much success with the bat during former India coach John Wright’s tenure. What happens if Dravid and Sehwag lose their form under new coach Greg Chappel? We would again start shouting at the coach, not because Dravid and Sehwag are our main batsmen but because the coach is a foreigner.

We should know that a coach is nothing but a guide and a teacher whose duty is to point out mistakes and give suggestions to rectify them. In the end, it is the player who has to perform on the ground.

As far as the foreign coach issue is concerned, Tendulkar’s dream-run in international cricket was when Indian coaches were at the helm. Does it mean that John Wright was no good? I think he was better than all other Indian coaches. He was a man of integrity who made Indian players play like a unit. It was a rare achievement that showed that team interests are more important than a player’s individual performance.

Today, India needs a coach who can maximise player’s potential and can benefit the whole team. But when even a Ranji team like Punjab can’t find a professional cricket coach within the country, how can the national team find one?




Gone are the days when foreign teams were used to get Sachin out as early as possible hoping that Team India would crumble after his exit. What Anshuman, Kapil and Co. couldn’t achieve, John Wright did the trick for India. He made the team play like a unit. Barring the recently-concluded series against archrivals Pakistan, the Indian team has reasonably done well at the international level. Victories in the World Cup, Australia and Pakistan, besides the Test ranking to No. 2 slot, are to name a few. The top guns at the BCCI have enough faith in a foreigner and that is why Wright continued with his job for about five years. In the present scenario, foreign "Dronacharayas" are here to stay. Let’s wait and see what janamghuti does Chappel have for Team India.

Nawan Shahr


Adopt a psychological approach

The mental attitude of the Indian cricket team, especially during the crisis situation, is invariably struck with dismay, for which foreign coaches cannot be of much help as their evaluation and efforts to get required results generally do not match the Indian environment and psychology of players. Instead, an Indian coach can better understand players’ bent of mind under such situations and may come up with more satisfying results. As there is no dearth of talented players in India, their performance can definitely be improved through sustained psychological approach, besides giving equal attention to their physical fitness.



Pursue a policy that has paid dividends

The real answer doesn’t lie in the nationality of a coach but in his vision, ability and capability. A foreign coach has an upper hand because he is well-versed with the modern coaching techniques, which are frequently used at the domestic and international levels. And cricket is a mind game. A coach has to develop strategies based on the performance, strength and weakness of his players as well as those of the rivals. He should have analytical ability and flexibility to counter challenges. In countries like Australia and England, coaches have to pass A, B and C grade exams. Thus, they are well aware of modern scientific techniques.

A foreign coach has no regional bias towards any player, thus making his role non-partisan in the selection process. This particular quality will also help encourage fresh talent and develop bench strength. The previous experience of the foreign support staff—coach, physio, trainer and psychologist—has been encouraging. So, why not pursue a policy that has paid dividends? On the other hand, no one is closing doors on Indian coaches. As and when a good prospect emerges, they will have their chances.

Chail (HP)



While selecting the coach for Team India, his performance, excellence and expertise in the field should be taken into account. Only that person should be appointed as coach who has the capability to take the team to the commanding heights.

A foreign coach should be preferred because he is imbued with broad outlook and can apply innovative ideas and use techniques more rationally than an Indian coach.

The present age of stiff competition requires the excellence of the team in all aspects of the game. An Indian coach is not suitable for this responsibility due to following reasons: Firstly, in his selection, political and other factors play more role than his ability and excellence. Secondly, the bias and prejudices between the Indian coach and players are inevitable, which ultimately hinder the performance of the team. Thirdly, India lacks confident and will-powered cricketers. That is why only a couple of Indian players applied for the post. The man who himself lacks confidence of getting selected or rejected by the Board, how can he boost the confidence and morale of the players?

Dera Bassi


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