Thursday, November 29, 2007

Requirements of a coach

-by KParthasarathi Thursday, November 29, 2007
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It appears that the former South African opener Gary Kirsten may be appointed as the coach for Indian team ending the long period of speculation.His credentials for the job as is understood from media are :

-has scored about 7000 runs each in both forms of cricket as an opener
-had the determination and ability to bat for long periods and a hunger for scoring runs
-is calm, level-headed and organised
-was a consultant batting coach for some team
-runs his own cricket academy in Cape Town since 2006.

Nothing spectacular about him except that he was one of the many good batsmen in the world of cricket. There are many other illustrious names with bigger coaching experience at national and international levels. There are many players in the current Indian team with equal or greater achievements to their credit. It would not have been the intention of the committee, which finalized on this name, that Kirsten would be teaching these seniors a few tricks of the trade they are not already aware of. May be they did not keep in mind the sensibilities of the senior players in choosing an individual who is at best an equal and not anything more. May be after the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the tenure of Chappell and the subsequent refusal of a coach to join after selection, there are not many big names willing to handle the job except on their own terms.We will never know what factors influenced the selectors to pitch upon Kirsten.
While excellence as a player for long years at the highest level, be they in batting or bowling, is an essential requirement, it alone is not sufficient. There must be proven evidence of having coached reputed teams of the top three or four countries in the cricket world. This requirement is not met in the instant case.The coach must have also exhibited outstanding man-management skills and capacity to motivate. He must be one who can command the respect and inspire the awe by his past records and profound knowledge of the game and proven ability to strategize for the team in big tournaments. He should have a long term vision and know the direction for taking the team.In the case of Indian team which has big men with bigger reputation and earning capacity, the coach should also be a superman even to make them listen.Remember the ordeal that Chappell went thro with some of the rebelliousplayers.
I do not know about Kristen’s capabilities to meet the high demands of coaching an Indian team and fondly hope that the wise heads who have selected him have taken note of these points.I do hope that the senior players would cooperate with the coach instead of belittling his efforts by devious ways.It would be nice if the current bowling and fielding coaches are also made part of the coaching scheme so that the good work being done by them is not lost.

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