Monday, July 02, 2007

India's triumph in Ireland: Freedom from the tyranny of coach?

By John Cheeran
It would be foolish to assume that not having a coach has worked wonders for the Indian cricket team. They have beaten Bangladesh in their own den, and now have clinched the three match series over South Africa, the No 2 One-day side, away from India, in the face of a fever and common cold outbreak.
And there was no Greg Chappell in Ireland and Bangladesh to put Rahul Dravid and company through their paces. No thinking hats, no rope way danglings.
Is not having a coach such a morale booster for this side?
Or was it the fact that there were certain changes in the team composition, notable among them the dumping of Virender Sehwag?
Absence of Sehwag has ensured that Dinesh Karthick gets his opportunity purely as a batsman. The Tamil Nadu man is capable of thinking on his feet and someone who thrives in crisis and these two attributes come to the fore in a tantalizing scoreboard chase.
In India’s Future Cup victory over South Africa, the imprint left by Sachin Tendulkar’s bat is far too obvious not to be seen. Tendulkar is back to his preferred opener’s slot. Though Tendulkar lost opportunities to score centuries he has grabbed the chance to disprove a theory by giving India a solid platform for victory.
Here it would not be amiss to quote my driver when he commented in the wake of India’s first-match loss to South Africa, after Tendulkar ran himself out at 99. “How could India win this match? Whenever Tendulkar scores heavily (read century), India loses the match.”
It is not the statistics that should worry one, and even Tendulkar.
It is the sentiment.
And Tendulkar has done his best to reverse that sentiment sacrificing his centuries and in the process playing with a sense of urgency in Ireland. Let’s us note that opening the innings in One-dayers, indeed, is a vantage point for a batsman, and especially so for someone of the caliber of Tendulkar.
It is no secret that India’s last coach Chappell looked at things rather differently. Chappell had convinced skipper Dravid that India’s problem in one-dayers is our inability to handle the last 15 overs well. Chappell believed that failure to consolidate the scoring in the last 15 overs took the match away from India’s grip. Chappell wanted Tendulkar to ‘fix’ this condition and the Chinese whisper had it that the Mumbai hero was not at all amused with his downgrading to the middle order.
I’m not too jumpy at these turns and twists in Indian cricket. Greater challenges are ahead of Dravid and his men. The immediate one is the clashes against Pakistan. And, then, there are the Test and one-day series against England. India, like any other team in the fray, are bound to taste success as well as defeats.
To form an opinion at this stage of the ‘freedom from the tyranny of coach’ should wait till the series against England is played out fully.
For the BCCI, they can point out to their trenchant critics to the infinite wisdom the 72-year-old Chandu Borde has brought into the Indian dressing room.
May be Sharad Pawar has known it all along. All things come to pass.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged