I know I shouldn’t go there again. But its a perspective I want to share.
For those that haven’t read Steve Waugh’s 800 odd page opus “Out of My Comfort Zone”, please do. Its an amazing study into the mind of a cricketer and human being that stretches his boundaries to optimise his potential and live his life to the fullest.
Steve Waugh’s obviously somebody Rahul Dravid seriously believes in. And vice versa. When you consider that Dravid is the one who’s written the foreword to the book. Consider then this extract about the relationship between the captain and the coach’s methods.
This is Steve Waugh about John Buchanan.
I was learning more and more that being on tour as a leader invariably involved dealing with issues before they became major problems. I have always believed in the policy of praising in public. criticising in private. As soon as criticism is out in the public arena, a different spin can get placed on it and a wedge can be put in the team mechanics. When coach Buchanan in his well intentioned way questioned Warney’s fitness and future place in the side through the media, he may have meant to inspire, but all he did was alienate. This ploy may have worked when Buck was in charge of Queensland, working with a lower-profile player on the way up who might have found such a public challenge motivational, but in Shane he picked his mark poorly. It was Buck’s first real blunder as coach, and after 24 hours of mulling over the situation I organised for the three of us to get together and work through it. Shane saw it as a cheap shot that should have been discussed face to face, and the coach admitted that would have been a better plan.
Also brewing in the background on this tour was a Buchanan – Bernard feud that at one stage had them dealing with each other through intermediaries. Buck was always going to ruffle a few feathers with his strong opinions and ways of doing business, which was 100 percent full-on and at times inflexible. His great strengths were his vision and his proactiveness, but at the same time, if you didn’t entertain his ideas you could get left behind. As Buck tried to move in a different direction to the one Steve preferred, our manager felt like his authority and place in the pecking order were being challenged. It was a clear case of the ‘old school’ clashing with a new wave of change and neither wanting to give ground. Egos are not exclusive to players and the existence of a disruptive support group will often be reflected in a team’s results. It was a distraction I didn’t need and one they had to sort out, which they did after the tour.
Even ignoring the fact that Steve Waugh was of the opinion that Greg Chappell was not the right person to coach India, I think the parallels to the Chappell tenure are many. They probably are in most team situations. Chances are they are in most work situations as well. Did Dravid deal with the issues with the same authority as Steve Waugh did ? We know he did in Multan. But that was John Wright. . How about under Greg Chappell ? Somehow, that seems less certain.