Right man, wrong job …

India’s looking for a coach. They say Dav Whatmore’s a frontrunner and I have thoughts on that. I like Sandeep Patil too. And I have thoughts on why he could be the one as well. But thats not what this post is about. Hopefully its not even about an Indian coach.

A few days ago, I read this report. As much for the quality of the language as for its content, I thought it was a joke. A cricket manager and 3 other managers for various disciplines? Plus shrink and physio and media manager surely. Naah…

Then, this ! Ashok Mankad and Ajit Wadekar (this was getting a bit closer to the Bombay lobby) talking about Gundappa Vishwanath as coach ? Seriously. Vishy?

All one associated with him were “nice guy” things. Delectable square cuts. Awesome timing. Touch play. Recalling Bob Taylor. Losing the Jubilee Test. Walking when he nicked it without waiting for the umpire. Gentleman. 1970s. An age long gone.
Hadn’t heard much in a while apart from during rain breaks occassionally when people would talk about his play with nostalgia.

So I did a search. Cricinfo. “Gundappa Vishwanath” . Try it. Apart from making those lists of great run chases and wonderful innings or Sunny Gavaskar calling him the greatest ever at some felicitation, you’ll see that he probably only surfaced when he banned Shoaib Akhtar for 2 ODIs for ball tampering and fined him 75% of his match fee (even thats pretty gentlemanly), in 2003 in Sri Lanka.

But apart from that, Gundappa Vishwanath has been very media shy. Quite unlike Greg Chappell. And has really no record of a “performance manager” that we seem to be looking for.

Then I tried another search. Luck. A Rediff Interview . And whats better, just after our World Cup exit. So maybe some signs of a solution or something constructive, the desire to put up one’s hand and want to be counted, some deep rooted analysis which escapes the common eye…?

Read on.

Lets just leave him as my idol of the 70s for things that we associated with the times….


9 thoughts on “Right man, wrong job …

  1. Funny thing happened on the way to Brisbane – in the aftermath of the Chappell resignation, Australian papers were full of reports of GC being offered Tim Nielson’s job as head of the CoE. This happened immediately after the BCCI offered Chappell a role in the NCA.

    If reports now are to be believed, it is India’s Mr Wright who will be given that job after all.

    So, what did CA know that the BCCI has been oblivious of?

    John Wright was the only Indian coach who was picked for the job based on what he brought to the plate.

    Also interesting in his selection was that his name was pushed for by the players, he was not someone imposed on them.

    That he did not get the latitude to work the way he wanted to can be attributed to the reservations the BCCI had vis a vis a foreign coach.

    With Chappell we did a 180. Chappell came, not because of the players, but because the captain willed it.

    During his tenure, the BCCI bent over backwards to accommodate him and his suggestions.

    And we know what happened next.

    So, long story short, what is the expectation from the new coach? And how much latitude will the BCCI allow him to get on with his work?

    I think these are the questions tht need to be answered and based on those answers, we need to find the best fit for the job.

  2. I know what you mean, Homer. As far as ideas on what to do go, we really seem to be running on empty….

    I just wanted to vent stuff about Vishy….
    For a guy that was part of the first Test I ever saw live at a ground (against Pak in Bangalore), I don’t know why the idea of him being coach in 2007, just makes me wanna scream.

    Then I read that interview… and I wondered what is somebody thinking ?!

    There’s a great Police song called
    “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” … Its from an album called Zenyata Mondata ..
    The songs is about verbal miscommunication. Or at least thats what I think its about 🙂

    I dunno why I said that ….

  3. Coming back to what you said tho, Homer –

    Firstly , read somewhere that the kiwis are almost feeling let down that John Wright would even consider coaching the Aussies? Maybe just a stray article somewhere tho ..

    More importantly tho, I think whether true or not , we somehow have been left with this perception that John Wright worked with the team while Greg Chappell almost ran it. I dont think either are true. And I think they’re as much reflections on Ganguly and Dravid as they are on Wright and Wrong, sorry Chappell.

  4. Well Sfx, I am not so sure about writing off the guy.. I have no idea what he is looking to do, whats his process (this one’s for homer -) ) etc etc.. But maybe he is better than Jimmy Amarnath who sings ‘Mere desh premiyon’ on DD.. He called the selectors a bunch of jokers.. I am not too sure about his funny bone either..
    Maybe Vishy is the one who may change our fortunes.. Why not? I think any one’s better than Dav Whatmore

  5. Rahul

    He’s batting coach at NCA (did you know that ? honestly ?) . Thats about it.

    But seriously its not about a batting coach is it ? And its not about Karnataka or being a gentleman like Mankad and Wadekar suggest either. And what part of that interview suggests a man who is looking at a world cup loss with any degree of rationale ?

    For me the scary part is exactly that – that he is not being counted out… And yes, he might be a good coach – but there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that. Being a good sport and a respected cricketer and belonging to the same state as the incumbent captain are not recipes for success.

    If I look at the guys that did well the last few years as coaches and try and find similar characteristics with GR, I come up with ….?

  6. Well all I am saying is that the other names floating around are not exactly eminent are they? Jimmy Amarnath/ S Venkat (come on not him!!!!!!), Dav Whatmore.. Well no one inspires any confidence.. In that case might as well have GR Vishy.. As in y not him.. I am not saying he shud be the coach but its like having W Jaffer as an opener.. You dont have too many options do you? U can try and find out wat Sunny had to say abt Dav in his mid day column

  7. Thats the other amazing part of this saga … BCCI’s struggling finding sponsors and we’re struggling to come up with names of people to coach India? The most challenging job going once you stopped playing, they used to say? Dean Jones used to have his hat in the ring but I guess he’s in the ICL camp now. But is that really it?

    – Dav Whatmore
    – Sandeep Patil
    – Jimmy Amarnath (tks for reviving the Mere Desh Premiyon memories – an NRI’s dream – didnt he also carry a flag to the interview the last time?)
    – Venky (I know Shastri was part of the panel this time as well but can they keep choosing themselves??)
    – Vishy

    Is that the shortlist so far?

  8. Rahul,
    And yes, if this article is what you mean, then I saw that , had a discussion over at Homer’s blog as well.
    Sunny G’s vote doesn’t go to Dav Whatmore, looks like…..

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