It’s like a major start-up with no one to manage operations. Or, if you like, a train with a driver and no guard, so the driver has to both drive and wave the flag.
The Indian team leaves on an 80-day tour of the UK late on Tuesday night. It then flies to South Africa for the 20-20 World Cup, and returns to India only at the end of September. There is no coach, no administrative manager and no media manager with the team. The players are on their own, literally. This has never happened in recent memory.
Basically, this means captain Rahul Dravid — with some help from manager Chandu Borde — will have to arrange for nets, coordinate news conferences, and worry about all manner of other off-field work. Plus hammer the hell out of Ryan Sidebottom and company.
Ever since the Great Ford Snub, we have known we’re not getting a coach in a hurry. On Monday, we also got to know that we don’t have an administrative manager or media manager either.
“We are not appointing anyone,” Board secretary Niranjan Shah said. “We didn’t want to do anything in haste... The question of Rahul getting weighed down doesn’t arise. He anyway has to appear for the press conferences. And Borde anyway has two assistants, bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh.”
Minutes later, HT called Borde and found him clueless. “I will know everything once I reach Mumbai tomorrow,” he said from Pune.
Borde was last manager of India 17 years ago. Today’s set-up is unrecognizable from those days.