Middlesex coach John Emburey, who is one of the two candidates invited by the BCCI for the post of India coach, admitted he felt daunted by the prospect of coaching the Indian side, but was confident of his ability to ‘deliver’.
Talking exclusively to HT a day before leaving for Chennai for the interview, the former England spinner said he did not think that it was difficult for a foreign coach to understand Indian players and their needs.
“I know the passion of a billion people in India for the game. The Indian team is a talented bunch with seniors whose ability is proven and young players with great potential. It needs to get into a winning streak. India is the biggest team in world cricket,” Emburey said.
On his style of coaching, he said: “Everyone has a different style of coaching. I like to keep a low profile.
“My approach to the job is to remain in the background, not get moved by the media, and plan continuously,” he said.
The 55-year-old said he believed a foreign coach needed to work together with players. “I know the Indian players are not used to being told to do this, or that, (obviously hinting at Greg Chappell’s style).
“As a foreign coach you have to understand the Indian culture. They need understanding and one has to listen to them, discuss with them and then plan, prepare and motivate them,” he said.
“It’s not about the coach. It’s about players. It’s the captain who is the leader, a coach’s job is to motivate other players and give them to the captain. They have to feel the urge to win,” he added.
Embuery said certain players became prisoners of their own success. They have too much pressure on them to perform. Citing Sachin Tendulkar’s example,Emburey said: “He is a player whose experience will be most valuable. I am told he takes a keen interest and that's good, because of what he has accomplished.
“He could be insular because of the pressure on him to perform everytime he goes on the field. We need to open him up and make him feel like himself.”
About Sunil Gavaskar, who reportedly suggested his name for the job, Emburey said: “I came across him years ago. We were both commentators then. I am grateful if he did suggest my name. But otherwise I have not met him for a long time or spoken to him.”
“My job as a coach will be to remain in the background and plan, ultimately it is the players on the field who does the job,” was what he had to say when asked about his role in team selection.
Asked about the rumours that Greg Chappell had divided the team, he said, “My job will be to create a happy atmosphere in the dressing room. To create a team spirit for success.”