One-year term for a coach is not enough: Lakshmipathy Balaji | cricket | Hindustan Times
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One-year term for a coach is not enough: Lakshmipathy Balaji

Former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji, who has taken to coaching, feels a head coach must be appointed for at least 24 months.

cricket Updated: Jul 14, 2017 09:08 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Lakshmipathy Balaji (L) believes one year is too short a period for any coach to put the processes he wants to implement in order, inferring that Anil Kumble’s tenure as Indian cricket team’s coach was not long enough.
Lakshmipathy Balaji (L) believes one year is too short a period for any coach to put the processes he wants to implement in order, inferring that Anil Kumble’s tenure as Indian cricket team’s coach was not long enough.(AFP/Getty Images)

The dust has seemingly settled. After all the hullabaloo earlier in the week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India finally named the coaching panel of the Indian cricket team with Ravi Shastri in-charge till the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Unlike the last time around when former India captain Anil Kumble was given a one-year tenure, former team director Ravi Shastri has been appointed for 24 months.

(Read | Anil Kumble exit no surprise, only skipper can run an international team)

For someone who has been in the midst of change of coaches, former India pace bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji believes that one year is too short a period for any coach to put the processes he wants to implement in order, inferring that Kumble’s tenure was not long enough.

“I think 12 months is a very short period for any coach. They need at least 18-24 months to build a team. The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has done the correct thing by appointing the coaching panel till 2019 ICC World Cup,” Balaji, who has donned the India jersey time and again from 2002 to 2012, told HT on Thursday.

(Read | Why Ravi Shastri is better than Anil Kumble, reveals Indian cricket team insider)

“To put strategies in place a coach needs a 20-24 month window to make any team prosper. The coach needs time to sink into the players’ minds, they need at least two years.”

‘Bench strength is strong’

Balaji’s career has moved from playing to coaching. He is now the bowling coach of Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy team and was also appointed at the same position with Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

For someone who is involved in the grooming on young fast bowlers, the 35-year-old is impressed with the bench strength of the current Indian pace battery.

(Read | India vs West Indies: Umesh Yadav credits Zaheer Khan for success in Caribbean)

“Our bench strength is really good. We have produced some really fit guys. Umesh Yadav has been playing non-stop cricket without injuring himself, despite bowling fast, which is a great sign.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also been really impressive. The fitness and ability of today’s bowlers is very good and we have strong, skilful bowlers,” Balaji, who has played eight Tests and 30 ODIs, said.

(Read | Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah relishes bowling at death)

The former right-arm pacer added that out of the current lot, it is Jasprit Bumrah who has impressed him the most.

“I am sure Jasprit will play Tests in future. His ability, control of ball is very good and has good variation too. Our lot – me, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar had a lot of variation which I see in these guys like Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami and Bumrah. For seam bowling you need a different kind of skill set,” added Balaji, who has also played 5 T20Is.

On the appointment of Rahul Dravid as India’s overseas batting consultant, Balaji said, “Rahul knows what all needs to be done to succeed at that level. So to have him as part of your support staff is great for the side as most tours are very long. You need to be technically sound for longer periods and have the mental ability to keep scoring runs consistently which Rahul did during his career.”