As Team India’s hunt for cricket’s new chief coach gathers momentum, limited overs skipper Mahendra singh Dhoni, who has worked with quite a number of coaches during his decade-long career, said on Tuesday that the candidate must understand the country’s sporting culture.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) last week advertised for the post of head coach and set June 10 as the deadline for receiving applications.
Dhoni has worked with the likes of Lalchand Rajput, Australian Greg Chappell, South African Gary Kirsten, Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher during his career before teaming up with former India skipper Ravi Shastri, who was the team director till the World T20 in April.
With the BCCI eyeing a candidate with knowledge of Hindi as a desirable criteria, the Ranchi stumper stood by the board, saying the new coach should understand the country’s culture.
“Hindi can be a criteria but not the only criteria. Language is not a concern, a coach should understand our culture,” Dhoni said while addressing a press conference before the limited overs tour to Zimbabwe.
Selection committee chairman Sandip Patil and Ravi Shastri have already thrown their hats into the ring, which promises to be an exciting challenge for the board-appointed panel to choose the next India coach.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni also said that his first challenge will be to get the batting order right.
Ahead of the team’s departure on Tuesday, Dhoni, while addressing the press here, said India cannot afford to be complacent and the African minnows can pose a challenge for his rookie side.
“Zimbabwe can be challenging at times, our challenge will be slot placing in the batting order. It will be a different experience, will be playing with many players for the first time,” Dhoni said in Mumbai.
India will take on the hosts in three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and as many Twenty20 Internationals at the Harare Sports Club with the first match to be played on June 11.
Dhoni, however, put the ball on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) court when he was asked to comment on former team director Ravi Shastri’s statement to elevate Test skipper Virat Kohli as captain in all the formats.
“I enjoy my game, captaincy decision will be taken by BCCI,” he said.