As we have seen in politics, a rotating leadership can be a radical success story — once it becomes a success story, that is. But the BJP-BSP and the BJP-Shiv Sena experiments of having a rotating chief minister within a term is one thing. It’s quite another to have at least five — yes, five! — rotating captains in a cricket team as is the case with John Buchanan’s Kolkata Knight Riders team for the second chapter of the Indian Premier League in South Africa next month.
In a press conference on Wednesday, coach Buchanan identified Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Sourav Ganguly as “potential leaders” in the side. So will the Knight Riders have Gayle as skipper if the pitch is more batting-friendly, Hodge if Gayle isn’t in a mood to lead, McCullum if tough wicketkeeping skills are required in a match and so on and so forth? Buchanan’s plan may not be as strategic as it is psychological — to keep the opposition guessing who the general on the other side is on that particular day.
Of course, Indians (Bengalis in particular) have culled only one message from this planned experiment: that the world is once again out to humiliate their hero, Sourav Ganguly. The fact is that Ganguly may be the ‘right captain’ the day some shirt-waving is required. As for whether the Buchanan formula can work, the only way to say it will is if it does.