Berated by many for coining the idea of multiple captains and praised by a few for coming up with such a radical concept, John Buchanan has been widely discussed of late.
In a chat with HT , the Kolkata Knight Riders coach, who scaled unprecedented heights with the Australian team, explains what he wants to introduce, and just what led him to think like nobody did. Excerpts:
A year ago you said you didn’t exactly know how different it would be to coach a T20 side after having coached in the other versions. How is it now after spending a year?
It’s pretty much the same really. It’s still in a developmental stage. We have made some adjustments in terms of selecting personnel and also the approach. It’s still a little too early to say how things will work out.
Irrespective of how you prepare, do you think luck plays a bigger role in T20 than in other formats?
It does play a big role no doubt... especially in South Africa at this time of the year. A lot will depend on the toss considering whether it’s a day match or a day-nighter. A lot will also depend on whether you are playing in the coastal areas or inland — the wind is going to be a factor. Bowling second can be a disadvantage in the afternoon. So the toss can have an impact on the result.
A lot has been spoken about the concept of multiple captains. Did you expect so much talk?
Possibly... there was so much criticism because the concept challenges the past. People are still to come to terms with it. But at the same time it’s a new form of the game which demands changes in strategies and mindset. People probably criticised it because it was new.
Is it about different captains at different stages of the game or about having a core group of vice-captains around one captain?
Yes, it is about a group of people around the captain because laws of the game have provisions for only one captain. Eventually maybe we will look at 11 players who can lead different departments.
Did you think of this when you were in charge of the Australian team? If not, what prompted you to think on these lines now?
Not really. The longer versions didn’t demand such a concept. T20 is a different game which demands fresh ideas. The idea struck me back in 1996 while talking to Ric Charlesworth ( Australian women’s hockey team coach). He was thinking of something similar and it made sense. That was the germination of the thought.
How indelible a mark do you think T20 is going to leave on the game?
It’s a period of transition. The future is now growing up on the shorter versions. It may take a couple of years to ascertain what we have in store. The extent of domination of T20s however depends on how administrators handle things.