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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

Cricket Columns

Vacuum left by great brains has allowed the ordinary to flourish
Sanjay Manjrekar
March 15, 2013
First Published: 00:08 IST(15/3/2013)
Last Updated: 00:10 IST(15/3/2013)

Rain has certainly not helped Australia. If there was some play in Mohali, maybe the talking point would have been different. As it turned out, lack of action on the field meant action against the four Australian players continued to be the main topic of discussion.

Michael Clarke would be feeling disappointed and surprised that the decision has not drawn too many backers. All the Australians I have spoken to here have termed it a wrong move and an overreaction to what they think are small misdemeanours.

What has come through from this issue to me is the tussle between commonsense and  simple approach versus the more modern, slightly more complicated approach that seems heavily reliant on technology.

Even amongst modern cricketers, I have found some who are opposed to the studious approach that often takes them away from the cricket field and plops them in front of the computer screen.

This controversy looks like the old school versus new school debate. I am not suggesting that Arthur is a particular type of coach; I don’t know him well enough to make that judgement, but I feel that there are many coaches floating around that are coaches not because they had the potential to become great coaches, but because that’s what they chose to be — cricket coaches.

Brain drain
If you look around, you will find that the shrewdest cricketing brains, the inspirational personalities who turned around cricket teams with their exceptional leadership, players like Richie Benaud, Imran Khan, Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor etc, men with tons of international cricket experience who could have gone on to become brilliant coaches after their playing careers, are doing something else in life.

Barring a few, many coaches would be thanking their stars for that. Because these great icons chose a different career option, it has given these coaches a place of influence within their teams. They mean well, these coaches, but do they know well is the question.

The writer is a former India batsman. PMG


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