Jason Gillespie could have been a great India coach: Ryan Harris

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who had considered applying for the post of India coach, could have been the best coach of the side, according to fellow Aussie pacer Ryan Harris.

cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2017 11:08 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jason Gillespie,Ryan Harris,India national cricket team
Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie had applied for the position of India coach’s job.(Getty Images)

When the Indian cricket board invited applications for the post of head coach, there were several names that did the rounds. Former team director, Ravi Shastri was the front-runner followed by the likes of Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody. One man, who had made a name for himself as a coach with Yorkshire had seriously considered applying for the post but did not -- former Australia pace bowler, Jason Gillespie.

In a chat with Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the function marking 25 years of partnership between MRF Pace Academy and Cricket Australia, former Aussie pacer Ryan Harris, who was Gillespie’s team-mate in South Australia, said Gillespie would have been a great choice.

READ | Ravi Shastri has his way, Bharat Arun back as India’s bowling coach

“Jason Gillespie would have been a fantastic coach for India. I have worked with him and played with him. From my experience, he would have been great in that role,” Harris said.

Gillespie reportedly thought long and hard about applying for the post of Indian coach but in the end felt he was not ready to take up the responsibility. The 42-year-old, who is currently interim coach with Papua New Guinea, has been impressive as coach. He guided Yorkshire to back-to-back County championships in 2014 and 2015 after helping them gain promotion to the top division. He has also achieved success as coach of Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and with Kings XI Punjab.

Easy transition

The 37-year-old Harris, whose career was blighted by injuries, retired from international cricket in 2015 having featured in 27 Tests. He was appointed bowling consultant for Australia’s tour to South Africa in 2016. Following that brief stint, Harris was given a coaching role in the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane to work with the National Performance Squad and the Cricket Australia youth squads.

READ | India’s middle-order woes? I can be the answer: Manoj Tiwary

Asked about his transition from player to coach, Harris said the experience was different from what he had thought. “The transition has been great. It has been easier for me because of the presence of some older guys I have played against. They trust me, know me well. It is quite satisfying. I hope I can establish a good connection with the youngsters.”

Want to win in India

Harris said he was happy with his association with MRF Pace Academy, adding that it has given players from both countries to prepare in tough conditions. The pacer hoped that in the future, the experience gained by youngsters at the academy will come handy for Australia as they try to win on a consistent basis in India.

READ | ICC Women’s World Cup: England reach final after thrilling win vs South Africa

“One of the big things in Australia is that when we come to India, we want to win. We were competitive in the last series but failed to win,” Harris added.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 09:02 IST