There’s this movie called “Remember the Titans” where Denzel Washington, a black was assigned to coach the Titans Rugby team in a community where there were frequent clashes between the black and white. The job was actually expected to be taken over by another white coach but he falls down the pecking order due to politics and he decides to be the assistant coach taking care of defence.
In a particular scene, where Denzel being the “No nonsense” coach was very critical and gives hell to some of his Black players and hangs them out to dry. At that time this assistant coach guy swoops in, plays the “nice guy” card and gives them a chance in Defence. Denzel warns that, he is actually destroying the player by letting him dancing to his tunes. And he was proved right eventually as the assistant coach soon realized that discipline is a must, regardless of the talent. I fear, we are letting our Indian Cricket team dance to the tunes of Kohli and Shastri duo. I wish I was wrong.
Virat Kohli is one of the most talented player in the world, if not the best. But does that justify his whole row with Anil Kumble? We all know the kind of character Anil Kumble is. Kohli understandably preferred Ravi Shastri because he knows it’ll be easier to tame him.
The problem is, the coach has to guide the captain in taking wise decisions. Not the other way around. In first Test, Rahane was ignored. Rohit was selected ahead due to good form. Happens. But after the utter batting failure in the first test, it should have been Ravi’s role to make Kohli understand his wrong decisions.
The problem with the current set-up is, Ravi is not letting Kohli know his wrong tactical decisions and we can’t expect Kohli to right those decisions when he doesn’t know theta they’re poor decisions in the first place. And a good coach would have dealt with it. Shastri didn’t and he won’t.
Will Rahane and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar would be sitting out if it was Anil Kumble in the realm?
Can you imagine Ravi saying a strong NO to Kohli’s ideas?
Let’s say, if it was Dravid, Kohli listens obviously (at least in the second test) because he respects Dravid. Maybe, a reputed Foreign coach is all that India needed right now till Dravid takes over for good.
Ganguly as arrogant as he was, listened to John Wright.
My only worry is, Kohli the batsman stature has grown big enough that, it’s masking Kohli the Captain’s decisions.
In Football, the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson always believed that no player is bigger than the Club. Even players like David Beckham and Roy Keane were showed the doors in their prime form just because he believed that the Manager has the final word. It would be unfair to compare them with Kohli as Beckham chased fame and Roy Keane, well he was being Roy Keane. And we all know how the three of them ended their career.
Again, Kohli’s commitment to the team and talent cannot be questioned by any sane cricket watching fan. But letting them mask all these discrepancies is hurting the team.
And Shastri Bhai, I’ve got nothing good to say to you. Hope you soon realises Cricket coaching is much more than Pep talks in huddles or backing up players in press conferences or blowing your best player’s trumpet.