<b>Close-in:</b> The Cricket Coach Dilemma
Interesting bit on the Kohli- Kumble controversy is that they are both on the same page and want an increase in remuneration for the Indian team
On the eve of an important tournament like the Champions Trophy, Indian cricket has plunged into despair that could have easily been avoided.
The Anil Kumble versus Virat Kohli scrummage has put the reigning champions in quite a disarray. One does see photographs of smiling teammates, especially when they have done well in the two practice matches, but internally each ones’ dilemma would be to make a decision whether to be for or against the captain or the coach.
Indian cricket on the field was showing such pleasurable success. Players, due to their sheer exhilarating performances have made themselves into real heroes and superstars.
Although, the controversies and legal issues have become a daily ritual in the life of Indian cricket in the media, the success on the field were enough for the cricket followers to sit back and enjoy the sport, rather than worry about the happenings of it.
Fortunately, cricket is a game that culminates into a team sport but depends primarily on individual performances. There are a number of selfish cricketers that have made them legends in the record books and have substantiated the misnomer of cricket being a team game.
A battle between the two top decision makers of the Indian camp, who apparently are barely communicating with each other, will put a lot of onus on the support staff to bridge the gap. One hopes for the good of Indian cricket, that maturity prevails and like two professionals everything gets diffused during the Champions Trophy tournament.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has knowingly or unknowingly made the situation even worse. To advertise for a coach for the Indian cricket team at this juncture shows sheer bad timing and an uncaring attitude of the board. The previous selection procedure that was conducted by the BCCI in finalizing Anil Kumble for only a year showed that, rather than having a long-term goal, the BCCI was more inclined to a short term benefit. One gathers that the selection by the wise men of Indian cricket had many of the aspiring candidates from India and overseas pretty disappointed in the way the interviews were conducted. Furthermore, the exit of Ravi Shastri, who did manage to bring the Indian side out of depression when they were a defeated lot, added to the questionable selection process,
Apparently, the same process is being followed this time as well and that Virendra Sehwag is the front runner of the pack. The best way forward would be by identifying and inviting specific individuals and approaching them on a one on one basis, rather than making a farce of it. The recent spat between Kohli and Kumble will inevitably lead to Kumble stepping down, as a team cannot have two individuals whose thought processes and plans differ.
The problem for a coach/manager in handling the Indian side is a wafer thin edge between instilling discipline and yet not curbing individuality. This problem has been there for many years. The coaches who have been successful are ones that have found the right balance of giving the players the freedom to express themselves.

John Wright, Gary Kirsten, and Ravi Shastri are prime examples of managing the Indian side well. They understood the limit that they could push the senior players to keep them mentally happy. The junior players are always easy to control as they are not yet established and are keen to learn. However, they too get embroiled in the controversy, when there is disharmony between their seniors and an appointed coach or a support staff. Players quite understandably get united and make it very difficult and a prime example of this was during the tenure of Greg Chappell.
Indian cricket has now become a business. The sport is no more a recreational pastime. Professionalism has to come into it. The responsibilities and roles of each person need to be written down and followed by all. There will be debates, discussions, and differences between the decision makers but at the end, they need to resolve it amongst themselves. The problem with Indian cricket is that every controversial issue gets elaborated and so the concerned individuals become pawns in the sensational news that today’s media thrives on.
The interesting part of the Kohli- Kumble controversy, however, is that they both are on the same page as regards the increase in their remuneration and the distribution of wealth among the team. Furthermore, they both feel that the Coach and the Captain should have a vote in the selection of the basic overall team.

Personally, I feel that voting rights should be left to the selectors only. The job of the selectors is to look at the long-term benefits of an Indian side. They are the ones who watch domestic matches and through it choose young talented cricketers. The Indian captain and the coach have a completely different agenda, a short term goal and that is to win every match and series. They definitely have an important part in an advisory capacity to indicate their requirements, but the responsibility of filling that place rests with the selectors.
One hopes that the Indian side is strong enough to bury the mishaps & controversies that have unnecessarily surfaced and that they flourish in the way in which they have done so successfully in the past year. All the best India.
Columnist: 
Yajurvindra Singh
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