Apart from Pakistan who until recent times was under the clout of loosing every game; the subcontinent teams haven’t set the stage on fire overseas. All the major test teams in sub continent have undergone regime change impacting their coaching staff in their pursuit to win overseas. Bangladesh has coaching unit led by Stuart Clarke who took over from Jaime Siddons, Pakistan after Waqar Younis has Mohsin Khan who if news churners are to believed would soon be replaced by Dave Whatmore while Sri-Lanka have even gone a step further and sacked a coach who was just 4-5 months in the system and replaced him with South African Graham Ford. India considered to be best team in sub-continent is managed by Duncan Fletcher after Gary Kirsten. From last 9-10 months it’s been sacking or voluntary move season going on in sub continent; may it be coach or captain.
It’s easy to opine on who to sack and who to keep with the team. The idea here is to put the best team on field hence the accountability has to be shared and not dwelled solely on one or two institution like coaching staff or Captain. The attitude needs to be revamp if winning is the priority for any nation who wants to have longer shot at being Number 1 Test Side. Like in corporate world which is fiercely competitive where organizations have system or framework in place which allows them to attain the leadership position in their segment. Cricketing boards need to run like one corporate organization. Appointing synonymous corporate designations to cricket board officials vis a vis their working style be bureaucratic won’t help the cause.
For once if we analyze Arguments by Geoff Lawson (read here) on India’s performance down under; one would realise that it’s just not cricketing skill; but there is a method to madness. This Aussie bowling attack never gave away any short stuff to cut or play square; they bowled consistent fuller length while the ball swung. The bottom line being plans being well executed. The tour down under has been an eye opener for the likes of VVS and Dravid. Geoff Lawson stresses on the plan which was executed well by the home side compared to what were the shortfalls of visitors. These short falls varies right from technical glitches to mental toughness. While some might argue that age is finally catching up with likes of big 3 but what about others in pipeline whose base has IPL lure written all over it. Make quick money and get out attitude did not make the Legend Rahul Dravid. Likes of Dravid & VVS played first class games in abundance to earn places in national team and the problem with Legend Stories like these is sometimes they are true.
My arguments might not provide the intended solution or a road-map that which leads to ideal situation; but with this argument want the thought process running. Singing the same old tune of IPL being the chief destroyer is an old cliché; while IPL was incepted in 2008 and it’s not out of cradle yet to incur such damage. But these are the times we live in; where lack of framework would be compromised and in turn passed on as a protocol for future cricketers. Every year summer cricket camps have enrolled more kids after IPL; where parents want kids to play IPL one day. But coaches are responsible to avert this mindset and prepare tough cricketers and not seasonal one. First brick to such framework has been put in place by Punjab cricket which has classified IPL for U-21 players hence barring them to be part of IPL. This might not solve the purpose but idea is in place to make them go through tougher chapters of cricket first. Players shall always learn to play T20; but art of grinding in tough conditions won’t be imbibed till they face the toughest conditions until then their game won’t be certified. The tours of Australia and England have vastly pointed towards the deficiency of athleticism while cricketing skill in abundance may not help always in this modern era.
If we analyze Argus Review (read here) which was by far the best thing ever happened to Australian cricket after Allan border took over the captaincy. For once this review was done by someone who was not cricketer or neither had any background. This review was done by someone who is hardcore mining business man and knows how to imbibe corporate culture within sports in order to keep winning. Strong measures were taken which resulted in revamp of the system while selectors were shown the boot; a new framework was laid with a clear roadmap. India lacks that kind of gutsy reviews which if done shall tackle the bureaucracy in system and shall be bigger boot on the egos of those who run the system without being accountable. We can see some sort of freshness in this Australian side once these recommendations were incorporated.
For once this team might be glad that tour down under is done and dusted but bigger challenge lay ahead of the administrators Who to resurrect this team with potential to be back on top; but deficits a framework or system which would be their catalyst.