Arjun Raja is a NRIOL featured sports columnist. To read about Arjun Raja, please Know more.
When asked whether his being inexperienced as a coach could affect his performance, Kapil's reply was " Before I played test cricket I had no experience as well' which pretty much sums up the man - confidence personified and not a bit of it out of place.
He will definitely make the most confident coach the Indian team has had in a long while, someone who is going to stand by his boys, support them to the hilt but at the same time make sure they are aware that no indiscipline on their part will be tolerated.
As he is definitely among the top three cricketers India has ever produced, he will command the respect of the boys straightaway. All he has to do is guide them in the best possible manner. No one will ever say that Kapil has not done what he expects from the team. Certainly, whatever he preaches will be what he has practised in his playing days and nobody can dispute that.
The only fast bowler in the history of the game not to miss a game through injury surely knows a thing or two about staying fit, focussed and motivated. No amount of experience as a coach can substitute the sheer volume of actual match experience that Kapil has and if he can communicate well, I'm certain the Indian team will benefit greatly.
The Indian team is going through a transition now with many new boys included . They are trying to cement their place in the side and as Dilip Vengsarkar mentioned, Kapil has always had a soft corner for the newcomers and gone out of his way to help them and make them feel at home....
This attitude will surely help the younger players like Bharadwaj, Mohanty, Chopra, MSK Prasad and a few more. They must feel comfortable with the coach and captain if they are to give their best. Kapil also is a father figure for the established stars like Tendulkar, Srinath, Kumble, Saurav and the like and will certainly be able to motivate them as well.
Surely here is a powerhouse of cricketing knowledge. The important thing is how best to extract that knowledge. We only hope the press gives him a fair chance before sharpening their claws because the last thing we want is for Kapil, who is the emotional type, to lose interest in the job and quit on account of some silly criticism. We must give him at least a year with the team before we start expecting results.
For once, the Board who are mostly criticised, must be applauded for appointing Kapil Dev as coach. If the man gives back to cricket even 30 percent as a coach of what his contributions were as a player, Indian cricket will see great days.
Let's not forget that he is the only person in the history of India to have lifted the cricket World Cup. Full stop. Let's hope that under his tutelage, India will lift the World Cup again. That could be the best "Guru Dakshina" ever.
I hope the players are listening. Read more
- Arjun Raja in Dubai, UAENovember, 1999The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.For a listing of past columns by Arjun Raja, please Know more.