Monday, April 6, 2009
Multiple Captains and some senile views
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar – Its time you stopped putting your foot in your mouth!
Here’s calling for a laissez faire! The guys in the gallery, leave the onus is on the ones who have already poured millions in investment for the franchises, the ones who are not here for charity to flounder moolah! SRK of all of them sure does know a thing or two about the businesses involving passion, people, entertainment and mass appeal.
Following is a perspective anchored on the over indulgence of Gavaskar and the Sacrilege of Multiple Captains proposed by a certain Australian – John Buchanan.
It is really sad to see a legend like Gavaskar stoop to low level controversies and often times finding him self in the wrong side of the fence. Seldom do his yester year contemporaries get muddled into to such mess by shooting off the mouth. There is an air of reverence when his fellow breeds of legends speak up. Be it Allan Border, Sir Vivian Richards, Kapil Dev, Botham, Imran, Hadlee or the mostly revered and quite Steve Waugh.
If ever he has company, it was in the dubious company of the other shooting from the hip yester year starts like Boycott, Greg Chappell, Miandad, Dean Jones and the kinds that Gavaskar reveled in propping juicy irreverent news bytes for the hungry media hounds.
Only that this time he forgot that he was meddling in with unwanted advise to a business man who has a mind of his own and a method very successful across a myriad of forays across acting, productions , ads , tv shows and even IPL where the KKR gang were the only rare folks to be profitable the first time around.
Now I do agree that Cricket and other forms of business are totally different. And that’s one of the reasons why SRK and gang got one of best man in the globe to run the cricketing affairs for their club. John Buchanan is an Aussie and arguably the most successful coach of the most successful Australian world beaters full of at least half a dozen greats of the game. A few in that team who have scored more than Gavaskar in both One Day and Test Cricket and obviously won more games as captains / coach combined.
If the All Star Aussies dint see a problem with John as a coach and delivered then I don’t see a reason why Buchanan if allowed to have his way can’t inspire the Kolkata Knight Riders to the top of the pile?
As to India’s overbearing affinity towards its sell by date heroes, it has been a sore plight that coaches, captains, selectors and general public have to contend from time to time.
But it is pleasing to see the way the certain and deft Khan handled the situation with right measures of diplomacy and nonchalance. An approach which the BCCI folks can take a left out of SRKs book to impede future mess arising out of please all approach at the cost of the game.
Sunil Gavaskar never squeaked when Vijay Malaya dumped a modern day legend like Dravid a month ago? If Gavaskar had an issue of promoting foreign coaches at the cost of lost opportunities for Indian coaches, he should not have recommended Gary Kristen for the top job for the National Team.
If he had an issue of multiple captaincy proposed then Sunil Bhai , the game has changed a great deal from your times and your brand of push and prod cricket. Which is why even in your playing days your other illustrious opening partner and present Chairman of Selectors out shined your performances on the field.
Let’s acknowledge how the game has gradually changed. The 50 over colored clothing games changed the nature of the cricket into a fast paced and more athletic sport with frenetic running between cricket and super specialized roles like pinch hitter on top of the batting order, sweeper cover patrolling the boundary ropes, slog over frenzy and even spinner opening the bowling.
A game where specialists with an ability to bowl, bat and field a bit with consistency favored over one dimensional super stars with bat or ball. A game which helped evolve all-round fielding super stars like Jhonty Rhodes who could field in any position and weigh in with at least 30 plus runs saved = score added to the total. Plus a needed over emphasized value of catches win matches or hitting the stumps regularly effecting run outs. Jhonty on his day could account for a few vital wickets in additions to the saves with his antics on the field.
Realizing this team’s world over evolved specialist positions as well as attuned players to adapt and perform at multiple positions. In this era a poor arm can show up like a sore wound or a deficient running between the wickets as a flatfooted goose waiting to be run out. Why else will India leave behind a talent like VVS Laxman in the shorted version of the game?
Cut to T20 – Today like we have seen, India has benefited with the augmentation of a team of physios , a bowling coach ( Prasad ) , a fielding coach ( Robin Singh ) , a bowling captain ( Zaheer Khan ) a test captain ( Kumble ) a T20 Captain ( Dhoni ) . Not only India, most teams have specialized teams for each forms of games be it Test, One Day or T20. We just saw Dilshan lead the Lankan T20 game from Jayewardene and Botha leading SA instead of Graeme Smith.
So when we can evolve to have multiple coaches for specialist skills and multiple captains for different forms of the game and concepts like anointing Zaheer as a bowling captain, what’s the big hoophalla about the multiple captain theory?
Haven’t all other changes evolved before like this thought of multiple captains come about?
Like Shah pleads “Why can we give a new idea a breathing space?” Such ideas help the game evolve and transform. T20 is such a fast paced game that more than ever you want 11 men with leadership abilities to judge and act in accordance to the situation in demand. The game swings every delivery with a boundary hit or a run out or a wicket or some times two successive dot balls.
If we agreed that the need for a player to be alive and almost proactive to the level of outthinking the opposition then why is it blasphemous to the thought of 4 captains. Isn’t it providing a fabric of agility and distributed leadership in a team sport? Why can’t it be a team of 11 inspired men with consensual leadership spread across a think tank of 4?
How often have we seen a huddle of Azhar, Saurav, Tendulkar, Dravid or Dhoni, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvi and Bajji? Dwell in the next move in the middle of the pitch? How wrong is this approach or how right it is fitting into Buchanan’s though process?
Let’s see how this initiative of multiple captains shapes the nature of the game and its complexion? Every player has a mind of his own between his ears in between 6 balls an over with intermittent pauses for plausible field placements and a bit of sledging and popping eye balls burning the opposition.
That Kolkata polarizes each time any one has the temerity to dislodge Ganguly is a matter altogether different from a fretting that Gavaskar unleashed as a tirade against the Aussie bunch of coaches and the paucity of economic sense of a sharp Shah Rukh Khan !
Till then, heres hoping for the controversies to rage on until another to upstages this one. Let the IPL Games begin! We shall discover more! If John and SRK are right or if it dint matter. As for Sunil, he’s got the taste of the boomerang from SRKs rebut already. One hope he learns his lessons I his ripe age and preserves his precious podium of greatness of what ever which remains. A game of words where SRK played with straight bat with a hit above the inner filed and the Great Sunil Manohar Gavaskar in my view is adjudged stumped!