Anil Kumble has officially re-applied for the post of the head Indian coach, this despite the BCCI having said there was no need for a formal application as he would be a “direct entry” into the final pool. Kumble is part of a six-man shortlist that includes Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput, and Dodda Ganesh. The present Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody, former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput and Indian legend Virender Sehwag are the favourites to get the job.
Out of all the names in the list, Virender Sehwag raised quite a few eyebrows. Do not get me wrong, I am a big big fan of Virender Sehwag, and who isn’t but at the same time I believe Sehwag as a coach will be a disaster!
Here’s why I think Sehwag will not be a good coach:
Sehwag being Sehwag has sent a two line application for the job of Indian coach . His application said “mentor and coach of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian premier league and he has played with all the boys before”. He was later persuaded to attach a CV along with the job application.
We all agree Sehwag is the pro on twitter, the 140 characters he tweets are mostly hilarious and sometimes thought provoking, but writing twitter style on the job application for post of Indian coach shows Vanity.
Also Sehwag doesn’t really have an impressive record as a coach. Sample this, Sehwag has coached Kings XI Punjab in 2016 and 2017 , KXIP finished the season with the wooden spoon in 2016 and in 2017 they finished 5th not because they were (somewhat) special but because RCB, Lions and Daredevils were even pathetic. Finishing last and 5th aren’t records that one could be proud of. Whenever there is a strategic timeout you have seen good coaches like Steven Fleming, Tom Moody , Mehela Jayawardena walk out on the field and have a talk with their players.
Sehwag on the other has never come out to give a pep talk or inspire his players. Another factor that goes against Sehwag is that many of the players in the current Indian team are peers of Sehwag and we won’t know how they might feel if Sehwag suddenly became their coach. It’s like your best friend in the class with whom you bunked classes suddenly became your professor.
Another factor that might go against Sehwag is the unpredictability, Sehwag is someone who never followed to the rule book when he batted. Sehwag is Sehwag because he never followed theories, thumb rules and rule books. Sehwag lived by one and one rule alone – If a ball deserves to be hit, hit. And he will be the same mercurial swashbuckling player even when he is coaching. He has his own way of doing things and won’t change his style for anybody and this could be a bad thing for the team India who are pretty much settled in all the three formats.
The last Indian coach who liked to experiment was Greg Chappell and we all know what it cost team India. Two of India’s most successful coaches are New Zealand’s John Wright and South Africa’s Gary Kirsten both of who followed a set format to execute their plans and rarely deviated from the format, which helped team India grow by leaps and bounds in their respective stints as coaches.
I conclude by saying that Sehwag was a legendary batsman. And it will be painful for a fan like me to see him fail. The batting giant who began every match of 2011 world cup with a boundary isn’t a prudent choice for the post of Coach. And the elevation of him will also bring the dreaded discussion of “lobbying” in cricket to the fore. Virat Kohli the Indian Captain is from Delhi and a Coach from Delhi will set the tongues rolling. Politics affects athletes badly. Sehwag may become a good coach in the future but it is too early for him to become coach for team India.
For him to even be considered as a coach he should showcase his skills in IPL or like Rahul Dravid who began by starting to coach the India Under 14 ,Under 17 ,Under 19 teams.