5 Indian coaches and their most famous proteges
The hunt for the next coach of the Indian Cricket Team is in full swing now, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) having already narrowed it down to 21 candidates, down from 57 applicants who had applied for the role, at the expiry of the deadline for applications on June 10. The board’s cricket advisory committee, comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman has been tasked with the job of finalising the right man for the position of the Head Coach of the Indian cricket team.
Over the years, cricket coaches have been seen forming close associations with players while they have also been seen to have fallen foul and out of favour, as such. There are several examples to cite regarding this from within Indian cricket itself, such as Sourav Ganguly’s contrasting relationship with two coaches that he played under – John Wright and Greg Chappell. However, these associations and differences put aside, each coach has, undoubtedly, nurtured new talents and has helped the established players mature under his guidance. Here, in this piece, we bring to you five Indian coaches and the players who were their crowning jewels.
#1 Ajit Wadekar and Sachin Tendulkar (1992-1996)
Arguably, India’s most underrated and the greatest Test captain, Ajit Wadekar, had a fairly successful coaching tenure between 1992 and 1996. Wadekar’s coaching career and Mohammad Azharduddin’s captaincy tenure coincided to give India some of their memorable home victories during the aforementioned period. India remained unbeaten in Tests for a stretch of 14 games between 1992-1994, including a 3-0 whitewash of England at home. Several careers peaked during Wadekar’s tenure, such as those of the captain Azhar and players like Navjot Sidhu, but beyond a shadow of a doubt, Wadekar’s greatest protege was the then 20-year-old, Sachin Tendulkar.
After having an ordinary start to his Test career in 1989 wherein he could score only 215 runs from 4 Tests at an average of 35, Tendulkar thrived under the guidance of his senior Mumbaikar, and had three of the best formative years of his batting career, as in 1992, 1993 and 1994 the right-hander scored 419, 640 and 700 runs respectively averaging 41.90, 91.42 and 70.00. The peaks that Tendulkar achieved during the following years – in 1997, 1999 and 2001, wherein he scored more 1000 Test runs – were majorly due to the foundation that was laid during his nascent years in international cricket. In 1994 and 1996, the Mumbaikar scored more than 1000 runs in ODI cricket as well.