New coach must understand Indian culture, says Dhoni
By Sudipto Ganguly
MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's next cricket coach should have a clear understanding of the country's diverse culture, limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday.
India have been without a full-time coach since Ravi Shastri's two-year tenure as team director ended with the hosts' defeat in the semi-finals of this year's World Twenty20.
In the advertisement for the coach's job, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said the ability to communicate in an Indian language was desirable but not mandatory.
"We do not face much problem with communication," Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the Indian team's departure for a limited-overs series in Zimbabwe.
"With the players coming in these days, English I don't think is a big barrier. There are also other players who take the initiative to help anybody in the team who does not understand."
Players in the Indian team often come from different parts of the country, speaking different languages and having diverse cultures.
Former team mates Shastri and Sandeep Patil have applied for the position with New Zealand ex-captain Daniel Vettori's name also in the frame for one of the most demanding jobs in international cricket.
The BCCI has put assistant coach Sanjay Bangar in charge for the tour of Zimbabwe beginning on Saturday.
"What's important is what the team require. We need to select the best that is available," said Dhoni, who has led India to both the 50-over and Twenty20 World Cup titles.
"A number of international coaches have a problem with the amount of cricket that we play in a year keeping in mind the family commitments and other factors," Dhoni said.
"One of the most important thing I believe is he should understand our culture. More than the language, one who understands our upbringing and culture will be better with us," he added.
"The coaches who have understood us in the past... we have seen the difference on the field."
Dhoni had formed a formidable partnership with South African coach Gary Kirsten and the duo led India to the top of the World test rankings while also winning the 2011 50-over World Cup at home.
New Zealander John Wright was also a successful coach for India.
Like Shastri, Patil is also eyeing a second spell in charge of the team, having coached them in 1996.
Patil has also coached Kenya, guiding them to the 2003 World Cup semi-finals, and Oman.
Test captain Virat Kohli last month said he had a chat with his Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Vettori regarding the job.
The BCCI has formed a cricket advisory committee comprising former players Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman who are expected to pick a new coach before the team's tour of West Indies beginning on July 6.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)