5 most underrated coaches in cricket history
Here are five international coaches whose tireless contributions have gone under the radar.
Unlike in football wherein managers can be often seen shouting instructions from the sidelines and are hence juxtaposed with the successes of prominent teams, the value of coaches is usually understated in cricket . With most of the top teams at the international level containing several star cricketers, the presence of sane heads in the dressing room becomes extremely essential to handle the myriad egos and personalities of those massively popular names.
The trend seems to be changing in recent times. While Gary Kirsten was lifted on top of the shoulders of the heroes of India's 2011 World Cup winning team on that balmy night at the Wankhede Stadium, Pakistan's irresistible resurgence in the limited-overs formats is often credited to head coach Mickey Arthur's disciplinary approach.
During those times gone by (on occasions in the current era as well), there have been quite a few coaches who largely remained in the shadows and hence were not given their deserved due. In no particular order, here are five of the most underrated coaches in the history of international cricket.
#5 John Wright
With over 5000 Test runs and close to 4000 ODI runs, John Wright was one of the most reliable batsmen in New Zealand's lineup of the 1980s. After pulling the curtains down on his stellar playing career, the left-hander returned to the game in a different capacity. Having not seen much productivity in his tryst with sales, he made a comeback into cricket as coach. A stint with Kent saw him welcome Rahul Dravid into County Cricket. Acting on the inputs of the rising star, BCCI appointed Wright as the head coach of Indian team in 2000.
Taking charge of a set-up ravaged by the vestiges of the infamous match-fixing scandal, Wright formed a fruitful alliance with captain Sourav Ganguly and helped revive India's fortunes at the turn of the millennium. No longer just home track bullies, a transformed unit shed the stigma associated with Indian cricket by registering monumental triumphs in Test matches outside the subcontinent.
Wright's calming influence as well as tendency to stay away from the limelight complemented Ganguly's aggressive approach to the game. After completing his five-year term, the Kiwi co-wrote a book titled John Wright's Indian Summers to reminisce his memorable stint. He would eventually go on to coach New Zealand for a brief two-year period.
India (2000-2005), New Zealand (2010-2012)