Who will be the perfect fit for India’s next fielding coach role?
The contracts of the Indian coaching staff ends after the West Indies series and as a result India is set to have several new faces in the coaching department.
Ramakrishnan Sridhar who currently occupies the position of the fielding coach has done a good job with the team. India’s fielding has improved over the years but there is scope to getter better for sure. There are still a few fielders in the Indian team who can get better. Sridhar has time and again mentioned in his press conferences that as a coach you have to make sure that all the players are in the best possible space.
He tried to give every player their own space and as a result, most of the players improved their fielding. Jasprit Bumrah wasn’t a good fielder when he came into the Indian team as he dropped a few catches but now he could be considered as a safe catcher.
In the longest format, India’s slip fielding has improved and that’s a big positive. Sridhar did a good job for the team but now that his contract is ending the question to be asked is who could be the ideal coach to make them better?
When you talk about fielding the first name that comes to the mind is the South African fielding legend, Jonty Rhodes. He was the best fielder of his time and people still talk about the efforts he used to put in on the field. The good news for all the Indian fans is that Rhodes has applied for the role of the fielding coach of the Indian team. He has previously coached the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The advantage with Rhodes is that he can bring in some innovative drills. He has the experience of coaching high-profile teams and there is no doubt that he could be a successful coach. He even mentioned that he wants to take India’s fielding to new heights.
Another contender for the role could be Sri Lanka’s ex-fielding coach Steve Rixon. He too has coached a number of teams including Australia, Pakistan, Chennai Super Kings and Sri Lanka being the latest. His contract was not renewed by Sri Lanka Cricket and hence he could be available for the role. Rixon who was an excellent wicket-keeper in his playing days could be very helpful for a player like Rishabh Pant who is still finding his feet when it comes to glovework. Rixon has been praised previously for improving the standards of the fielding of the Pakistan team in 2016 and hence he could be a candidate to look out for.
Talking about the Indian candidates, somebody like Mohammad Kaif could be a good option. We know how good a fielder he was in his playing days. The only problem with Kaif is he is currently the fielding coach of Delhi Capitals and he would have to leave that if he is willing to join the Indian team. Knowing the same language he could explain the youngsters a bit better if at all communication is a problem.
One more Indian candidate for the role Robin Singh who has done this job previously. He has served as India’s fielding coach from 2007 to 2009. According to news, Robin Singh has applied for the head coach’s job and hence might not be available for this role.
These are a few options which might be considered but then who is the most ideal candidate for the job? Kaif won’t want to leave the Delhi Capitals job so he won’t be available. Singh as well has high ambitions as he is trying for the head coach role. So among the other two anybody could be an ideal candidate. Rhodes and Rixon both have the experience of coaching so, to be honest, it wouldn’t matter much as to who is chosen between them.