Why Virat Kohli's opinion will be important while selecting India's next coach
A look at why Kohli's word will be key while picking India's next coach.
The Indian Premier League(IPL) finished on the 29th of May, thus bringing the curtains down on yet another season of cricket in India. However, with less than one month of the completion of one season, the next one is almost upon us, with an Indian side, that can be conveniently termed as a ‘ new look’ one, led by MS Dhoni, embarking on a short trip to Zimbabwe for a three ODI and two T20I series.
As the players get set for the assignment, a debate, which ideally should have been sorted much sooner, continues to keep everyone on the tenterhooks. Who will be the next coach of the Indian cricket team?
Following the advertisement put forth by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI), several former players, including current chief selector Sandeep Patil, have thrown their hat in the ring to be at the helm of affairs with the senior squad.
A lot of officials will have a say on who should coach this team, but one man will need to have a very important say too and that's the Test skipper Virat Kohli.
Why Kohli is a key man in this discussion
There is no hiding the fact that India’s Test performances, particularly overseas, in the last 24 months or more has been shocking. Losses in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia have meant that the common Indian cricket fan is left a lot to be desired with as far as exploits in away series is concerned.
Lack of potency in the bowling was cited as one of the reasons for the team being devoid of success and you could see the amount of truth in those statements, from the performances of the bowlers in the Sri Lanka series last year.
Each one seemed hungry to succeed and wanted to do well. The aggressive instincts of Kohli seemed to have brought freshness into them and they picked 20 wickets in each of the Tests to lead the side eventually to a historic series win.
The mindset of Kohli was reciprocated by Ravi Shastri, who also spoke about the need to win at all costs. That's the kind of coach that Kohli will need moving forward. Someone who can keep optimism in this group of succeeding overseas, who can keep the spirits high and more importantly, keep the belief intact during tough times. Let’s face it. This team is still an evolving one and in its quest to succeed, will encounter the odd stumble or too.
A man who can understand that Kohli’s aggression is an inbuilt strength of his and not something that he develops on match days out of nowhere will be the perfect foil for a player who seems to be learning each day as he grows into the job.
The vivid examples of how John Wright and Sourav Ganguly or Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni gelling very well are because both skipper and coach understood one another very well. Yes, in the case of the former there were minor differences, but it was always for the betterment of Indian cricket.
There is also the issue of Kohli taking over full time as the limited overs skipper in the future. In that case, he will have a say in more than just the matter related to Tests.
But presently, that decision is only in MS Dhoni and the BCCI’s hands. The coaching debate is something that needs a solution soon and the board will do well to take the opinion of the heir apparent while making this call.