IPL 2015: Know your IPL coaching staff
How often have you seen a team manager scream and yell and cheer from the sidelines of a football field? How often have you seen a coach do a fist pump from the gallery of a tennis stadium or a trainer leave a gasp of breath from the outside of a sprint field? Rare though it is to see such scenes in a game of cricket, rest assured, a coach plays as important a role in the performance of a team as the players do.A coach is someone who would offer specialist advice to the players and be an armchair critic in rectifying the downsides in them. Coach, as often is misconstrued, can never teach the game itself, rather does assist a player in molding his approach and technique while guiding the team to uplift the game as a whole; which is why the team management scouts for top coaching talent and ropes in only the best in the business to mentor the team.The 8 IPL franchises, with the funds they possess, have recruited some of the greatest experts of cricket to coach their players and help the team scale the summit. As IPL 2015 is about to kick-start from tomorrow, we take a look at the coaching staff of all the franchises and learn what they will be bringing to the team.
#8 Tom Moody - Sunrisers Hyderabad
Nicknamed “Long” because of his 6'6" height, Tom Moody was a capable medium-pace bowler and a handy batsman down the order for Australia. Though his Test career wasn’t particularly bright, he made a great comeback to the ODI side and performed very well during the 1999 World Cup for the team.
Moody retired in 2001 and was offered the coaching job in the Sri Lankan cricket team. He quickly made an impression and guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in April 2007. His all-round talent on the field clubbed with his praiseworthy coaching experience earned him a coaching call from SRH in 2013.
Moody has stood through the thick and thin of the Hyderabad-based franchise ever since.
#7 Paddy Upton - Rajasthan Royals
This meticulous South African played first-class cricket in his country but later gave up his player cap to take up a role as a physical fitness trainer for the South African team. In 1999, Upton switched from working on physical fitness to mental conditioning in sports, taking an executive coaching program on leadership in business and sporting environments.
Having earlier worked closely with Gary Kirsten, Upton was recommended by the former to be appointed as the mental conditioning coach and his assistant coach for the Indian team. His influence on the Indian boys was pretty evident as the team became No. 1 in Tests and also won a World Cup in 2011.
This multi-faceted gentleman is now with RR to help them regroup and regain their place in the IPL playoffs.
#6 Daniel Vettori - Royal Challengers Bangalore
Vettori may have hung up his boots from international cricket barely a week ago, but that is no reason for him to chill out with his family. After the World Cup final he immediately flew down to India to resume his coaching reigns for the Vijay Mallya-owned RCB.
Vettori has been an inspirational figure in the IPL, where he plied his trade for RCB and DD previously. As an international player, he played 113 Tests, taking 362 wickets, and appeared in as many as 295 ODIs and 34 T20s for the Kiwi side.
This uncanny left-arm spinner’s experience at the international level both as player and as captain will undoubtedly enhance the RCB dressing room morale this season. His familiarity with the franchise's dynamics will be an added advantage for the team.
#5 Ricky Ponting - Mumbai Indians
Ricky Ponting needs no introduction among the cricketing fraternity; he is universally recognized as one of the greatest batsmen to have ever graced the game. He is Australia’s highest run-scorer in both Test and ODIs and is undoubtedly the most successful captain the country has ever had. He led Australia to two consecutive World Cup wins and was unbeaten for 26 games on the trot in the World Cup, which is a record that will take some beating.
Ponting will join as the head coach for the Mumbai Indians whose staff includes the strengths of Sachin Tendulkar, Jonty Rhodes, Shane Bond and John Wright among others. Ponting's presence will be of immense benefit to the 2013 champions as he is known for his uncompromising demeanor and never-say-die spirit.
#4 Trevor Bayliss - Kolkata Knight Riders
Bayliss is a former Australian player, and brings with him over a decade of top level coaching experience. Bayliss coached the Sydney Sixers team to a championship in the first season of the Big Bash, which proves his mettle in the shorter format of the game.
The 52-year-old Australian succeeded Tom Moody as the coach of the Sri Lankan national team in August 2007 and was with them till 2011. The wealth of experience he has gained in subcontinental conditions has been brought into focus with the KKR side having already won two IPL trophies (2012 and 2014).
Bayliss was a middle-order batsman and is widely remembered as a brilliant cover fielder who let nothing slip. Rather surprisingly, he never made an international appearance for Australia.
#3 Sanjay Bangar - Kings XI Punjab
Sanjay Bangar, an all-rounder from Maharashtra, had a brief coaching stint with the India A team before he was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab during the 2014 IPL. He lifted the Mohali-based franchise to its best ever performance in that edition as they finished with the runner-up trophy. This eventually caught the eyes of the BCCI and he was appointed as the assistant coach of the Indian cricket team in 2014 after the embarrassing Test series defeat to England.
As a player, Bangar was considered a lucky mascot for Team India; they did not lose any of the Tests he featured in. But he played only 12 Tests and 15 ODIs in his entire career, failing to make a lasting impact with either the bat or the ball. Post retirement, he embraced the coaching mantle and has been quite impressive so far.
#2 Gary Kirsten - Delhi Daredevils
Pictures of him being lifted and paraded across the Wankhede Stadium on the night of the 2011 World Cup final are still fresh in our memories. But before that, he was an accomplished player himself.
Gary Kirsten was an immensely successful South African opener who played 101 Tests for his nation. He scored 188 not out against UAE in the 1996 World Cup which was for long the highest score in the tournament. His batting virtues helped take the South African side to the number one spot in Tests and as well as ODIs.
Kirsten later became an household name in India as he was the coach of the Indian team that attained the top spot in the Test rankings and won the World Cup in 2011. MS Dhoni praised him for enhancing the players’ techniques and described him as "the best thing to happen to Indian cricket."
Kirsten is a disciplined man with a cool temperament and penchant for hard work. He will look to work the same magic for the Daredevils side this year.
#1 Stephen Fleming - CSK
Stephen Fleming is a former New Zealand skipper who successfully captained the side for close to a decade. An elegant batsman, Fleming was the first to cross 7,000 runs for New Zealand with a career average of more than 40. He led the side in over 200 ODIs and 80 Test matches.
Though the Kiwi hasn’t had any prior coaching experience, he was promoted to the position of head coach for CSK soon after he retired from playing cricket. It is also to be noted that he played for CSK in the inaugural edition of IPL. The 42-year-old left-handed batsman is known for his astute tactical abilities and has so far had a remarkable career as a coach for CSK.
Under his tenure, the franchise has won two IPL championships and two Champions League crowns. The management has extended his contract till 2016.