It is believed that generally the exceptional talent as player prove to be not so successful coaches. There are lot of example about this in all forms of sports. Indian cricket is no different. From kapil to chappell all had mixed results . Infact chappell was considered to be worst coach ever by some of current Indian players.
Gary Kirsten proved this jinx wrong. Gary himself was exceptional batsman and when he became coach of Indian cricket team , it was huge task . Indian cricket had hit rock bottom with their one of worst performances ever in 2007 world cup. India failed to make to second round and out went gerg chappell.
Gary was chosen for the role of coach and gary did his job with perfection. It is not easy to be coach of Indian cricket team. In country which has one common religion called cricket , being coach is high pressure job. Any player coming from any background becomes superstar with 2-3 good performances and it is coach’s job to manage the super stars!!!!!!!!
Gary took the challenge with ease and preferred to remain low profile. He did allow super stars to remain super stars and didnt alter their games or styles. He gave freedom to players and made sure they know their responsibilities and roles in the team.
Having mature captain like kumble and super cool captain like dhoni helped. Coach , captain and players looked like partners in the game. The team gelled well , backed each other and played as a unit.
Gary Kirsten nurtured a team which went on to become No 1 in test arena and won world cup 2011. The team climbed heights which were unprecedented .
The man of commitment , gary declined to extend his tenure as coach. He has committed to his family that he would take job as coach only for three years in India. He kept his promise to his family and left behind huge shoes to be filled.
Who would be filling his shoes?. According to daily telegraph andy flower and duncan fletcher are in the race.
Both have had successful record as coaches. Both are from Zimbabwe , both were captain and both have been england coaches.
Fletcher did good job as England coach in initial period and during his tenure as coach , England won ashes after 18 years and went on to win 8 consecutive test matches . But later England had mixed results.
Andy flower on other hand is current england coach and he has had good run as coach till now. England has won two back to back ashes during his tenure and also did won 2010 t-20 world cup. He is more like gary and as player he was treat to watch , specially against India.
I personally would prefer andy flower over fletcher. Cricket has changed a lot in last ten years and a player of recent times can be more effective .
Any one who takes over from gary as coach would have task of consolidating position of Indian team in test arena , make India number one in onedays as well as look at future.
The success in test matches is more because of solid middle order comprising of v v s laxman , rahul dravid and sachin tendulkar. All three are due to retire in another couple of years and filling the space which they would create wont be easy.
In onedays and t-20 we do have lot of players who can do the job but in test we would need to do lot of thinking. Pujara is one fine bat and Rohit sharma has needed technique (but not temperament) .
The challenge of any coach and captain would be to make sure that transition from big 3 to upcoming goes on smoothly. Selecting team is not job of coach , he can chip in only when he has list of 14 people and how transition in test arena takes place would decide future of Indian cricket.
It is very difficult to be successful but it is far more difficult to maintain success and find ways to move forward. As ‘coach banega kaun’ question remains unanswered as of now , let us hope that who so ever becomes coach can take team forward from where gary left it.