Melbourne: Former Australia batsman Dean Jones believes Test skipper Virat Kohli must have a say in the selection of the new India coach which will be decided after the cricket World Cup starting next month.
Incumbent India coach Duncan Fletcher's contract with the BCCI expires after the World Cup that will conclude on March 29 and a couple of names are already doing the rounds as who could be the possible replacements.
Virat Kohli. Pic/ AFP
In an exclusive chat with PTI, team director Ravi Shastri had hinted that he will be willing to take a permanent role
with the team post the World Cup. Mike Hussey's name was also mooted as a rumour, but the cricketer has ruled himself out of the running for the time being.
"Virat Kohli is the Test skipper now and he will be the ODI and T20 captain in the time to come. So he must have
someone he is comfortable with and together they must work for the betterment of Indian cricket," said Jones.
"They need to come out of the mess their Test team is in, and a new aggressive captain with a new coach should help
achieve that. And they have a lot of time on their hands, to pick a proper coach after the World Cup and the IPL.
There is a good 3-4 months to settle down on some good choices." India have slipped to number seven in the latest ICC Test rankings, placed just above West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. While that is an embarrassing position to be in, it cannot be rectified until later in the year as India's next Test assignment is a bit unknown.
"The question to ask here is this, have they got the best coaching staff that money can buy?" said Jones, when asked if the BCCI's deep pockets have brought good enough support staff to the team mix.
"Have they got the best staff available at the moment? Clearly the results haven't shown so." India had changed their support staff after the 1-3 Test series loss in England. Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney were sacked, while Shastri, Sanjay Bangar, R Sridhar and B Arun had come in their place.
"Changing staff again and again isn't a solution either and certainly not one that I recommend. But then has there been a difference in performance from England to Australia, particularly of the bowlers? They bowled short and wide in England and they have bowled short and wide in Australia. And India have lost both series despite playing some competitive cricket," Jones said.
"What India need, and what the BCCI can afford, is a proper bowling coach. Someone needs to be talking to these young bowlers all the time, before and after the matches as well as during the breaks. Support staff can only do so much.
"A proper bowling coach, a big name, an ex-cricketer might be able to help these young bowlers better. They have the pace and the ability to swing the ball, they have the talent. They just don't know to use it," he opined.
Jones then added another plausible theory for Indian cricket going ahead. "Look the problem for India has been very simple. They cannot get 20 wickets. If they cannot do it with four bowlers, they must do it with five bowlers. Look at R Ashwin. He is a decent bat. Wriddhiman Saha has good technique too," he said.
"In overseas Tests these two will have to do the job of the sixth batsman and India need to play four other bowlers, an extra spinner along with Ashwin and three medium-pacers.
Their top-five batsmen have been brilliant and must shoulder the burden of scoring runs. "It will give Kohli more control and more options to play around with. He looked clueless when they were getting hit all over the park the other day. Australia scored 200 runs in one session. And the Indian attack was bowling short and wide after playing in this country for the last two months. You cannot bowl like that in one-dayers or the outcome will be pretty similar," Jones warned.
With the exception of one or two names, pretty much the same bowlers will represent the Indian team in the upcoming tri-series and the World Cup.
Asked if this is a cause for concern, Jones said: "Limited-overs cricket is a different ballgame. India definitely have a chance because their batting is quite good and they can chase targets. "The bowlers have pace and swing so they can use that in ODI matches here as well if they bowl well. But if they don't bowl proper line and lengths, how many times will the batsmen rescue the team, even in ODI matches?" he signed off.