The decision by Indian cricket’s top brass to appoint Brijesh Patel as manager of India’s World T20 team is a good one considering the current state of Indian cricket. Not that the former India batsman and Karnataka stalwart would want to meddle in matters relating to strategy, but an ex-Test cricketer’s presence in the dressing room could ensure that players will have another tap to turn on for some good old fashioned advice.
The only downside to Patel’s appointment is that he was appointed manager just because he is secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association and not since he is a former player. This trend must change.
Patel could be invaluable since he has also been part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a demanding Indian Premier League environment and knows what current players need to enhance their performance.
Patel’s experience will count
He has the experience of being a team manager having done the job during the 1999 World Cup along with coach Anshuman Gaekwad. The World T20 will be an easier assignment considering it is a shorter tournament and the nitty-gritty will be looked after by the logistics manager.
In these stormy times in which Mahendra Singh Dhoni is under a cloud and coach Duncan Fletcher is on shaky ground, Patel’s calm personality will help the team sail on choppy waters. He must also talk tough if needed and speak his mind if he finds the team not training hard enough under the guise of rest between matches.
It could well be that Patel is being sent as manager to check on what under-fire Fletcher is up to. Even if this is true, it doesn’t mean both manager and coach cannot combine successfully. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men may not come home winners, but if they can convince their fans that they gave it their best shot, Indian cricket’s credibility will be far better than what it is now.