Robin Singh: Versatile Ajinkya Rahane was missed in World Cup
Former all-rounder Robin Singh, who aspires to be India's next head coach, would have had Ajinkya in World Cup mix
Reflecting on India's recent World Cup campaign, former India all-rounder Robin Singh opined that India missed the experience of Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu.
"Rahane and Rayudu would have been in my set-up…definitely. They have the experience of playing in such conditions. I don't think it was a good call [to leave them out]. Rahane would have certainly been in my side. He would have been my No. 4. He can also bat at No. 5 and is a very good opener as well. He has the skills for English conditions. You need people with good technique and temperament. Anyone can play on a good track, but if the pitch is doing a bit, then you need players with good temperament and skills," Robin told mid-day on Saturday.
Globetrotting Robin, 55, has thrown his hat in the ring by applying for the head coach's job of the Indian team. The former India all-rounder was India's fielding coach from 2007 to 2009 and contributed to the team's victory the inaugural T20 World Cup, the CB series in Australia and a Test series in England.
Rahane, who was in England for a county stint with Hampshire, was never considered by the Indian team management even as the selectors flew in one-day rookie Mayank Agarwal as an injury replacement for Vijay Shankar. Rayudu, who was a back-up option in case of injuries, was ignored on both occasions when Shikhar Dhawan and Shankar were ruled out of the tournament.
'Kohli at No. 4 in semis'
Robin felt he would have held back India skipper Virat Kohli for the No. 4 position for the semi-final which India lost to New Zealand. "Considering you had lost Dhawan to an injury, the emphasis was largely on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. So, any opposition would have liked to go after them because once you get them out early, the team's morale would be hit pretty badly. It gives the opposition a serious upper hand in the game. I would have certainly batted Kohli at No. 4 considering Rohit got out early and the ball was moving a bit. When the conditions are suitable for pacers and seamers, you have to protect the batting a little bit. You have seven to eight batters in the side. So, I wouldn't have risked Kohli at No. 3," he said. Robin was part of the Indian team in the 1999 World Cup where he scored 75 for a losing cause against Australia at The Oval apart from his 5 for 31 in India's 157-run win over defending champions Sri Lanka at Taunton.
Robin, who has been coaching for 16 years now, has the experience of coaching in the IPL with Mumbai Indians apart from playing an important role with Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League. He has been associated with the T10 league in Dubai as well as the Bangladesh Premier League. He has also coached national teams of Hong Kong and the USA.
After coaching for 16 years now and guiding several franchises across the globe, Robin feels he can make a difference to the Indian team. "I have the experience of coaching different teams across the globe with different franchises, including the IPL from its inception. So, I have the experience of working with different players and understanding the mentality of the people. These are the things I can bring to the table," he said.
"More importantly, it is about taking people individually and see how you can help them step up and then add value to the team. It is also about being in sync with the team goals or what are their wants,"
India regulars Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya have all played with Robin around at Mumbai Indians. The ex-India all-rounder feels his experience with the four-time IPL champions will come in handy if given the India coach job. "My experience of working with MI will help a lot because we do a lot of scouting. Our planning is spot-on and we look into the smallest of details before we select players," he said.
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