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Sight Screen

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The joke's on us

Anyone out there feel more than ordinarily surprised by the stories of how the interview for the job of India's cricket coach went?

Jimmy Amarnath -- the man who, famously, called the national selectors a 'bunch of jokers', appears to have come full circle, and become his own worst joke.

Late for the meeting, for starters. A relative to help with his laptop (expected from the man who, when asked if he was comfortable with the modern accoutrements of coaching, like a laptop, said 'I have a lap'). And an hour-plus over the allotted time limit -- never mind that the next in line, Greg Chappell, who arrived bang on time for his interview, had to wait, then hurry so the BCCI honchos could go press flesh with the PM.

And -- for me the supreme insult -- an Indian flag placed on the table in front of him, to underline his 'nationalist' credentials.

All this fuss -- and at the end of it all? 'There will be a press meet tomorrow,' says Board chief Ranbir Singh Mahindra. 'But I can't say if we are announcing anything.'

Why am I not surprised?


  • Prem,

    That Amarnath did not handle himself with professionalism at the interview was always going to be a given, considering the shocking reasons laid-out by selectors for his candidature. Nevertheless, one thing that should never be questioned was that he has always given his best for our country. Seen in that light, he may still have been a worthy coach in allowing India to work their way up. Also, too much has been made of John's accomplishments (by journalists such as yourself). It is clear for all to see that India's drawn series against Australia Down Under was one of our better moments in Test history. Following that, however, India has taken the easy path back to igominy, and John needs to cop as much blame for this as do the players. John presided over Sachin's badly timed returns from injury, Zaheer's incredulous inclusion in the team ahead of Ashish/Balaji, Laxman's unwarranted zipzap across the batting order and finally, publicly sticking with a pre-determined mindset by supporting Saurav when he was enduring his most horrendous run with the bat. All this has not only contributed to an alarming downfall in our one-day fortunes, but has also caused out home record against australia to be tarnished. To conclude this riposte, we have gone back to where we were six years ago, depending on one-two individuals rather than playing as a team. The Indian test team that played pakisthan most recently was a pathetic unit that scarcely resembled the purposeful team which toured australia in 2003/2004. John needed to answer this blip in performance, and instead he became the escapist, conveniently blaming the selectors in his exit interview.

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