Coaching is a difficult job especially when it comes to a national team. The players in the national side are already mature enough to handle themselves but the coach has a tough job of pointing out their flaws, weaknesses and help them correct it. The coach also has to handle too many egos in the team. He has to be objective enough in taking decisions which sometimes might not be of the popular liking. He has to stay behind the scenes and work for the team’s success.
The Indian Cricket team has had many illustrious and credible coaches in the past. Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad, Sandeep Patil, Ajit Wadekar, Anil Kumble were some of the Indian coaches that the national team had, while, John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten, Duncan Fletcher were the foreign ones.
Here are the top 6 Indian Cricket Coaches:
|Indian Cricket Coaches
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The South African left handed opener Kirsten, was India’s most successful, if not the most successful coach, the Indian team has ever had. He took over the reigns after the controversial tenure of Greg Chappell in 2007.
The Gary Kirsten- MS Dhoni combination worked the best for India. Dhoni had the support of his seniors – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and along with them, India became the number 1 Test team in September 2009.
In his tenure, India won its first bilateral series in Srilanka and its first Test and ODI series in New Zealand.
His major achievement was the 2011 World Cup win. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan carried “Guru Gary” on their backs, as a mark of respect towards him.
Former New Zealand captain John Wright was India’s first foreign coach. He took over the responsibility when the Indian team was going through a really tough time. Mohammad Azharuddin, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Jadeja were accused of match-fixing.
Wright paired up with Sourav Ganguly and formed a team to be envious about. Under him, we got gems like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh.
India ended Australia’s 16 Test match winning streak with a historic win at Kolkata in 2001. India also drew the 4 match Test series in Australia, 1-1.
His biggest contribution was the 2003 World Cup. India reached the finals of the World Cup in South Africa, ultimately loosing to Australia.
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The Zimbabwe veteran Duncan Fletcher took over Gary Kirsten after the historic World Cup win in 2011. He was outstanding with the limited overs game but failed miserably in Test cricket.
Under his coaching, India won the Champions Trophy in 2013 held in England. The Indian team also won the ODI series in England in 2014. The Dhoni- Fletcher duo took the Indian side to number 1 in the ODI rankings.
In the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, India reached the semi-finals eventually losing to champions Australia. India went on a 7 match winning streak in the World Cup.
The away Test performance was terrible under his term. England and Australia white-washed India, 4-0. India also lost to South Africa and New Zealand.
The Indian all-rounder- Ravi Shastri better known for his commentary, is the current Indian coach. He took over as the head coach after a spat with Indian captain Virat Kohli and former coach and ace spinner Anil Kumble, became public.
The Kohli-Shastri duo reclaimed the Number 1 Test ranking. In 2018, India won Test matches in South Africa, England and Australia, which they seldom did before.
In this period, India also won its first limited-overs bilateral series in Australia, by whitewashing the hosts 3-0 in a T20 series in January 2016.
With 2019 World Cup approaching, the Indian ODI side looks in all readiness and rearing to go to England.
Former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar coached the national side from 1992 to 1996. Along with Mohammad Azharuddin, his tenure saw some of India’s most memorable wins.
India whitewashed England 3-0 at home and remained unbeaten in Tests for an incredible stretch of 14 matches in the period of 1992-1994.
India also won the 5 nation tournament in 1993, Wills World Series in 1994-95 and Titan Cup in 1996.
6. Anshuman Gaekwad
Anshuman Dattajirao Gaekwad, a former Indian cricketer, had two stints as the national cricket coach. He played 40 Test matches and 15 One Day Internationals. Gaekwad took over as head coach in 1997 during a challenging period for the Indian team and made notable contributions in limited overs cricket. He remained with the team for a few years, experiencing both ups and downs. While there were disappointing moments like the 1999 tour of Australia, there were also memorable achievements such as the Independence Cup final victory over Pakistan and Anil Kumble’s perfect ten against Pakistan in February ’99. These highlights defined Gaekwad’s coaching tenure with the Indian team.
Gary Kirsten is widely regarded as one of the best Indian cricket team coaches.
Under Kirsten’s coaching, India won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 and reached the number one ranking in Test cricket.
John Wright is highly regarded as one of the best Indian cricket team coaches.
Ravi Shastri is considered a successful Indian cricket team coach in the T20 format.