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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Out goes Eric Simons; replaced by Joe Dawes - Indian bowling coach

India Down Under – playing in the hard and bouncy wickets of Australia.  It is a professional Team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni has Senior players in Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and more.  Cricket is a big money game and you have Duncan Fletcher as the Coach; a fitness trainer, a mental conditioning coach, a physiotherapist, a masseur, a performance analyst and a Bowling Consultant.

Anybody with little knowledge about Cricket sure knows that Australia is the place where fast bowlers thrives and yet in the ODI, India opens with Praveen Kumar and Vinaykumar – by no means any fast – military medium – if you can call so and surprisingly, you have another two spinners Rahul Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and part time Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Raina and Sehwag completing the 5th bowler quota.  What strategy is this ? – who is the brain behind – in a World where pacers threaten to storm away their opponents, do we play with 2 medium pacers only in Australia ?

When you win a couple of matches, everything is forgotten and slowly Indian cricket fans will etch away the painful memory of continued losses in England, 4 test loss in Australia.  If you ever thought of any drastic measures – here comes one :  India replaces its  bowling coach Eric Simons, the South African allrounder  with former Queensland fast bowler Joe Dawes ending a two-year long tenure with the Indian team.

Joe Dawes – Who ?  and why he replacing Eric Simons.  A land which had Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Madanlal, Karsan Ghavri or bowlers like Raju Kulkarni, Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar, Venkatesh Prasad, Balwinder Singh Sandhu,Ajit Agarkar,  Atul Wassan, Sanjeev Sharma, Yograj Singh or lesser known players like Rajinder Singh Ghai, Salil Ankola, Vivek Razdan, Debashish Mohanty and more -  none fit enough !!

IPL with all its fancies, has Simons being the bowling consultant for Delhi Daredevils.  The new bowling coach, Dawes, played 76 first-class matches for Queensland between 1997 and 2005, often having to wait his turn behind Australia bowlers Michael Kasprowicz and Andy Bichel. His career was cut short by a knee injury following which he became involved in coaching. He started off with Queensland and also worked part-time for Middlesex and the Marylebone Cricket Club. He became bowling coach of South Australia in June 2011 and was also bowling coach of the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League 2011-12.  So somebody who has never bowled at an International level is our new bowling coach. 
Joe Dawes

Dawes worked well with the young bowlers at South Australia but what exactly is Team India’s requirement from bowling coach. Is he going to search and spot talent from the vast land or train the accomplished bowlers to bowl at the right length aided with wicket taking techniques without getting any sport injuries ?   Joseph Henry Dawes, born in 1970, the ruggedly built right armer might have missed out due to the extraordinary team strength of Australians but what special capacity he has in him to be Team India’s highly-paid bowling coach ?  The man whom he replaces Eric Simons was a stalwart of Western Province, played 23 ODIs, where he had limited success.

Eric Simons banished alongwith Sahara !!!

There are other Cricket boards which have resorted to some methods outside the time-tested things… is this one other step of recruitment !!  Meantime,  the  National Cricket Academy (NCA)  is to  hold open trials for bowlers across four states in India, marking the first time it is giving young cricketers from outside the system an opportunity to earn a place in the academy. The NCA, established in 2000, has until now only included cricketers playing the BCCI's age-level domestic tournaments.  Newsreports suggest that in the next few weeks, it will hold trials for fast bowlers and spinners in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kasmir, all states that are not traditionally cricketing strongholds.  Boys between the age of 17 and 22, who have not played in any BCCI-run tournament, will be eligible to attend the trials. Karsan Ghavri, bowling coach at the specialised fast-bowling academy in Chandigarh, and Yoginder Puri, former Himachal Pradesh medium-pacer, will supervise the trials and shortlist the bowlers for the NCA.

Reportedly, it is the aim of BCCI to search for players who, despite never having played in a board-level tournament, "still have the strength and inclination to bowl quick or become a good spin bowler."  Some of the other decisions aimed at improving Indian cricket, made at the BCCI working committee meeting, were to have India A and Under-19 tours to England, Australia, South Africa and West Indies; to found a new academy in Bangalore; and to use neutral venues for all Ranji Trophy matches.

It baffles to think what should be the technical competence to be a coach at this level. – whether it is International experience, coaching ability or more aspects by which yardstick they are measured !!  Joe Dawes besides his cricketing career was a policeman and was it in any way considered an asset to be a strict administrator bringing in discipline !. -  at any Corporate ladder, the performance is the indicator and the non-performers are sure to be shown the exit.  When will the players, support staff, coach, selectors ever be accountable ??????

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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