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Thursday, July 22, 2021

the coach with raw emotions roasts the Captain infront of cameras !!

Can you say what brackets these Indian Cricketers together : - Keki Tarapore; Hemu Adhikari, GS Ramchand, Datta Gaekwad; Salim Durrani, Ashok Mankad, Bishan Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig, Madanlal,  Chandu Borde, Anshuman Gaekwad !!!

At Colombo on 20th night – Lankans were baffled by what they hit them .. they had set up a tight target of 276, removed Prithvi Shaw 13; Shikhar Dhawan 29; Ishan Kishan 1; Manish Pandey 37 & Hardik Pandya 0 – though Suryakumar Yadav 53 and Krunal Pandya 35  prospered for a brief while – Sri lanka had well and truly secured the match at 193/7 – 83 to be scored in 89 balls with only 3 tail enders left !  - they had only not accounted for the CSK bowling star Deepak Chahar. 



In Nov 2010,  77 years after its inauguration, it was mayhem at Jaipur. The name of  Deepak Lokandersingh Chahar was one everybody’s lips.  In his debut Ranji match at Sawai Man singh,  he walked into the record books and enabled a humiliating place for Hyderabad also.   Pankaj singh bowled 8 overs conceded 11 and took 2 but for once looked an ordinary performance as at the other end was Chahar who had figures of  7.3 – 2 - 10 – 8. In the second his figures read : 18-3-54-4.  In Nov 2019 against Bangladesh -    Deepak Chahar who  reportedly was rejected by  Greg Chappell, (when he  was director of the Rajasthan Cricket Association academy in 2008),  had dream figures of 3.2-0-7-6 – including a hat-trick.

BUT he would not even be mentioned as a bowling all-rounder, he is a bowler !  .. and thus came the pure anti-climax  - the only comparable innings Chahar had with bat  was his 20-ball 39 for the Chennai Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018, when MS Dhoni promoted him to No.6.

Rahul Dravid’s stint as the Team India head coach during the ongoing Sri Lanka tour has been much celebrated. The former India skipper was earlier the coach of India’s U-19 World Cup-winning team and also the India A teams in the recent past. He has been credited with transforming the Indian youth cricket setup and nurturing a number of young talents, who have gone onto represent India at the international level.  Former India batsman Aakash Chopra talked about the possibility of Dravid taking over as head coach from Shastri.  

Chahar came in at 160 for 6 and saw it become 193 for 7, but his composure was that of a top-order batter.   In his match-winning stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chahar seamlessly switched to being the senior partner.   The scorching pace set by India's top order meant that Chahar had enough time, without needing to worry about big hits.  With 56 needed in eight overs, he took calculated risks, starting by thumping Lakshan Sandakan over long-off. This was Deepak Chahar after the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Batting at No.8, he had made his highest-ever score in senior cricket, and finished the match. The most remarkable thing about Chahar's innings was not the quantum of his score. It was not that he went from 2 off 18, to 23 off 45, to his eventual score of 69* off 82. It was not even that he willed a batting dream into reality. It was how he dealt with the 48th over of the chase, when Wanindu Hasaranga was brought back. Chahar faced the last four balls of the over, with 15 required from 16 balls, and didn't try to score off any of them. Perhaps only Dhoni could play with such a composure !

.. ..and this post after so many words is about ‘composure and emotions’ !  .. .. Emotions no doubt are an inextricable feature of human experience, behaviour, and interaction. Emotions are, the glue that can bind people together and, equally, drive them apart.  .. .. but can one allow emotions to go over board.

Sure you have matched football matches – camera would often zoom on the lone man standing on the sides, walking, speaking, shouting, emotive, making all sorts of gestures – he would gesticulate, castigate, and do whatever ! – but the game is always played by those in the middle.  Thus far, much coaching inquiry has been dominated, either overtly or implicitly, by a cognitive perspective.  Football coaches wear their emotions on their sleeves and are far more expressive.  Emotions and how they are dealt with have a great impact on the performance of coaches and therefore also the team as a whole. Emotional processes in coaches are cyclic and can become stronger in a crisis.  

Back home, the mercurial MS Dhoni had perfected the art of hiding emotions and remaining stoic without ever showing his desperation – after the Colombo match, many felt that his influence on handling the chase had certainly influenced Deepak Chahar who nonchalantly took India to an unexpected win.

On the other side was - Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur – who was all smiles as the Indian top-order was dismissed for cheap and names like Pandya and Ishan Kishan fell sooner than expected. However, when Chahar started to swing for the ropes, even the commentators couldn’t help but notice the frowns returning to his forehead. By the time the match was over, Arthur could be seen walking around the dressing room !   After a stretch of losses, Sri Lanka had an ODI victory in their grasp, but let it slip. For a team low on confidence, it had to have been devastating.

Batter Charith Asalanka, who had top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65, described what it was like to see the opposition's eighth-wicket partnership take the game away. "We're all emotional - the team and coaches are all emotional," he said. "We're a young team. We haven't won much recently, and we're trying to do our best to play together for our country. Everyone tried hard and took it to the final over, but unfortunately we couldn't win."

Mickey Arthur was trending on social media after India took a 2-0 series lead, with fans mocking the Sri Lankan head coach for his animated reactions during the game. Arthur was visibly frustrated with how the game panned out in the final 10 overs of India’s chase and he was seen cursing, and venting his frustration at the local official.

John Michael Arthur  is a South African Australian cricket coach and former cricketer, who played in South African domestic cricket from 1986 to 2001. He was also the coach of the Pakistan Cricket Team from 2016 to 2019. He is the current head coach of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.  He had earlier coached the famed Aussies from 2010 until his sacking in June 2013, and replaced by Darren Lehman. In Dec 2019, a much costlier  Mickey replaced  interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake as Head coach of Lanka.

In the match, clearly  Arthur was not impressed as he and captain Dasun Shanaka were involved in a heated exchange after the match, a video of which went viral. The fact that the interaction between the coach and the captain took place on the ground and not inside the dressing room did not go down well with former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold, who is part of the commentary panel. Taking objection to it, Arnold pointed out the same to Arthur.  "That conversation between Coach and captain should not have happened on the field but in the dressing room," tweeted Arnold.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur later tried damage control by stating that he had not  berated skipper Dasun Shanaka in front of cameras.   The video did show him exchanging heated words and further appeared to indicate that Shanaka should go with him off the field but the captain did not budge while Arthur walked away, in a video widely shared on social media. "It was actually a very good debate, no need to make mischief out of it," Arthur said on Twitter responding to match commentator Russel Arnold's comment that the exchange should have been held in the dressing room.

Interesting ! .. .. and for once, India has opportunity of trying out newer faces like – Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana,  Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Chakravarthy, Chetan Sakariya !  - not one – but all of them !

In case, you still remember the list at the top – it is Indian Cricketers, who later became Coaches for the Indian team .. .. not the full list though.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd July 2021.

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