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Sourav supports Gavaskar’s view

Sunil Gavaskar

Calcutta: Former captain Sourav Ganguly supports Sunil Gavaskar’s idea of having a younger coach for Team India.

Gavaskar has suggested the name of Rahul Dravid, but Sourav feels Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar should also be considered.

However, Sourav said that it will be up to the individual if he can devote time for the coach’s job.

On Saturday, when asked about Gavaskar’s suggestion, Sourav said: “Why not when you have players like Dravid, Tendulkar and Kumble... It depends on how much time they can devote.”

Sourav was speaking at the launch of CAB’s Vision 2020 initiative. He cited the example of Waqar Younis, who too was present at the function, to explain how tough a coach’s life is.

“I’m sure you must have heard what Dravid said yesterday… That he’s just finished as a player and it would be difficult for him to be on the road for 11 months. “Waqar was the coach of Pakistan, you can ask him how tough it is... I think it’s an individual decision for every cricketer what he wants to do in life. I think it should be left on the individual,” explained Sourav.

Gavaskar had strongly voiced his preference for a younger coach. During a television programme, Gavaskar, reacting to India’s unimpressive outing at the Asia Cup, had said: “What Indian cricket needs at this stage is a younger coach… For the simple reason that over the last three years now, there has hardly been an improvement in the Indian team’s performance. Hardly any individual improvement either. So I feel that if the slide has to be arrested, then you certainly need someone who is young, with the energy to galvanise it.”

“Look, the slide has to be stopped irrespective of what happens in the World T20, a championship which starts in a week's time. I think the time has now come because if you wait till the end of the World Cup, then we will probably have the same kind of results that we’ve been having.

While naming Dravid as his choice, Gavaskar had spoken of the “enormous” respect that the former commands. “The first name that comes to my mind is Rahul Dravid because he is enormously respected. He has been one of India’s most successful skippers. He doesn’t get much credit for that. He has won a series in the West Indies, in England. He has done wonders all over. His is the name that I can think of because of the hard work that he has put in as a player,” he had said.

Gavaskar was also critical of current India coach Duncan Fletcher. “Based on Fletcher’s performance, I would give him 1.5 out of 10 at best. I feel that he isn’t pushing the players hard enough. That is the reason why I feel a younger person is needed. The person will have the drive, will have the intensity, will want to prove that he has got the coaching credentials.”

“Fletcher was an ECB reject. And yet we took him on the recommendation of Gary Kirsten. Fine. We have tried him for a year or two and nothing worked. Now is the time really for us to take a hard call. It's going to be a tough call.”

Dravid, however, cited the time factor and explained why he wouldn’t be able to take up such a job.

But when asked if he was interested in taking up the coach’s job, Sourav parried the question. “I’m not used to throwing my hat anywhere. I won’t be able to answer this question.”