| Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
New Delhi: Despite appearing to have the support of one former captain on the Board’s ‘selection’ committee, the odds are against Mohinder Amarnath ' the sole desi contender for the Team India coach’s post. And, on Saturday, came distinctly more disheartening news.
“John Wright’s successor, too, has to be somebody from overseas' I have nothing against Mohinder, who made his Test debut under me (in 1969-70), but we Indians are just not as qualified,” Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi told The Telegraph.
Interacting briefly before heading off to Dubai for the ICC’s Cricket Committee meeting, India’s most glamorous captain added: “Today, our team has to climb the next step. In my view, only an overseas coach will facilitate that.”
Pataudi, who declined to comment on the merits of the three candidates from overseas ' Greg Chappell, Desmond Haynes and Tom Moody ' saying he “didn’t know enough” about them first-hand, felt having a videshi would always be an advantage.
“He won’t get involved with local politics and, so, won’t have a bias' That, in my opinion, is a plus and a big reason why the coach should be from outside,” Pataudi explained.
Reflecting on Wright’s four-and-half year tenure, which ended here last month, Pataudi said: “He did a pretty good job' Of course, some things didn’t work out towards the end, but the players must learn to execute plans.”
He continued: “Moreover, there’s a limit to what any coach can do.”
Asked if he was satisfied with the candidates’ short listing done, among others, by Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, Pataudi replied: “Given that two are commentators and one was an umpire till recently, I assume they made the right choice'”
Laughing, he signed off: “I don’t have reservations, not that I myself had a candidate to offer!”
For the record, Sandeep Patil and John Emburey declined the Board’s interview-invitation.