India is fortunate that some of the legends who gave their best for over a decade as players are coming back now with their thinking caps on to plan how to take Team India forward.
BCCI has also announced that Ravi Shastri, who played no mean part in India's revival from near death in the Australian tour and World Cup, will continue as director - a post which was created when he joined the team immediately after India's miserable defeat in the Test series Down Under. Shastri with his support staff infused new energy into a team tottering in defeat and self-doubt with a World Cup to defend after the Australian tour.
From then on. with Duncan Fletcher and Shastri as the team's director, India clocked consecutive wins till they lost their semifinal against Australia.
Shastri incidentally was the coach when India went to Bangladesh after an unforgettable early exit from the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. He seems to have the magic to energise a team under the weather.
It augurs well that legends will be part of decision-making especially on cricket matters, but they would have little to do in terms of on-field activity which will continue to be run by captain in consultation with coach and director.
Initially, it was widely perceived Rahul Dravid would be part of the BCCI advisory panel. Since his name is not there, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur has rightly removed speculation about Dravid and has said he is too important player whose services will not be utilised on any account. It has been hinted he might coach India under-19 and/or India A. This has been endorsed by BCCI president Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya as well.
Dravid is the only cricketer among the recently retired legends who is actively involved with a mentoring role with IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Dravid mentored young Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson, both of who play for Rajasthan Royals - with Rahane now a regular member of the Indian team in all formats. Samson has a bright future too ahead of him.
Another legend whose services will be like gold dust is Anil Kumble who is also mentoring Mumbai Indians but he has a role to play as Chairman of ICC Technical Committee.
Coming back to the legends joining BCCI as advisors, what exactly will be their the role?
For one, it seems they will assist in selection of the coach. That apart they should come out with how to take India to the top in Tests once again.
India ate on thin ice here having lost in their last two outings outside the subcontinent, especially in England and Australia. The legends, who are now BCCI advisors, themselves didn't fare well on those tours, but this is a new challenge and one hopes they continue to deliver off the field.
India's abysmal performance against swing bowling is too close to forget and this is where technical help and better preparation can do the job. Former captain Kapil Dev too recently lamented the absence of swing bowling in our armory.
The combined knowledge of the legends will certainly help in long-range planning of the game.
How to come out of the twin horrors that face our team on tour - inexplicable collapse, say from 230 for 2 to 260 all out and when they have the opposition by the scuff of neck at 125 for 6, graciously allowing them to pile at will to reach 450 all out - will be achallenge for director as well as for the advisors. This is something they have to work on and reverse the trend if India wish to reach anywhere near the top in Test cricket.
First Published: June 3, 2015, 12:49 PM IST