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Why a sizeable remuneration is apt for India coach Ravi Shastri

Makarand Waingankar

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Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri has faced criticism for getting a big remuneration as Indian cricket team's head coach.

Mumbai: A recent news report suggested that Ravi Shastri is being paid Rs 10 crore as remuneration. After that Shastri has been lambasted left, right and centre on social media.

While it’s evident Shastri is not a popular figure, he doesn’t need to be as he isn’t taking part in a popularity contest.

As long as he is doing the job sincerely and honestly, he is not answerable to the media for how much he is getting paid.sports news headlines

Under him, India won their maiden Test series victory in Australia. No matter how much he is pilloried on social media, it will remain a fact that Shastri can be proud of. A sizeable remuneration is an apt reward for Shastri after such an achievement.

Do we ever question commentators who earn much more than Shastri, sitting on the cosy confines of AC boxes?

One should keep in mind the stress attached with the job of coaching the Indian team on a daily basis.

Many of these commentators were at one time or the other offered the India coach’s job and they refused. Because it is always easier talking from the comfort of AC room, running down the players and the coach, than managing the Indian team.

In a cricket-mad country, the coach is obligated to mastermind India’s victory in each match. Many reputed coaches have failed in this regard. It’s an unenviable job, at times even a thankless one.

In 2015, when Duncan Fletcher was struggling as India coach, Shastri was suddenly told to take over.

Ravi Shastri

Virat Kohli (left) has a very good understanding with Ravi Shastri.

He worked for 17 months without a contract while Fletcher’s exit was formalised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Would any of the commentators work a day without a formal contract? It needs commitment, many of these so called experts lack that.

Instigating people with false salary figures would lead to more harm than good for Indian cricket. If Indian cricket is to go places, then a constructive criticism is required rather than indulging in personal attacks.

Good opportunity for Amol

Heartening news that one of domestic cricket’s most prolific run getters Amol Muzumdar has been named South Africa’s interim batting coach in the impending India series.

Amol has genuine passion about batting, which helped him amass over 11,000 first class runs and 30 centuries.

After his retirement he has dabbled in commentary but his real passion lies in teaching batting to youngsters. He spends long hours with U-16 and U-19 kids, explaining them the nuances of batting.

The Protean Test team’s batting, devoid of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, is unsettled and will be up against a strong Indian bowling unit on slow, low tracks.

The last time when they face a similar proposition, Ravindra Jadeja ran through them. With Ravi Ashwin likely to get back into the team after sitting out the two Tests against West Indies, the inexperienced South African batsman will face a tough task against two quality spinners.

Amol, having coached the South African players before on short stints, is aware of their capabilities. How much Amol can help in improving their mental fortitude would be key. At international level, mental toughness is most important.

amol muzumdar

AMol Muzumdar has had a distinguished career in domestic cricket.

In such a short span of time, it won’t be easy for Amol to transform the South Africans. Just look at the travails of Moeen Ali, who has been under the tutelage of England spin coach Saqlain Mushtaq for several years now.

But a coach can be do so much. Wade Gilbert, the coach’s coach, once said that the key job of a coach is to understand the mental capabilities of a trainee and then deal with him accordingly so that the technical aspects are implemented smoothly.

The same view was expressed by the hockey legend Ric Charlesworth.

The stint will be a huge learning experience for Amol, who has limited experience as batting coach.

Dr. Makarand is a cricket journalist for more than five decades contributing to Sportsweek, Sportstar, The Hindu and The Times of India. He did his PhD on the “History of Bombay cricket and its impact on Indian cricket”. He initiated the Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) for the BCCI to unearth talent from small towns. He was the CEO of the Baroda Cricket Association and consultant to KSCA.