It is highly unlikely that the BCCI and the CoA will extend the contracts of the Indian cricket team’s support staff beyond the West Indies tour that would almost immediately follow the World Cup in England. Tenali Rama has learnt that the BCCI is thinking of introducing radical changes in the way the support staff is structured.
“Do we really need a coach for players of international standards like Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma? We are simply aping the system followed by countries like Australia and England instead of bringing in a X-factor into the support staff,” said an official of the BCCI.
On the BCCI radar is Swami Nithyananda whose claim of being able to control when the sun can come out has become the talk of the town.
“We had a video conference with his ashram in Bidadi. Look, if he is able to make the sun disappear and get a good cloud cover for us during a match even for half hour, Bhuvi, Bumrah and Shami can polish off the opposition in helpful conditions. Alternately, if we are batting, he can tell the sun to blaze a bit more so that on a flat dry wicket, our batsmen can plunder runs,” said the BCCI official, visibly excited.
BJP leader Akash Vijayvargiya is on the BCCI wishlist to replace Sanjay Bangar as batting coach. Akash had shown his batting prowess by hitting an Indore municipal officer with the bat last week.
“Bangar is too defensive. We need someone like Akash to tell Dhoni to show positive, aggressive intent. I wish we had requisitioned him during the World Cup itself,” the BCCI official confided in Tenali Rama.
There is however, a hitch with Akash’s candidature. With the Indore MLA falling foul of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BCCI may need a NoC from the PMO before it proceeds with the appointment.
Plan B is to approach Koneru Krishna, the TRS leader who led a mob that assaulted a forest officer in Telangana last Sunday. However, according to insiders, Konappa is not deemed to be a technically correct batsman and more of a pinch hitter.
“The idea is we could bring him to specifically coach the finishers like Pandya, Jadhav, Karthik in the ODI and T-20 side,” said the BCCI official.
While Bharathi Arun, the bowling coach and R Sridhar, the fielding coach may continue, the BCCI plans to have a expert groundsman accompany the team. Its choice is MLA Nitesh Rane who along with his supporters threw two buckets of mud on a government engineer for poor condition of the road.
“We have gone wrong too many times in our assessment of the pitch because Ravi Shastri’s knowledge is limited to tracer bullets and wires. We have contacted Nitesh Rane from Maharashtra who has excellent knowledge of mud and soil and has a bucketful of ideas for the road ahead. In fact, he said being associated with the Indian cricket team was always on his bucket list,” said the BCCI official.