Gilchrist: A local coach for India makes sense

The former Australian wicketkeeper was in Chennai on a Tourism Australia promotional trip.

"It’s important that the coach understands India, its culture and the language, in trying to explain a new philosophy to players," says Adam Gilchrist.   -  V. Ganesan

Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist has said that India can take a leaf out of Australia in terms of talent identification programmes. “If you’re a talented sportsman, you’d be rather unlucky not to be identified in a programme back home. I think if India were to be able to have a fully-structured ID programme like Australia, they’d be unstoppable with just the volume of talent. Having said that, I understand how it’s difficult in such a big nation with a huge population. That’s one of India’s greatest challenges,” said the dashing southpaw, recently in Chennai on a Tourism Australia promotional trip.

He might have decimated the Indian bowling attack on several occasions in the past, but the former wicketkeeper-batsman is looking forward to seeing how the men in blue fare on the field in forthcoming tournaments. “It (the Indian cricket team) looks to be in great shape. Anil Kumble as an appointment is a smart move, a sense that the BCCI were very keen to have a local coach. That makes sense,” he said, adding, “It’s important that the coach understands India, its culture and the language, in trying to explain a new philosophy to players. Anil is a high-class person — and that, combined with Virat’s excitement, makes for exciting times,” said Gilly, as he’s popularly known.

Gilchrist is widely remembered in cricketing circles for the famous ‘walking incident’ in the 2003 World Cup semi-final. The cricketer opined that those were the times when he thought players should have taken more ownership of how the game was played. “It was around the time when diving catches were being referred to the third umpire — technology wasn’t exactly clarifying if it was out or not. Batsmen knew that, and anything that was remotely close in a catch, they’d stand their ground. They (the batsmen) probably knew they were out but they’d still stand. I guess it still happens with referrals. Some batsmen try to bluff and get away with it and then it’s up to the opposition to challenge it or not.”

He added that people often fail to give due credit to umpires. “As batsmen, we were quick to blame umpires for bad decisions but don’t often congratulate them on a good decision. All of these were in my mind a little bit…when I walked that day.”

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