Greg Chappell has come up with a new book or rather a new manual on cricket. I feel that there is only a point upto which it is possible to coach cricketers. It is only when the players are very young there is a need for coaching. Many cricket players of the past did not receive any formal coaching; they picked up from imitating their idols.
What has prompted me to write and publish this blog is the fact that everyone today talks about the right technique without actually having the remotest knowledge of what it means. It is ridiculous for former batsmen to talk about the right action for the bowlers and the bowlers returning the compliments by giving advice to the batsmen. The so-called experts talk about the textbook or the copybook technique. I am really interested to know whether any such exists. One might regard the writings of a respected or a famous cricketer of the past as the authoritative reference for the aspiring cricketers.
There is nothing wrong in it except that we don’t recognize the abilities or the conditions under which the past player(s) performed with so much of distinction. In the first instance, let us consider the case of one of the modern greats of the game-I.V.A. Richards. The coaches gloat about the need to meet the ball with the full face of the bat. Now Richards used to drag balls pitched well outside the off-stump and deposit them to all corners of the onside. The traditional manuals talk about the need to play shots all across the turf and not play in the air. The modern players- most of the successful batsmen of the present era-Gilchrist, Sehwag, Hayden and even Sachin(the earlier version) don’t stick to this game. Steve Waugh rarely employed the hook against the short pitched stuff. He used to take them on the body. No coach would ever talk about such a method. But look at the record of Waugh. There cannot be any standardization as far as the approaches of the players are concerned. Cricket is an art; it is not like the creation of a good inside the factory. It is an art. The artist has to be given the liberty to display his wares. Of course, today painters, singers etc. are created in the classrooms.
The players differ in their physical aspects and as such each employs a technique that best suits him. The Indian batsmen struggle on the fast pitches abroad because they develop and hone their skill on much slower and turning wickets back home. The same can be told about the deficiencies of the players from England. Australia, West Indies, New Zealand or South Africa while playing quality spinners on the sub- continental wickets. Now it is no different for the bowlers as well. All left-arm pacers cannot be like a Wasim Akram. Kumble has been mightily effective even when his basic approach to spinbowling is contrary to orthodox ideas or techniques.
. There cannot be any standardization as far as the approaches of the players are concerned. Cricket is an art; it is not like the creation of a good inside the factory. It is an art. The artist has to be given the liberty to display his wares. Of course, today painters, singers etc. are also created in the classrooms.