Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell on Sunday said a captain is best advised by senior teammates on the field and assisted by managers off it, hinting at Virat Kohli’s spat with coach Anil Kumble, which led to the latter tendering his resignation. “The captain is the only person who can run an international cricket team properly because so much of the job involves on-field decision-making,” Chappell said in his column published by Cricinfo. “Also, a good part of the leadership role — performed off the field — has to be handled by the captain, as it helps him earn the players’ respect, which is crucial to his success,” the 73-year-old legendary batsman said.
Chappell opined that if a captain is put in front of a coach who has similar “strong-minded” mindset, confrontations are likely. Kohli and a few other senior members of the team felt that Kumble was too overbearing and Kumble described his relationship with the captain as “untenable” in his resignation letter.
“Consequently a captain has to be a strong-minded individual and decisive in his thought process. To put someone of a similar mindset in a position where he’s advising the captain is inviting confrontation. The captain’s best advisors are his vice-captain, a clear-thinking wicket-keeper, and one or two senior players. They are out on the field and can best judge the mood of the game and what advice should be offered to the captain and when” Chapell said.
“The best off-field assistance for a captain will come from a good managerial type. Someone who can attend to duties that are not necessarily related to winning or losing cricket matches but, done efficiently, can contribute to the success of the team. “The last thing a captain need is to come off the field and have someone second-guess his decisions. He also doesn’t need a strong-minded individual (outside his advisory group) getting too involved in the pre-match tactical planning.
Too often I see captaincy that appears to be the result of the previous evening’s planning and, despite ample evidence that it’s hindering the team’s chances of victory, it remains the plan throughout the day,” he added. Chappell said India is blessed to have Ajinkya Rahane in their ranks as he is a good leader too. “India is fortunate to have two capable leaders in Kohli and the man who stood in for him during the Test series with Australia, Ajinkya Rahane,” Chapell said. “It’s Kohli’s job as captain to concentrate on things that help win or lose cricket matches, and his off-field assistants’ task is to ensure he is not distracted in trying to achieve victory,” he added.