APRIL 24, 2014

Moores and the shadow of the past

Jon Hotten: His second spell as England coach might be nothing like his first, but memories of it will hover nevertheless
Downton and Moores: the wicketkeepers dunnit © Getty Images
APRIL 15, 2014

You can't control talent, only channel it

Jon Hotten: Cricket runs the risk of going down the route of over-coaching, like in some other sports - which is not ideal in a game that is as much about art as about science
APRIL 01, 2014

'The mental aspect and the way you train are critical to coaching'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Former India coach Greg Chappell talks about the challenges he faced with the side, his relationship with Rahul Dravid, the role of specialist coaches, and developing youngsters
MARCH 31, 2014


The need to simplify batting

In his column for the Hindu, Greg Chappell lists the factors that have changed the style and character of batting in modern cricket. Stressing on the need for simplicity, especially in coaching at the junior level, Chappell suggests that the role of a coach could be limited to creating an environment and observing the action.

Coaches should be seen and not heard. Their role should be to set the environment and observe the action. If refinement to a player's method is required, the parameters of the training session should be adjusted to encourage the desired outcome. This, in my view is what real coaching should look like. No other sport trains in an environment that is as far removed from the real game as cricket does. Good players don't learn to play and compete in nets. They have to learn from playing and competing in environments that replicate the real thing or they will not develop sufficiently to be able to make a difference and to attract spectators to the longer game.

MARCH 30, 2014

West Indies cricket

How will the Pybus Report fare?

West Indies have opted for a host of changes to their cricket structure in their Systems Report for 2014 and Tony Becca in Jamaica Gleaner is impressed with the emphasis on building professionalism in first-class cricket, with 15 players per team playing under contract and top-grade coaching staff on call. But memory serves him to be wary of how they take effect.

I remember also in the days of Jamaica's county championship, a two-day tournament which featured some of the West Indies contracted players, when many of the West Indies players turned up with sick mothers and aunts, fathers and uncles, in places like Canada and England, and were excused from some of the matches. I hope, really hope, nothing like that happens this time around.

MARCH 25, 2014

'If Misbah believed in a player, he'd absolutely bat for him'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Dav Whatmore talks about the challenges of coaching in the subcontinent, the 1996 World Cup, dealing with the PCB and the media, and his relationship with his captains
MARCH 18, 2014

Coached by Goochie

Jon Hotten: How many of us can claim to have attended a masterclass with England's most prolific run scorer?
MARCH 04, 2014

Can Flower bring art to the science of coaching?

Jon Hotten: Great coaches understand the fluidity of technique, the role of imagination, the constant forward momentum of the game
FEBRUARY 25, 2014

'West Indies have an incredible desire to move forward'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Richard Pybus on his new role as director of cricket with the West Indies board, and his memories of coaching Pakistan during a heady phase
JANUARY 09, 2014

The Ashes 2013-14

Give Flower all the power

Andy Flower likes to tap into the knowledge of other sports, and their coaches, as he decides on the best way to go about his job. That job has now become very tough in the wake of the Ashes whitewash and there are suggestions he will walk if he doesn't get his way over Kevin Pietersen. Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, writing in the Daily Mail, provides an view from outside the cricket world about how the ECB need to go about rebuilding.

No matter the sport, the head coach must be the only man who is unequivocally in charge, yet even Flower's job title of 'team director' muddies everything. In our national set-ups both in cricket and rugby, too many key decisions are being made by committee. That in turn leads to popularity contests and allows compromise to come into play. When things go wrong reports are commissioned -- the 2006-07 Ashes whitewash sparked the Schofield report -- but nobody fronts up to take the blame.

OCTOBER 29, 2013

Japanese cricket

Youtube, Shizuka Miyaji's first coach

Japan's Shizuka Miyaji is currently training with the New South Wales Women's team, sharpening her chinaman skills under the watchful eye of captain Alex Blackwell. Her six-month stint in Sydney is a considerable step up, after some of the other means Miyaji had to use to learn the game, writes Carly Adno in Australia's Telegraph.

"These kids learn how to play cricket from watching on Youtube. They'll be watching Shane Warne bowl his leg breaks and then you see them go out and try to do the same," Blackwell said. Miyaji is training with NSW and playing first-grade cricket with Universities and Blackwell is confident she will make enormous strides during her time in Australia. "So that's really how the kids in Japan become familiar with cricket because it isn't on live TV anywhere."

OCTOBER 14, 2013

'I tried to model my one-day game on Michael Bevan'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Mike Hussey talks about developing his limited-overs skills, his relationship with Cricket Australia, the need for better pitches in domestic cricket, and the Gurunath Meiyappan controversy
OCTOBER 14, 2013

Practice makes perfect?

Nicholas Hogg: Does a technical, complex sport like cricket contain new tricks that can't be taught to old dogs?
OCTOBER 06, 2013

Australia's grassroots problem

Michael Jeh: Is it worth forking out the equivalent of a month's mortgage for your ten-year-old to play for a representative team?
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

'My biggest mistake was refusing the Pakistan captaincy'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Former Pakistan allrounder Azhar Mahmood talks about his brief Test career, touring the world as a T20 franchise cricketer, and passing on bowling tips to younger players
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

Pakistan and the Whatmore factor

Mazher Arshad: The coach's tenure has coincided with a slump in the team's fortunes. The board needs to think about the 2015 World Cup and appoint someone else now
AUGUST 25, 2013

What to do when you feel frustrated

Michael Jeh: If you're like Lehmann, you could swear, be comical, and not worry about having to think before you speak
AUGUST 21, 2013

Losing Phil Hughes

Jon Hotten: He was a magical player when he made his Test debut, but the establishment's orthodoxy, confusion and fear have reduced him to a shadow of his old self
AUGUST 19, 2013

Indian cricket

Remembering Desh Prem Azad

The death of Desh Prem Azad, who coached many cricketers including Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Ashok Malik and Yograj Singh, last week saddened followers of the game in India. In a personal tribute to Azad, Pradeep Magazine, writing for the Hindustan Times, remembers the coach, who was a strict disciplinarian and an inspiring cricketer to his young wards.

Chandigarh's Sector 16 coaching centre, where Azad honed the skills of young, impressionable boys, was the centre of his life, an abode where his writ ran. He was, in the tradition of Indian gurus, a man whose word was law and no one dared defy his instructions.

AUGUST 12, 2013

'My biggest challenge was proving a foreigner could coach India'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: John Wright talks about his stints coaching India, New Zealand, and Mumbai Indians, his bond with India, his relationships with Sourav Ganguly and Ross Taylor, and the unique challenges of the jobs