Former captain applauds man-management skills of support staff August 24, 2007

'You don't need a professor at this level' - Ganguly



Ganguly feels the work of Prasad, one of two specialist coaches, has been superb © Getty Images

Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, has applauded the man-management skills of the current Indian coaching staff and was pleased that the tour has proceeded without any "hiccups".

Ganguly, who had some major differences with former India coach Greg Chappell, was happy with the current atmosphere in the dressing room, adding that the team did not need a "professor" to coach them at this level.

"The youngsters have enjoyed themselves," Ganguly told Cricinfo when asked about the dynamics in the team. "It's been a lovely dressing room, a free dressing room. No hiccups, not many controversies off the field, not too much rubbish going around, which has been good. It's been fantastic."

Did he think the lack of a head coach had affected the team in any way? "We have coaches - Robin [Singh] and Venky [Prasad] have been superb," he said. "They've been nice, their man-management skills have been worth watching. Chandu Borde has been nice. Lot of people said he's 73 when he got appointed. He may not be the most active because of his age but the batting ideas he gives - stands behind in the nets, watches every ball - that's all you need.

"You don't need a professor at this level. You don't need to treat international players like students. What are you going to teach Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid or Anil Kumble? What are you going to tell them? [There are] minor things which you notice in the nets you come and tell them, 'This is what I feel, this is how you can do it better'. And Mr Borde does it perfectly."

After India's Test series triumph at The Oval, their captain, Dravid, had also acknowledged the efforts of Prasad, Robin and Borde. However, when asked about the lack of a coach before the first game of the one-day series, he was guarded with his stance. "We've had some good success on this tour, but it will be too simplistic to say it's because we haven't had [a coach]," he said. "There are other factors that have gone into us playing well. You can't just focus on the coach.

"Sometimes you're in the team and looking at it from one perspective. People from outside can look at a team and see the direction it's going in. They must provide some intelligence and input as well."

Full interview to appear shortly.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is assistant editor of Cricinfo