Australia news March 2, 2016

Michael Hussey reveals approach for India job


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Michael Hussey: "VVS accepted that I was not interested because of family reasons. But he would not accept my feeling that I was not up to standard for a job like that."

Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey has revealed in his latest book that he was asked by former India batsman VVS Laxman if he was interested in coaching India. That approach was made during the last IPL, barely a month before Laxman was inducted by the BCCI into its three-man advisory panel, which was tasked with finding India's head coach, a position left vacant after the exit of Duncan Fletcher following the 2015 World Cup.

Since the departure of Fletcher, former India allrounder Ravi Shastri has played the caretaker role in his position as team director (since August 2014). The terms of Shastri and the rest of his coaching staff comprising the trio of assistant coaches - Sanjay Bangar (batting), Bharat Arun (bowling) and R Sridhar (fielding) - will expire after the World Twenty20.

Hussey has been one of the most sought after among recently-retired players, especially in franchise-based T20 cricket. Since his retirement in 2013, Hussey has worked in various consulting roles, such as for South Africa at last year's World Cup, and he will be assisting Darren Lehmann with Australia at the upcoming World T20.

ESPNcricinfo understands Laxman had approached Hussey in person during an IPL match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings last season. Hussey had been bought back by Super Kings in 2015 and Laxman is a mentor with Sunrisers. According to Hussey, Laxman's approach came barely a week after former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene had asked him to consider taking over as assistant coach of Sri Lanka with the idea of graduating to the head coach position.

"The former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene rang me a while ago to ask if I would be interested in being an assistant coach of Sri Lanka with a view to taking over as head coach a few months further down the track," Hussey wrote in Winning Edge, his third book, which was released recently.

"A week later the ex-India batsman VVS Laxman asked me if I would be interested in coaching India. My initial answer to both of them was no because at the time I did not want to be on the road ten months a year; I wanted to be at home with my family and make up for some lost time from the previous few years. But, probably more relative to them, I said to each that I did not think I was ready to become the head coach of an international cricket team."

It is understood that Hussey told Laxman even if he was willing to take up a job, he preferred to start as an assistant coach. According to Hussey, although Laxman acknowledged focussing on the family was a valid excuse, he insisted that the Australian was highly capable of coaching an international team. "VVS accepted that I was not interested because of family reasons. But he would not accept my feeling that I was not up to standard for a job like that. 'You have played the game very well for a long time, you know what needs to be done, you shouldn't doubt yourself', he said.

"I replied that coaching individuals within a team is one thing and perhaps I could do that right now. But, I said, these days coaching is not just about coaching players. It's about dealing with boards, sponsors, business owners, investors, officials, all sorts of people outside the team environment," Hussey wrote."It's a very complex job that requires numerous skills that have little or nothing to do with cricket."

Laxman, Hussey pointed out, again disagreed. "He said that guys with our level of experience had more understanding of the ins and outs of the game than just about anyone. It got me thinking that maybe you do not need to go off and do all sorts of courses and tick all the official boxes," Hussey wrote. "Maybe just having played for so long ingrains in a long-serving former player the knowledge required to take on all that is necessary to be a good coach."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   John Moses on March 7, 2016, 17:52 GMT

    What India needs is an Indian coach. Most cricket followers in India think that a coach of European origin is superior. You will notice this kind of thinking in other South Asian countries also.

    There are many Indian coaches available, and the BCCI can easily pick one and stop the guessing game which is really hurting Indian cricket.

    Foreign coaches are usually out of place in the completely different Indian environment, and they have trouble understanding the Indian environment and the Indian personality.

    Long time ago the Indian cricket organization organized a coaching program by the Jamican fast bowler Roy Gilchrist. One my friends was in the coaching program. One of the first things Gilchrist told them was the Indian youngsters are not aggressive enough to be fast bowlers, and his prescription was to drink beer. This illustrates the cultural barrier they have to cross.

    I have seen Roy Gilchrist in action. He was a great player, but a difficult personality, and retired early

  •   Ayyub Gajia on March 5, 2016, 0:54 GMT

    why so obsessed about foraigners, shashtry have done a very good job also dravid works well with youth team , indian players can comunicate better with indian coach , Abid al works well but never used also prasad or robin singh.

  • Simon on March 4, 2016, 5:53 GMT

    It doesn't mater who is or who was India's couch. The best couch in the world will not fix their inability to win OS and also fixes their fundamental problems. Until India accepts that their main problem is that they can only play on one style of pitch nothing is going to fix their horrendous record. As a priority, India should concentrate on developing good quality seam and fast bowlers. They have some great quality spinners, however spinners are not suitable for every type of pitch. Perhaps India could learn a little from Eng, Aus, SA and to some extent Pakistan - these countries generally produce well balanced sides. If India addresses this problem they will be unbeatable and will finally earn some respect.

  •   Debashish Ghosh on March 3, 2016, 17:09 GMT

    @ABP235. - John Wright and Gary Kirsten - disasters? Can I get some of what you are smoking my friend.

  • ahmed on March 3, 2016, 16:57 GMT

    @electric-loco wap4 bro that approach helped whitewashing aus in aus and thrashing SL in SL and home and running through in Asia cup.

  • Debashish on March 3, 2016, 14:44 GMT

    @ABP235... Gary Kristen?? It was under him that India won WC. Their 2nd win, after the initial 1983 win. After a wait of almost 30 years. While he was the coach, India topped the ICC rankings of both tests and ODI at the same time. Something India had never achieved before and nor after Kristen left. And he was a disaster? Seriously?

  • Agnel on March 3, 2016, 12:40 GMT

    That will be another disaster, in line with John Wright, Greg Chappell and Gary Kirsten. Better please wait for a few months, let Dhoni retire, then appoint Rahul Dravid as the coach of senior team, forever. Till then, stick to the current team of Shastri, Arun, Bangar et al. India will only prosper after that. Why Dhoni must retire before Dravid takes over as coach? Thats not rocket science, perhaps the answer is same as the one to the question - why had Rahul Dravid quit as the test captain?!

  • Mani on March 3, 2016, 12:34 GMT

    Rahul Dravid will be a good choice for the role of coach. he knows the mentality of indian players and it will be easy for players to understand him

  • John on March 3, 2016, 11:02 GMT

    One shouldn't b forced. India has tons of options. If Harbhjan decides to retire after winning the tournament in India maybe him Gunguly can take over the job. That will be team India's best option. They can do wonders for the players. Harbhjan could be Gaunguly's go to man as an assistant coach. Now the question is only if Harbhjan decides to retire. Can u imagine India with #1 batsman coach Guanguly & #1 spinning coach with Harbhjan!!!! Ashwin, Jaddu & Negi will become better than #1. Can you imagine Ganguly helping the batting lineup. I hope they will do it for Indian Cricket. Both of these might have to figure out about fielding coach but I believe this combo is note than enough. Some balls are unstopable anyway.

  • Ramana on March 3, 2016, 10:47 GMT

    an Australian being the Head Coach for India team gives me the heebee-jeebies...the nightmares from Greg Chappell's stint are not yet forgotten. Sure, Mike Hussy is surely a different character altogether, but India shud now look for an Indian coach only. I am sure theres plenty of coaching talent at home, with the number of Ranji teams, IPL, etc.

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