Handling a transition phase for any successful unit is a challenge in itself and that’s why the Indian cricket team’s most successful former head coach, Gary Kirsten, feels that Duncan Fletcher played a “huge role” during his four-year tenure, which has now become a footnote.
Fletcher took over from Kirsten after India’s 2011 World Cup triumph and in the next four years saw doyens of Indian cricket such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan walk into the sunset.
“I think Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni played a huge role in creating an environment for young players to thrive. This has really helped younger players to deal with the trials and tribulations of international competition,” Kirsten told PTI during an interaction.
Statistics are normally the yardstick to judge on-field or coaching performances and Kirsten feels often a lot of intangibles are not taken into account.
“Not every environment is suited to one’s coaching style and philosophy. Although coaches are measured by the results of a team, the bigger picture often reflects what kind of an impact a coach had on a player.
“We as coaches often take more pleasure out of watching individuals thrive under one’s leadership,” said Kirsten while replying to a question about not being able to replicate his success as international coach in the franchise cricket.
Kirsten had a forgettable tenure with Delhi Daredevils and now he is with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. “Winning games often just ‘buys’ a coach more time to be able to have positive influence on individuals within the group,” he said.