India women coach WV Raman, in a video chat with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, said that he likes to take time before giving a player opportunities at the top level. The 55-year-old had a good spell at Tamil Nadu as coach and selector between 2006 and 2010, a period where Ashwin made a mark as a youngster and went on to earn a spot in the Indian side.
“You can take a lot of time assessing a player. I’m sure you [Ashwin] would have seen that with MS Dhoni as well. He watches a player closely before giving him the nod,” Raman told Ashwin in an interview on the latter’s YouTube channel.
Raman remembered his stint in Tamil Nadu and explained how difficult it is for coaches and selectors to shut out the background noise surrounding team selection.
“Chopping and changing happens when you don’t have conviction in your decision making,” the former India opener said.
“A functional cricketer might do well in a local league games on the trot, and people will try to tell you that he should be the one playing in the [state] team. And that is when you get rattled a little bit.”
Raman added: “For the same person wearing two hats, you should have a split personality and to assess which cricketer will be good in a particular scenario. You should throw your personal likes and dislikes out of the window. You need to have a professional relationship with the players. You are not representing TNCA [Tamil Nadu Cricket Association] but six crore people.
“Not all the leading wicket-takers and run-getters are from Tamil Nadu. My decisions are not based purely on numbers. For example, if a bowler has taken 30 wickets in five matches, I’ll try to see why he succeed. If your decisions are based on hearsay, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
Raman spoke about the ingredients that would make up a winning team, stating that every member of the squad needs to believe in going all the way. Since Tamil Nadu’s 1988 Ranji Trophy victory, they have finished runners-up on six occasions.
He said: “You spend around four months of your time, it’s a long-drawn process [to build a strong team]. There should be a collective belief in the camp that ‘we are going to win it this year’. The [negativity] spreads through the team even if one or two don’t possess that belief.
“As far as Tamil Nadu was concerned, we didn’t have you [Ashwin] or Dinesh Karthik through the year. Handling players coming in and going out was another challenge. When Ashwin is there in the team he’ll pick wickets. What if he is not around?
“As for players not being picked...you should not spread negativity if you don’t get chances, not feel discouraged. He’ll slowly express his displeasure. A lot of these mental aspects come in.”
Raman also spoke about how he insisted on strengthening age-group cricket to TNCA when invited to become head coach and how he backed left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas as a 16-year-old.
Watch WV Raman’s interview with R Ashwin here: