Separate coach for Tests, ODIs? Chetan Sharma espouses 2-coach norm for Team India

New Delhi: Amidst speculation that two coaches will be named for the Indian cricket team, former India fast bowler Chetan Sharma said he espoused the idea, adding that both should function under current team director Ravi Shastri.

“There is talk that there should be two coaches – one for Tests and the other for limited overs. It is not a bad idea. A Test match is a different ball game and very different from One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 cricket,” Sharma told IANS in an interview.

“Like some players are only for ODIs and players like Cheteshwar Pujara are specialists for Tests. So why can’t we have a coach this way. I say have two coaches but keep them under the purview of Ravi Shastri, who should be at the top.”

The Indian team has been without a chief coach since Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher stepped down after the World Cup in March. Former India captain Shastri was appointed team director and is currently looking after the affairs of the team.

The first Indian bowler to record a hat-trick in the international arena, Sharma added that he, personally, would like to see an Indian as the coach of the team.

“I have always been in favour of an Indian coach. India is a big country to understand. The Indian wickets, conditions and culture – it takes time to understand. By the time a foreign coach settles, a year will also pass away,” said the 49-year-old.

Sharma lauded the Indian team for winning the second Test against Sri Lanka and levelling the series 1-1. The third and final Test of the series will commence on Friday.

“It is very important the way they made the comeback. When you are 0-1 down and you lose the Test which you should have finished in three days and won by an innings, to come back with a bang and win by 278 runs – team ki jitni tareef ki jae utni kam (can’t have enough praise for the team),” said Sharma, who played 23 Tests and 65 ODIs for India.

“Okay, you lose a Test match which you were not supposed to but to make a comeback like this, all credit goes to the team.”

The Ludhiana-born also praised skipper Virat Kohli, saying he is an aggressive, attacking captain.

“Virat is very aggressive and why not? I, myself, was aggressive. He is an attacking captain. For an attacking captain, may be he will lose the first five-seven matches but the day the team starts giving results, he will win the next 20,” said Sharma, who had 128 international scalps between 1984 and 1994.

“This was a big win and that too outside the country. Big wins bring in big changes in captains, I have seen it myself. This victory, and if we win the series, it will be very difficult to beat the Indian team then. This win only would have taken the confidence level very high.”