India’s assistant cricket coach Sanjay Bangar feels competence, not nationality, should be the sole criteria while judging a coach and criticism should never be based on whether the person is an Indian or not.
“It should never be termed as an Indian or an overseas coach. We need to get over such things. You need to be competent enough. You need to be challenging your own benchmark on a regular basis,” Bangar told a reputed cricket website.
“Cricket is evolving and any person in that capacity (coach) needs to constantly evolve, try and improve and bring fresh ideas,” he said. Bangar, along with B Arun and R Sridhar, was rushed to England by the BCCI in August to assist Duncan Fletcher for the ODI leg of India’s tour after the 1-3 Test series loss.
Despite the abruptness of the BCCI call, Bangar, the 41-year old former India opener, said he was far from being “overwhelmed” by the job. “I just look at the job as one level ahead, as a responsibility. It is again about trying build relationships, trying to earn respect, trying to earn the trust of the people you work with. It takes time,” he said.
Bangar, who retired from first-class cricket last year, was handpicked by Ravi Shastri, the team director during the England ODI series, because he felt that an Indian could serve the team better. “It all boils down to individuals. How badly one wants to make a mark that probably drives the kind of work he eventually does,” Bangar said.
When he received a call from the Board, Bangar was putting in, place plans for Kings XI Punjab’s campaign in the Champions League T20 as only the second Indian head coach of an IPL franchise. Discarded as unfit for T20 in 2009, Bangar excelled as coach when his tactics and open approach helped Kings XI to make their maiden IPL final, where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders, the same franchise that had sent Bangar back home five years ago.
Bangar said he relied on the experience of Virender Sehwag, who he said was instrumental in keeping the Kings XI dressing room competitive. Sehwag, 35, has been out of the India side for more than a year, but Bangar is optimistic about his international comeback. “By the way he has played his cricket (in the IPL) he has made a case for himself. The hundred he got in the qualifier (122 off 58 balls against Chennai Super Kings) was a special innings and everybody would agree to it,” Bangar said.