Coach Ratings: Tenures of the last five coaches of the Indian team

From John Wright to Anil Kumble, we rate the coaches according to the performance of the Indian team under their respective helms.

India's head coach Anil Kumble attends a practice session
India’s head coach Anil Kumble. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

With the appointment of the new head coach of the Indian team, Ravi Shastri, Indian cricket is entering into a different era, giving rest to the ongoing and never-ending saga of the great Indian head coach hoopla. Shastri, through constant backing from the players, retained his place in the Indian cricket team, but this time as the coach.

Since the infamous match-fixing scandal, Indians have had the tendency to go for foreign coaches. Here we look at last five tenures, the highlights and lowlights of the various personnel who served as coach. From John Wright to Anil Kumble, we rate the coaches according to the performance of the Indian team under their respective helms.

John Wright

Nov 2000-April 2005

Rating: 8.5/10

John Wright was brought into the team during a tumultuous period. Match-fixing allegations, suspensions and bans, tainted Indian cricket like never before. Together with a spirited captain Sourav Ganguly, Wright had one of the longest tenures as the coach. The highlights during his era would be every campaign that the team went for overseas.

Before Wright, the Men in Blue had a reputation of struggling as tourists. India started to win in England, Australia and Pakistan. The Fab Four stood out during the majority of the overseas tours with their contribution. India started to win abroad under Ganguly-Wright partnership. His records speak volume of his work with the team. They reached the finals of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, by defeating every other team they met in the tournament except Australia.

Unfortunately, in the World Cup, Indians met Aussies during their phase of world dominance. But having said that, Ganguly & Co. managed to pull off one of the most sensational wins in Test cricket against Australia. It was Wright’s decision to promote VVS Laxman up the order in the famous Kolkata Test where India came back to win the match after being forced to follow-on by the Aussies.

Tests: Played:52   Win:21   Loss:15    Draw:16
ODIs: Played:130  Win:68  Loss:56    Tied/NR:6

Greg Chappell

May 2005-April 2007

Rating: 5/10

The name Greg Chappell, even after all these years, takes us back to his public tiff with the then skipper Sourav Ganguly. Dada and Chappell did not get along well and the ripples of this relationship were felt across the entire dressing room. Even Sachin Tendulkar in his biopic went ahead to reveal that there was mistrust within the dressing room and the atmosphere was the worst ever. Harbhajan Singh and many others also claimed that under the coaching of Chappell, one started doubting their own capabilities.

Ganguly, apart from losing captaincy, lost his place in the ODI side but made a sensational comeback into the Indian side before World Cup 2007. According to an excerpt from Sachin’s autobiography Playing It My Way, Tendulkar criticised Chappell by terming him as the ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not.

“His attitude to Sourav was astonishing. Chappell is on record as saying that he may have got the job because of Sourav but that did not mean he was going to do favours to Sourav for the rest of his life. Frankly, Sourav is one of the best cricketers India has produced and he did not need favours from Chappell to be part of the team” wrote Sachin in his book. However, if players like Yuvraj, Kaif, Sehwag and Harbhajan bloomed under the period of Wright, Chappell’s era saw the likes of Raina, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan and S Sreesanth going strength to strength in International cricket.

Tests: Played: 18 Win: 7  Loss:4  Draw:7
ODIs: Played: 62 Win: 32 Loss:27  Tied/NR:3

Gary Kirsten

March 2008-April 2011

Rating: 9.5/10

Not many know, but it was Ravi Shastri who convinced Gary Kirsten to coach the Indian team during their campaign in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup (2007) in South Africa. It was Shastri who was the interim head of the team in the post-Chappell era. He was the team director during their tour to Bangladesh, Ireland, and England.

MS Dhoni & Co. brought back its golden days under Kirsten. India reached the top of ICC Test Ranking and won the World Cup 2011 at home. Losing was a rare phenomenon during his stint as a coach. Dhoni captained India to some of the most memorable wins in his career during the Kirsten era. Unlike his predecessor, he preferred to remain away from the limelight and mostly worked behind the scenes. Recordwise, he did a marvellous job with the Indian team and resigned on his own terms.

He is to date remembered as the best coach the team had.

Tests: Played:33  Won:16  Loss:6  Draw:11
ODIs: Played:93  Won:59  Loss:29 Tied/NR:5
T20Is: Played:18  Won:9   Loss:9   NR:0

Duncan Fletcher

April 2011-March 2015

Rating: 7/10

After Kirsten resigned, former English coach Duncan Fletcher took over the role. Unfortunately, his stint was marred with the whitewashes in England and Australia. Fletcher was the coach when most of the senior players were either in the twilight of their careers or suffering from a slump in form. However, India invested a lot of faith in youngsters during his era, bringing the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Ashwin, Jadeja, Dhawan, Rahane, Vijay and many others into international reckoning.

The personnel listed above are the pillars of Indian cricket at present. Under Fletcher, India won the Champions Trophy in 2013. Due to the team’s performance overseas in Tests and Ravi Shastri being reappointed as the team director, Fletcher lost his stranglehold on the team, and eventually, his stint ended with the World Cup of 2015.

Tests: Played: 35  Won:13   Loss:15   Draw:7
ODIs: Played:83   Won:47   Loss:29   Tied/NR:7
T20Is: Played:24   Won:15   Loss:9      Tied/NR::0

 

Anil Kumble

March 2016-June 2017

Rating: 9/10

One of the most respected personalities in Indian cricket, Anil Kumble was appointed the head coach of the team by CAC but was given just a one-year contract. During his term, Virat Kohli & Co. did exceptionally well in Test as well as in ODIs and reached the finals of the recently concluded Champions Trophy. India hosted one of the longest seasons of Test cricket achieved world dominance in Tests after languishing at number seven during the Fletcher era.

They defeated teams such like Sri Lanka in their backyard for the first time in more than two decades, followed it up with series wins against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia at home. However, it all fell apart during the start of the Champions Trophy, as reports started to emerge about a rift in the team. Kohli objected Kumble’s had reservations against him and conveyed it to the BCCI. Soon after India lost during the finals, Kumble resigned from the coveted position to make way for Ravi Shastri.

Tests: Played: 17 Won:12 Lost:1 Draw:4
ODIs: Played: 13  Won:8 Lost:5 Tied/NR:0
T20Is: Played:5  Won:2  Lost:2  Tied/NR:1

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