Wright's simple outlook endears him to players

Written by: Suresh Parekh
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2001, 18:15 [IST]
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Rajkot: One of the nicest things to happen to Indian cricket is definitely the arrival of John Wright as the coach of the team. Very few have really praised John Wright for his outstanding role in a short span of time to a team that has just passed through the most debatable period in history because of the match-fixing allegations.

India lost the first Test against Australia and none were sure that India would square the series first and then win the last Test to clinch the series. It was indeed India's most handsome series win as it came under the most adverse circumstances.

While Saurav Ganguly, despite his poor form with the bat, was praised for his very spirited and positive leadership, few gave a pat to the man behind the scene - coach John Wright.

Very few former cricketers or the media spoke about the positive role of the coach. John Wright could well have approached the Press, but the gentleman that he is, the New Zealander hardly spoke to the media. His media conferences have been very precise.

Though he may not be high flying as Bob Simpson or thoroughly professional as Geoff Marsh, Wright firmly believes that that results can be achieved by caring, loving and respecting cricketers.

This where Wright differed totally from all his predecessors. He mixed well with all the players without any kind of a bias. He took special care and treated every one on par whether the player was senior or junior.

This simple outlook has given a new confidence to the boys, especially those less experienced and struggling to find a place in the team.

Take the case of V V S Laxman. He was selected because he performed so well in the domestic cricket and for his magnificent century in the Sydney Test when India played the Aussies Down Under.

Wright knew that there was nothing wrong with the Laxman. All that was required was boost to his confidence. This Laxman got in a big dose when Ganguly and Wright decided to promote him ahead of Rahul Dravid.

The decision proved to be a master stroke. Laxman almost single-handedly won the series for India. Another good thing that emerged about Wright is that he has remained away from any sort of controversy.

Wright knows what his job is and stick to his principal is. He knew about the Saurav-Nagma affair in the newspapers, he knew that selectors were not always picking the best names, he knew that some officials were not happy with his appointment as the coach, but he still stuck to his guns and continued with his job.

His job is to bring the best out of all players and to make the team a winning combination. This is the job he is performing successfully. As long as he continues to work this way one is sure that he will be one of the most successful coaches ever and the most respected one too.

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