Has Eric Simons been made the scapegoat?

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Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 13:49 [IST]
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BCCI making Eric Simons the scapegoat?

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to part ways with India's bowling coach Eric Simons. The South African has been replaced by an Australian, Joe Dawes. One would want to ask BCCI, whether Simons has been made the scapegoat for the team's recent pathetic performances?

While during the BCCI's Working Committee meeting in Chennai on Monday, Indian board's President N. Srinivasan rejected calls for a formal inquiry into team's poor showings, the same day they decided to sack the bowling coach. These are the strange ways in which BCCI functions.

When a team keeps failing consistently on foreign soil, as India has done in the past one year, losing eight Tests on the trot, you need to find someone to vent your ire at. And BCCI has conveniently found the easy way out in firing Simons.

Simons had worked in tandem with his compatriot Gary Kirsten as they took India to World Cup victory last year. He stayed on after the departure of Kirsten post-World Cup. But those highs of World Cup were the happy times in the shorter format. When it came to Tests, the team has not delivered.

BCCI could argue that Simons had very little to contribute with the team's bowling stocks diminishing. Apart from the batting woes for India, their fast bowlers haven't really been on target.

The lanky Ishant Sharma is a classic example. He has been inconsistent. One wonders what has happened to this talented Delhi lad. What is Simons doing?

Has the South African done enough to help India's young pacemen to flourish in suitable conditions? The answer for all these questions might just be a simple "No."

BCCI has come under huge pressure from fans and former cricketers for giving less importance to Test cricket and making Indian Premier League (IPL) its priority.

If the BCCI is serious about going deep into what is ailing Indian Test cricket, then they have to order a full inquiry and restructure the system. Holding one member of the coaching staff responsible for all the recent misery will not serve any purpose.

Why has BCCI targeted only Simons, what about coach Duncan Fletcher? What has he done to keep his place secured in the post-Kisten era. As they say, coaches for international teams have minimal roles and it is left to the players on the field to bring results.

BCCI's sudden move to axe Simons midway through a series, is not the right way. Though he will continue till the end of the ODI tri-series, he cannot be blamed if his interest wanes while interacting with India's fast bowlers during the series in Australia.

Simons' two-year stint with the team will end in the next few weeks but will BCCI take any action on any other coaching staff or a player is still not clear.


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