Sangakkara has replaced Yuvraj Singh as the captain job of Kings Xl Punjab for IPL 3. Some people may call this a wise decision by removing some responsibility from his shoulders, as it gives more freedom to Yuvi as a player. And some others may view it as “Ah Well! Yet another IndianPremier League franchise being led by a foreigner”.
Now let us put it in this way a) First of all seven of the eleven players in any match are Indians. b) And the second thing the board, management and the owners are all Indians c) Finally the viewers are mostly Indians. Keeping all the above in view, why shouldn’t an Indian be a team’s captain?
While the dynamics of IPL boasts of a strong lineup of regular batsman, it also proves to be a perfect launcher for domestic players waiting in their wings to make their international debut. For these young players, playing along with their favourite player is a huge thing.
They would certainly not appreciate their heroes being marginalized. No need to remind the readers about Brendon McCullum’s inclusion as captain over Sourav Ganguly being such a disaster for Kolkatta Knight Riders in IPL ll. Deccan Chargers may have lifted the title under the captaincy of Adam Gilchrist, but that was an unhappy side with Laxman not being given the top jobs of the team.
Kevin Peitersen who was given the skipper’s job, had a tough time in remembering the seven Indian players in the playing team. In such a case, could you expect him to know the strengths and weaknesses of his teammates and work wonders with them? Of course not. So, it was no surprise when the team called in Anil Kumble, who did wonders with the team.
The question of how well informed a ‘non-Indian captain’ is about the Indian playing conditions also pops up, especially now that the IPL is all set to move into new places like Visakhapatnam, Cuttack and Dharamshala.
Coming to Kings Xl Punjab, the team under the leadership of Yuvraj had not won the title for the past two seasons and in this corporate world one failure is enough for many changes to take place. Wonder if Yuvraj’s aggressive behaviour on and off field makes a strong case against him. Still it wasn’t too bad for them as they made it into semi’s in the first season and into the top five teams last season.
Also a captain is as good as a team and Punjab was missing some of their key players for the most part of the second season. Even Shane Warne, who was called a magician for the results he produced in the first IPL, had a bitter second season. A captain makes plans but execution depends on the team effort.
In fact I think that Sanga is a level-headed guy, knowing a little better about the game. Yet, I may, in the same breath, also voice my utter disappointment in the way he led Sri Lanka in the last couple of months.
In my opinion, the owners/coach should strongly consider the option of having an Indian leading the IPL team. Exempt an odd exception of the Rajasthan Royals who couldn’t boast of a single big Indian player. Shane Warne was perhaps their biggest catch and hence became their captain by default. But the other teams aren’t facing such a problem.
Perhaps, the Indian/non-Indian issue may become void if the captain happens to be a really good one – someone who’d be willing to go that extra yard to ensure that every member of the team is on the same page; someone who’d cross the language/nationality barrier and gain everyone’s confidence.
By: Ganta Rakesh