Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can Akram swing it for the Kinghts?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram's name along with that of, Pravin Amre and ex-India coach John Wright is doing the rounds for the job Kolkata Knight Riders' coach. The coach's post has been lying vacant after KKR management has ousted John Buchanan after last year's dismal performance. It is however a well known fact that Buchanan lost the job due to his multiple captain theory which was not welcomed by the team especially KKR's biggest star Sourav Ganguly.

Wasim Akram might not have any coaching experience but he is surely the most capped player among those being interviewed by the KKR management including team owner Shahrukh Khan. There are also talks the if not the coach, the Sultan of Swing might be appointed as the bowling consultant by the team which has put up a dismal performance in all three departments of the game in the first two seasons of the IPL.

One thing which might play a key role in Akram's selection is the admiration that Sourav Ganguly has for him. It may be recalled that during the 1997 Shahrjah Cup, Sourav Ganguly had spoken very highly about the left arm magician from Pakistan. It is not too often that Indian and Pakistani cricketers praised each other in public. During India's 2003-04 tour to Australia, Akram had shared his experience with Zaheer and Irfan Pathan on Sourav's request.

Akram's selection for the job will not only be a boon for the KKR fast bowlers but also for most likely captain Sourav Ganguly who can consult him for making decisions off the field. Having played so much of cricket at the top level and led one of the most difficult and controversial teams Akram knows a thing or two about captaincy. Another advantage with Akram is being from the sub-continent he is aware of the cricketing culture here unlike John Buchanan who had Aussie tablets for Indian problems.

If selected Akarm's job will be anything but easy considering the drubbing the team got in the last year's edition where their opponents took the Knights as a virtual walkover. Akram might also have to mentally strengthen the players after the criticism they received in the last edition for the tournament. Akram's prospects look bright but will he be able to SWING the team towards winning ways remains to be seen.


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