TOI Exclusive: “Shreyas Iyer ideal candidate for India captaincy in future” | Cricket News

MUMBAI: When initial loading began, Horsemen Knights of Calcutta' (KKR) coach Pandit Chandrakant was not going through a pleasant period, with some players questioning his “dictatorial” coaching style. Pandit had the last word on Sunday. In an exclusive interview with TOI, Pandit opened up about what makes him a successful coach.


Having coached Mumbai, Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh to Ranji titles, what does an IPL crown mean to you?
It's a great feeling, special and very different. It is a prestigious and high-pressure tournament at international level. There are continuous journeys and you have to maintain that winning momentum. There are a lot of ups and downs. It's a long journey. You face a lot of obstacles and bouncing off them feels different for the team.

What do you think makes you a successful coach?
I still believe in discipline. There is a routine that I always follow. Respect for the game is the most important. I don't go above the game and I never allow others to do that.
Recently, a few players criticized your coaching approach…
I always stick to my work style. I don't get distracted and I don't react to that because you can't please everyone. I have been coaching for almost 25 years now; however, I am also evolving a little with the new generation and I understand them better. This season was more relaxed because I knew what was important for the team.

How would you describe the role of mentor Gautam Gambhir in the victory?
His presence in the dugout was a great motivation for everyone. This was a big boost for us. He came in with a lot of experience in cricket. He has been a part of the IPL for many years. We made all decisions collectively.
KKR captain Shreyas Iyer has been very impressive, leading from the front despite losing his BCCI contract…
I would give a lot of credit to Shreyas. He is a fantastic captain, very calm and cool. He was receptive to our suggestions and managed the team well on and off the field. With KKR, he showed the qualities that make him worthy of India's captaincy in the future.

How did you motivate Shreyas?
Any player will be a bit disappointed by this (BCCI contract snob). However, this should not affect its performance. Whenever we discussed something, we never brought it up. We made it clear that the task at hand was greater. I remember him saying to me, “Sir, I’m going to prove it.” From the way he has batted in this IPL, he now seems to be a more mature and sensible batsman.
Mitchell Starc struggled at first…
This is the plan we expect him to carry out. He is a great, experienced player. I could understand that he is very committed. We sometimes discussed the possibility of trying to get around the wicket. He accepted our suggestion and also tried it in a match. He is a very humble man. He was always there to discuss everything with us and was very responsive.

Assistant coach Abhishek Nayar also received a lot of praise…
Nayar's contribution was enormous, while Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and Carl Crowe (spin bowling coach) deserve credit for the fine show from the bowlers. Nayar runs our camps well. He spends time throughout the year with our national players. Whenever they are free, our national players come to Mumbai for a camp with us. There does not have to be 15 players for us to run a camp.

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