Would love to coach an IPL or Ranji Trophy team: Tatenda Taibu
Thiruvananthapuram: Former Zimbabwean cricket team captain and wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu said he would love to work as a coach for an Indian Premier League (IPL) or Ranji Trophy team.
The 36-year-old was speaking to mathrubhumi.com on the sidelines of Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2020 (MBIFL20) here on Wednesday.
"Recently I had applied for the position of fielding coach for the Sri Lankan national team. I was shortlisted in the last three but narrowly missed it. I would love to be a coach at one of the IPL teams or Ranji Trophy teams. I am confident that I can be a valuable addition," said Taibu.
A man for whom age was an important factor right from becoming the youngest in the world to head a national cricket team at the age of 21, to being the youngest to give up his favourite sport by retiring at 29 and also to write his debut book ‘Keeper of Faith’ to pursue his spiritual journey which he believes is deeply rooted in him.
Taibu has taken up coaching and has been working in the UK after relocating from his home country four years ago. He joined Hightown St. Mary's Cricket Club in the second-division of the Liverpool & District Cricket Competition in 2016 as a player-coach-development-officer.
Zimbabwean cricket is dying
Tatenda Taibu says the team will soon have a slow death and blames the system as such for the poor performance.
"If nothing is done within the 2 or 3 years, then it would be the death of Zimbabwean cricket," he said. Zimbabwean cricket is in its moribund state with the political and economic problems and also the new strategies put out by the ICC. It could survive only with some immediate remedial measures. There are hardly any good players in the 20 to 30 age group, Taibu feels.
Administrators in Zimbabwe doesn’t understand cricket
Taibu said that administrators in Zimbabwe cricket do not understand cricket. All the players who left the country, like Andy and Grant Flower, they all wanted to help. But whenever they approached the cricket union suggesting to them how things should be done, the administrators took it as a threat against their authority and powers.
India has monopolised cricket
Taibu feels that India has monopolised the sport of cricket. “India is the team to beat now. They are the team to beat in all aspects and are totally dominant,” he said.
IPL has been the game changer for Indian cricket
"IPL is one of the biggest events in the world of cricket now. Everything else stops for the IPL. There may be similar T20 leagues in other countries but nothing comes close in any aspect. Be it the number of players, their quality or the way IPL has been marketed. You name any aspect of cricket IPL is head and shoulders above everything else," said the former wicket-keeper.
India always had talent but their development in various areas of the game was revolutionised by the IPL. The event brought Indian players close to cricket from other parts of the world. Not just players but coaches, trainers, physicians etc. This helped the holistic development of Indian cricket. Now you can see that they are at the top of their game in every aspect.
Taibu is also a Kohli fan
Taibu minced no words when asked about his favourite cricketers at the present juncture. Of course Indian captain Virat Kohli is one of his top favourites followed by Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Rohit Sharma. AB de Villiers is of course his all time favourite. Taibu's favourite spinner is Muttiah Muralitharan whom he describes as the finest spinner.
Wriddhiman Saha and Dinesh Karthik are talented But Dhoni is superior
Taibu has a very interesting opinion about India's wicket-keepers. In his personal opinion, Wridhiman Saha is much better in terms of pure talent with the gloves. Dinesh Karthik is a good batsman. But Dhoni is a master of managing the game. His cricketing brain is far superior to the other two and he contributes to the team very well with and without the bat. He is a much better all round performer for the team.
Taibu even recollected meeting Dhoni, when Captain Cool was part of the Indian team that visited Zimbabwe before he had become a household name.
"Back then I thought why is he even in the team because Saha was clearly the better wicket keeper. But Dhoni learned and improved his game with the bat and with the gloves. Soon, his cricketing brain started to shine through and his position was cemented," said Taibu.
Wicket-keeping is not easy and Pant needs more time
Being a wicket-keeper is not an easy job by any means. The keeper has to be vigilant at all times when the team is bowling but more importantly, the keeper needs to contribute with the bat as well.
No wicket-keeper can stay in the Indian team, or any other team for that matter, without scoring runs. Pant practically needs to unsettle one or two players in the batting lineup to get in the team. He needs to be taught how to manage his game and style so that he can play according to the needs of the team.
“India is my second home”
Taibu has been to India many times as a player and considers it his second home. He likes Kerala as well and fondly remembers playing in Kochi. He likes Dosa the most in Indian foods besides chapati. He doesn’t mind the spiciness of Indian but prefers it mellowed down a little.