Keep Mohsin Khan as coach
Whatmore has solid credentials but Pakistan is doing a pretty decent job with Mohsin Khan as coach.
The basic ingredients required from an ideal cricket coach are: mentoring the team, maintaining discipline, building for the future and forging a good relationship with the captain besides.
Unfortunately, the wish-list of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) seems to be different. The coach should be ‘qualified’ and must be from outside Pakistan.
The board appears to have almost finalised a deal with former Australia cricketer Dav Whatmore to fill the vacancy of permanent coach of the Pakistan team. Whatmore, undoubtedly, has solid credentials but like many other well-wishers of the country’s cricket, I think the former Sri Lanka and Bangladesh coach is not required by Pakistan, at least not now. The reason behind my argument is that Mohsin Khan — who was made interim coach after Waqar Younis — is doing a decent job; in fact a pretty good job.
Pakistan have not lost a single series, whether in limited overs cricket or in the longer version of the game, since Mohsin filled the vacuum temporarily. Although the players, especially captain Misbahul Haq, deserve greater share of praise for wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and more importantly for the emphatic series win against world number one England, no one can snatch credit away from Mohsin, the former Test cricketer who has certainly played a role in Pakistan’s terrific track record.
Moreover, the charismatic Test opener of the past has proved to have the basic qualities of a perfect coach because: 1, the team is winning under him; 2, unusually, we haven’t seen any controversy with him as a coach; 3, the players want the PCB to retain him, although many have not expressed it openly (the outspoken Shahid Afridi has already conveyed his direct support for Mohsin). This shows his harmonious association with players.
Mohsin’s strategy of forming a back-up pool of players which he started about two years ago after becoming the chief selector promises an able flow of cricketers for the future.
The PCB, which is still insisting on recruiting Whatmore on a very lucrative salary, seems to have got this one wrong. Indeed, Mohsin is still keen to continue as the head coach without asking for too much. Anyway, who will be responsible if Pakistan’s current progress is derailed after a change of coach?