Being coach of India is the best job in the world, said Dean Jones.
DINDIGUL: "Being coach of India is the best job in the world," said Dean Jones. No wonder the former Australian star was distraught when the BCCI picked Jones’ compatriot Greg Chappell over him in 2005.
"At that point of time, I had brown hair (laughs). I would have loved to coach India and I still do. It would have got me out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed Sourav Ganguly and his captaincy. I shared a good rapport with Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid. After Greg’s exit they became a No.1 Test team and they have gone on to beat bigger and better teams. I would have had a lovely time, but it didn’t happen. That’s fine; I moved on," said Jones, who is here as a commentator for the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
The 55-year-old, one of the finest players in limited-overs cricket, said it’s fans from India who determine the success of a format.
"Let’s not forget that India didn’t like ODI cricket until Kapil Dev’s team won the World Cup in 1983. India hated the T20 format until the ICL came and Dhoni’s team won the inaugural World Cup. So what we have to do is start a World Cup Test series and make India the winners. We will start loving Test cricket again," added Jones.
The member of the 1987 World Cup champions has, of late, been associated with Pakistani cricket as coach of a PSL team, but he feels Pakistan can’t be a worthy world No.1 until they beat all the teams in the world.
"How can you say Pakistan are the No.1 when they don’t play India? Until you have a proper World Cup and until you give Test cricket what it deserves — like making it more sexy by bringing more pink ball and D/N games — it’s not going to go anywhere. Test cricket needs a World Cup. With all respect to Pakistan or Australia, you aren’t No. 1 until you have beaten everyone in the world," added Jones.
Jones, who once had to apologise for calling South Africa’s Hashim Amla a "terrorist" on a live broadcast, said he has never done commentary where the authorities curtailed his freedom of speech. "I never had such problems (of boards gagging commentators). I say what I feel," he added.
Cricket commentary has changed a lot from the days of BBC though, according to Jones.
"The viewer today wants the razzmatazz, the stats and what the player is feeling in the middle. Why was Richie Benaud so good? He was able to tell the world what Shane Warne was up to in the middle. He would tell that Warne would bowl a couple of leg-spinners and a flipper. And, it was wonderful," he added.
Jones said Australia’s struggle in the sub-continental conditions has something to do with their mentality.
"One required courage to face the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose and Waqar Younis. And similarly, you need mental strength to play against good spinners on turning tracks. Up against quicks, you have to shuffle from the top to waist up, and against quality spinner you have to shuffle from the waist down.
You have to learn how to set a bowler up for the lines and lengths you would like to play," he added.
The 30th anniversary of the tied Test between Australia and India in Chennai is round the corner (on September 22), and Jones, the protagonist of the famous match, said the keenly-contest match sowed the seeds for blockbusters between Australia and India.