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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 13:12 GMT
India rewrite captaincy rules
By Matt Majendie
BBC Sport

Mohammad Kaif (right) and Javagal Srinath have revelled in their respective captaincy roles
Srinath (left) and Kaif have led Indian bowling and fielding
When it comes to leading out a cricket XI, a solitary captain is simply not enough for India.

Instead the Indians have appointed a sum total of seven skippers to lead their World Cup bid.

Sourav Ganguly maintains overall control but he and coach John Wright have appointed six other marshals: two "batting captains", two "bowling captains" and two "fielding captains".

And, on current form, few can argue with the results.

Each of the dozen leaders guide their respective charges during net sessions and tell them what to expect from the opposition in team meetings ahead of each game.

Unsurprisingly Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid lead batting ambitions, while Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble are in charge of bowling aspirations, and youngsters Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh set the standards in the field.

I can see teams following this role model for years to come
Ex-India international Farokh Engineer

But fears of too many cooks spoiling the broth have been dismissed by former international wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer.

He told the BBC Sport website: "There are not seven captains as such. There is still only one leader. Ganguly remains the general with a series of trusted lieutenants to help him out.

"And no one can say it's not working. The boys are on a roll and it could be this policy which topples Australia in the final - should both teams make it there."

The age-old policy of the captain and senior players offering their advice in the dressing room looks to be dying out, according to Engineer.

"This is a very modern way of thinking," he said, "and I can see teams following this role model for years to come, if they're not doing so already.

"This is far greater detail then I've ever come across. Getting young guys to be part of it and feel important is amazing for their confidence.

India's captain
Overall captain: Sourav Ganguly
Batting captains: Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid
Bowling captains: Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble
Fielding captains: Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh

"Imagine being 21 years old like Yuvraj and being asked to give advice to a player like Tendulkar.

"And that's quite right. India have not had better fielders than Yuvraj and Kaif in some time. India will do well to follow their advice."

Of the two, Kaif has arguably been marginally more effective in the field in the tournament to date.

The 22-year-old has taken a series of crucial catches and pulled off the stunning run-out of Nick Knight, when he hurled himself at the stumps to leave the England opener stranded.

Kaif has already enjoyed captaincy experience, having led the national side to victory in the Under-19s World Cup in 2000.

And as a player groomed for leading out the senior side in future, he is taking his current post seriously.

He explained: "Before a game, me and Yuvraj discuss the ground size and other factors in a team meeting. We also mark our opponents well.

"If a hitter is as big as Chris Cairns we prefer to have fielders on the edge of the ropes.

"And it's great to have a part to play."

Have Your Say on India
14 Mar 03 |  Have Your Say

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