The role of an international cricket team’s coach in the success of their respective teams is highly underrated. Unlike football, a coach in a cricket game has a minimal say on the on-field action. Though not as vocal, the cricket coaches are, in fact, the think-tanks behind all the decisions for the team.
The history of the game observes that not-great players have done wonders in their coaching tenures. Many players who never performed as marquees have done a great job in making and guiding the marquee players. Here’s a list of the top 10 average cricketers who turned into great coaches.
1. Tom Moody
The tall’ Tom Moody had a forgettable run during his time with the Australian International team. With only eight tests and 76 ODIs to his name, he retired in 2001 due to back injuries. However, he brought wonders for the teams he coached. He guided the mighty Sri Lankans to the 2007 World Cup Final. He later coached Sunrisers Hyderabad (a franchise in the Indian Premier League) in the IPL and led them to their maiden IPL title in 2016.
2. Dav Whatmore
Another rather average Aussie batsman to make this list, Dav Whatmore, only played seven tests and a single ODI throughout his international career. Dav started his coaching career with Sri Lanka and guided them to their historic 1996 World Cup final team. Later, he nurtured Bangladesh during 2003-2007 and led them to their famous 2007 World Cup win over India.
3. Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson had a short cricket career as a player. He took up coaching as a career at the early age of 22.
During his tenure as the New Zealand coach, he revolutionized the culture of the team. Along with Brendon McCullum, he guided the Black Caps to their first World Cup final in 2015.
4. Duncan Fletcher
The former Zimbabwe All-rounder Duncan Fletcher only had 6 ODIs under his name. Duncan Fletcher resurged the lost glory of the England Cricket team during his tenure between 1999 – 2007. He also coached India during their Champions Trophy victory in 2013.
5. Jon Wright
Jon Wright had a decent international career with over 5000 runs in Tests for the Black Caps. Although, he shined brighter as a coach than he ever did as an opener. Jon guided India to various memorable victories during 2000–2005. He also was the head coach for Mumbai Indians in the 2013 edition of IPL, where they won the title.
6. John Buchanan
John Buchanan never played international cricket for Australia due to his poor domestic performances. In his tenure as the Australian Cricket head coach, he worked hard with the team. He inspired them to consecutive World Cup wins and also guide Australia to its first Champions Trophy title.
7. Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar had a forgettable run as a player for the Indian team. Since his debut in 2001, he only managed to play mere 12 tests and 15 ODIs. Bangar was the head coach for the Kings XI Punjab in the 2014 season, where he guided Kings XI Punjab to the finals. Later, he was appointed the Batting coach of Indians in 2016 and got the credit for the growth of many star players.
8. Trevor Bayliss
Trevor Bayliss had an average career in the domestic first-class tournaments for Australia. He never bagged the ‘baggy green’ for his poor performances. Trevor guided Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup finals. Although, his coaching career’s highlight came in 2019 after he guided the England team to their first-ever World Cup title.
9. Robin Singh
The Indian All-rounder Robin Singh had a very average run in international cricket with rare memorable performances in his 12 years of International Career. Robin coached India A team in 2006 and guided players such as Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa into the Indian National team. Also, he has been instrumental in Mumbai Indians’ record 5 title wins in the IPL.
10. Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil had a forgettable run with the Indian team scoring just over 2500 runs in his six years of International Career. Sandeep later coached the India A team in the late 1990s. In his tenure with the Kenya National Team, he guided the team to the record Semis in the 2003 World Cup.