Harbhajan Singh calls for Ashish Nehra’s coaching stint with India

India’s T20 World Cup exit at the hands of the eventual winners England has raised a few questions about their approach in the shortest format of the game. While the rumours suggest that the team management are vying for split captaincy across formats, former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh suggested roping in the IPL-winning head coach Ashish Nehra in the T20I setup.

The Men in Blue crashed out of the T20 World Cup after a dismal showing against the Three Lions. Harbhajan Singh reckons that the job of coaching a T20 side is more suited to the person who has more experience playing the format and are accustomed to its fickle nature. Although Harbhajan maintained that current head coach Rahul Dravid is doing a commendable job, he wants Ashish Nehra to be a part of the setup as he is more familiar with T20 cricket.

Nehra retired from all forms of the game in 2017 and guided the newly inducted franchise Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title in their inaugural season earlier this year. Harbhajan’s call for a different coach for the T20 side is something the current T20 World Champions England has deployed with great success under the tutelage of Matthew Mott.

“He [Nehra] knows this better than – with all due respect – Rahul. We [Dravid and he] have played together for so many years; he has vast knowledge, but this is a tricky format. Someone who has played the game more recently is better suited for the coaching job in T20s. I am not saying you remove Rahul from T20; Ashish and Rahul can work together to build this team for the 2024 World Cup,” Harbhajan told the press in Abu Dhabi.

Ashish can do the job in Dravid’s absence: Harbhajan Singh

The former Indian ace further backed his suggestion saying that the appointment of Nehra will ease the workload of current head coach Rahul Dravid, who is rested for the New Zealand tour with VVS Laxman filling in for the former Indian captain. He reckoned that the former Indian pacer could guide the team in the absence of Dravid like Laxman did in the T20I series against the Kiwis.

“With such an arrangement [split coaching], it is easy for Rahul as well, who can take a break as well like he did for New Zealand tour and Ashish can do the job in his absence,” the 2011 World Cup winner added.