South African pacer Dale Steyn, New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori, and Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Deep Dasgupta on Friday featured in an interview session with EspnCricinfo.

During the show, every panelist was given an impromptu topic to opine about in an allotted time of one minute. The fellow participants had to ‘mute’ the speaker if the latter extended the consigned time.

Former New Zealand captain Vettori was asked to expound whether “communication between the coach and the captain be allowed with a device.”

Whimsically asking his peers to ‘mute’ him whenever they felt right, Vettori joked that his topic was only worth thirty seconds.

Vettori argued in favour of the device since it helped an inexperienced captain to take invaluable advice from his coach at crucial moments.

“And I look at it from two avenues. Firstly, an inexperienced captain and a coach being able to get together and actually communicate on tactics so that the product on the field is actually the best there can be. Because more often than not we sit on the sideline and go ‘That’s not right. They should be doing this’ and why shouldn’t there be an extra avenue for that coach and captain to get together, particularly in crucial situations,” Vettori said.

But the veteran spinner was quick to add that if such a device was allowed, then the viewers should be able to sneak in the conversation to verify if the coach’s counsel worked.

“I think if the coach and captain actually takes up that opportunity then the viewers or the public should be off to hear those conversations. So, you… when you do decide to use it then you’re… you’re sort of put under pressure to actually explain yourselves. So it’s not just hidden away. You’re not just having a quiet conversation as a captain. When you take up that opportunity… you ear it out to the masses and so they can understand what your thinking is… how you’re trying to actually perform in that situation and whether it actually has any benefits. So, as… as viewers we sit back and say that’s wrong or that’s right but we don’t know what the thinking is around it. Now.. Now we do. Thank you, though,” concluded Vettori.

Agreeing with Vettori, former speedster Steyn, too, encouraged such a mode of communication, revealing that there are minuscule pieces of information that the captain and bowler sometimes forget to implement.

“But actually, I… I totally agree. I did think for a second that we’ve got strategic time-out where coaches come on and are able to kind of communicate and… and have a word and everything like that. But at the same time in the middle of an over, if the coach is sitting there… I have been in the dug-out. We’ve have seen coaches sitting there, screaming their heads, ‘Why is this not happening? Why is this not happening?’ and bowlers and captains tend to forget these little moments sometimes,” explained Steyn.

The South African went on to add that devices that help in communicating are legitimate if they support a side win the game.

“So if there is an opportunity for a message to somehow get out there… coz you can’t send the 12th man out there in the middle of an over. I… I… I’m for it. I think it’s great, if it’s gonna have the advantage of winning the game then absolutely, why not!,” remarked Steyn.

Recently, KKR analyst Nathan Leamon had held a ‘cryptic message’ during a match against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL 2021, sparking a debate among the cricketing fraternity on the legitimacy of such conversations.


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