How former coach John Wright transformed Indian cricketLast updated on Jul 05, 2020, 06:26 pm
Former New Zealand batsman John Wright was the first foreign coach appointed by the Indian team management.
He joined the setup in 2000, when Indian cricket was in hot waters due to match-fixing allegations.
What followed was a glorious phase of transformation, led by him and then-skipper Sourav Ganguly.
We take a look at Wright's coaching journey as he turned 66 on Sunday.
A look at John Wright's cricket career
Known for his array of shots, Wright served New Zealand cricket as a tenacious opening batsman from 1978 to 1993.
In his 15-year-old career, Wright amassed 9,225 runs from 231 internationals at 32.03.
He was also the first Kiwi cricketer to have touched the 4,000-run mark in Test cricket.
After retiring, Wright worked in sales for nearly two years before taking up coaching.
Wright was named the Indian head coach in 2000
After Kapil Dev's reign as coach ended in a rather obnoxious manner, John Wright was given charge to resurrect Indian cricket.
As per former cricketers, he introduced profound training drills and instilled his positive mindset into the team.
He made a great partnership with former skipper Sourav Ganguly during the early 2000s.
It laid the foundation of Team India's golden era.
Team India scaled new heights under Wright
India tasted immediate success after defeating Australia 2-1 in the famous Test series (2001).
In the following years, India registered some emphatic victories outside Asia.
Besides winning Tests in England and Australia, India advanced to the final of 2003 World Cup.
In following year, they registered series wins on the historic tour of Pakistan (2004).
Eventually, Wright was replaced by Greg Chappell in 2005.
'My favorite coach so far', said Ganguly on John Wright
During the 2019 World Cup, Ganguly termed Wright his "favourite" coach.
"My first overseas coach and favourite coach so far. We had a great WC and he was responsible because there was some strong headed players in that side. As we grew together, we got better friend and he was more of a friend than a coach. He understood the team," said Ganguly.
Mumbai Indians rose to prominence under him
Interestingly, Indian Premier League's most successful side Mumbai Indians had no trophies in the cabinet before 2013.
However, the tables turned following the appointment of John Wright as head coach that season.
As a result, the Rohit Sharma-led side ended up achieving the double of IPL and now-redundant Champions League T20.
In 2014, Wright joined their talent scouting wing.
Wright has a knack of spotting talent
Over the years, John Wright has scouted some of the brightest talents in world cricket.
He fast-tracked the newcomer Jasprit Bumrah to Mumbai Indians side, days before his IPL debut on the back of performances in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Notably, Bumrah had no prior First-class experience at that time.
The likes of Shreyas Gopal and Hardik Pandya are some of his notable by-products.