Mark Taylor may not be able to pronounce Plasmavision but he would make a very good coach of the national team.
He was an excellent player and as captain, in partnership with coach Bobby Simpson, oversaw the emergence of one of the great teams in history.
More importantly, everyone likes him.
It says something about the level of affection for ‘Tubby’ that while doing a commercial for Fujitsu’s state of the art TV – the Plasmavision – the former Australian captain is heard mumbling: “Plasma ma vision”, or “Plasssvision”, or it may have been “Plasmmmvision”, and yet the company’s representatives and the advertising people didn’t have the heart to pull him up on it.
If Ian Chappell had made a similar blunder all those around would have revelled in the opportunity to take the slightly smug and arrogant former great down a peg or two: “CUT! It’s Plasmavision Ian….Plas ma vision. Got it? Plas ma vision. Let’s try again shall we?”
Shane Warne could also make an excellent coach but he is a divisive personality.
In the fully professional era, his suggestion for resolving differences of opinion within the team is to “wind back the clock” and get p*ssed together”.
Or, if that doesn’t work, to punch each other’s lights out.
When Taylor and Warne were commentating during the uninspired and conservative captaincy of Ricky Ponting, Warne was unashamedly critical.
“You have to play to win”, was a frequent refrain.
He demanded the placement of more attacking fields, whereas Taylor would simply suggest more appropriate strategies without appearing to belittle the besieged captain.
A qualified surveyor, Taylor knows all the angles.
Wasim Akram said he was the most difficult batsman he ever bowled to because he could read the deliveries perfectly.
His analytical ability, pleasant manner and unwillingness to demean other people make him the perfect coach and mentor.
His definite strength would be in the role that is most critical at the present time – but strangely absent from the Argus report; that of conciliator.
I have it on good authority that when a player makes his Test debut (and is not immediately culled) the period of time between his initial gratitude and a sense of entitlement is three months.
It takes just a quarter of a year before the former exuberant newcomer begins arriving late to sponsorship events – or not bothering to turn up at all – whinging about having to attend bat signing sessions and completing written tasks set by the coach.
That is the normal course of events. In Taylor’s time, the whole champion team had enormous egos but the problems caused by them clashing was assuaged by constant victories.
Even if there are pro-Clarke and pro-Watson camps within the team, I don’t think the events of the past few days would have occurred if Taylor had been at the helm.
Unfortunately, I can’t see him becoming coach. Even if Channel 9 lose the broadcasting rights, he makes enough money mispronouncing Plasmavision not to have to worry about dealing with today’s petulant players.