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Why a sizeable remuneration is apt for India coach Ravi Shastri

Makarand Waingankar

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Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri has faced criticism for getting a big remuneration as Indian cricket team's head coach.

Mumbai: A recent news report suggested that Ravi Shastri is being paid Rs 10 crore as remuneration. After that Shastri has been lambasted left, right and centre on social media.

While it’s evident Shastri is not a popular figure, he doesn’t need to be as he isn’t taking part in a popularity contest.

As long as he is doing the job sincerely and honestly, he is not answerable to the media for how much he is getting paid.sports news headlines

Under him, India won their maiden Test series victory in Australia. No matter how much he is pilloried on social media, it will remain a fact that Shastri can be proud of. A sizeable remuneration is an apt reward for Shastri after such an achievement.

Do we ever question commentators who earn much more than Shastri, sitting on the cosy confines of AC boxes?

One should keep in mind the stress attached with the job of coaching the Indian team on a daily basis.

Many of these commentators were at one time or the other offered the India coach’s job and they refused. Because it is always easier talking from the comfort of AC room, running down the players and the coach, than managing the Indian team.

In a cricket-mad country, the coach is obligated to mastermind India’s victory in each match. Many reputed coaches have failed in this regard. It’s an unenviable job, at times even a thankless one.

In 2015, when Duncan Fletcher was struggling as India coach, Shastri was suddenly told to take over.

Ravi Shastri

Virat Kohli (left) has a very good understanding with Ravi Shastri.

He worked for 17 months without a contract while Fletcher’s exit was formalised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Would any of the commentators work a day without a formal contract? It needs commitment, many of these so called experts lack that.

Instigating people with false salary figures would lead to more harm than good for Indian cricket. If Indian cricket is to go places, then a constructive criticism is required rather than indulging in personal attacks.

Good opportunity for Amol

Heartening news that one of domestic cricket’s most prolific run getters Amol Muzumdar has been named South Africa’s interim batting coach in the impending India series.

Amol has genuine passion about batting, which helped him amass over 11,000 first class runs and 30 centuries.

After his retirement he has dabbled in commentary but his real passion lies in teaching batting to youngsters. He spends long hours with U-16 and U-19 kids, explaining them the nuances of batting.

The Protean Test team’s batting, devoid of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, is unsettled and will be up against a strong Indian bowling unit on slow, low tracks.

The last time when they face a similar proposition, Ravindra Jadeja ran through them. With Ravi Ashwin likely to get back into the team after sitting out the two Tests against West Indies, the inexperienced South African batsman will face a tough task against two quality spinners.

Amol, having coached the South African players before on short stints, is aware of their capabilities. How much Amol can help in improving their mental fortitude would be key. At international level, mental toughness is most important.

amol muzumdar

AMol Muzumdar has had a distinguished career in domestic cricket.

In such a short span of time, it won’t be easy for Amol to transform the South Africans. Just look at the travails of Moeen Ali, who has been under the tutelage of England spin coach Saqlain Mushtaq for several years now.

But a coach can be do so much. Wade Gilbert, the coach’s coach, once said that the key job of a coach is to understand the mental capabilities of a trainee and then deal with him accordingly so that the technical aspects are implemented smoothly.

The same view was expressed by the hockey legend Ric Charlesworth.

The stint will be a huge learning experience for Amol, who has limited experience as batting coach.

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Ideal time for Sundar, Chahar to boost profile for World T20, says Dhawan

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India opener Shikhar Dhawan
India opener Shikhar Dhawan

Bengaluru: India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Saturday said the time is perfect for youngsters such as Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar to build their confidence in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup next year.

The senior player was speaking on the eve of the third T20 International against South Africa at the M Chaannaswamy Stadium here.

Both players have impressed in recent times with their performance and attitude.

“Washington is bowling really good, giving us the breakthroughs and also choking the batsmen. He has got very good control and variety as well.

“Even Deepak Chahar, he swings the ball both ways and at the same has pace as well. It is the perfect platform for them to perform and build the confidence for the T20 World Cup,” Dhawan told reporters.

He said senior players like him are always open to helping the youngsters in the side.

“For senior players like us, say someone like Rishabh comes in to bat or Shreyas coming in, we make sure we do the communication with them and make sure they are comfortable and not nervous. We make them think what is needed at that particular moment,” he said.

Dhawan added, That’s what we do even when I am batting with Rohit or Virat, we keep discussing and that is very important. Communication is very, very important.

“Any time any youngster wants to discuss something with us, we are always there for them.”

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Omission from T20Is opportunity to excel in Tests, says Kuldeep

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Kuldeep Yadav

Mysuru: Omission from T20 International squads for India’s last two series hasn’t bothered Kuldeep Yadav too much as the chinaman bowler feels it is an opportunity for him to do well in five-day cricket.

Kuldeep was dropped from India’s T20I squads for the West Indies tour and home series against South Africa but that hasn’t dented his confidence.

“So far, I have done a good job in limited-overs format. I feel very comfortable with the white ball,” Kuldeep told reporters here.

“I am not worried about not being picked for the last two T20I series. Maybe the selectors felt I needed a break. Maybe the team thinks some changes are required. I respect that, and I have no complaints. I see this as an opportunity to do well in Tests.”

Kuldeep was part of the India A side for the second unofficial Test against South Africa A, which ended in a draw in Mysore on Friday.

The wrist spinner had a decent outing in the game, scalping 4 for 121 in 29 overs in the only innings India bowled in the match.

In 68 T20 matches since that 2016 T20 World Cup, Kuldeep has taken 81 wickets at an average of 22.97 (ninth-best in the world, second among Indians), and an economy rate of 7.60 (fifth among Indians).

And, he feels wrist spinners are in demand currently.

“There is no doubt that wrist spinners are dominating the world,” Kuldeep said.

“But sometimes, when you try to stop runs, you actually turn out to be expensive. We need to work on our accuracy. You need to accept that you do get hit for runs and work on being economical.”

Kuldeep, however, feels it is very difficult to adjust to red-ball cricket after consistently featuring in the limited-overs formats.

“It’s hard to play red-ball cricket when you aren’t consistently playing that format,” he said.

“If you aren’t a regular in this format, it takes time to get into your rhythm. When you are consistently playing limited overs and suddenly switch to Tests without much preparation, it will be tough to excel.

“You need to bowl long spells, play practice games, to understand field placements and to know how to pick wickets. It was important for me to come here (in the India A game) and bowl as many overs as possible. There is still plenty of work to do,” Kuldeep added.

He said with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in fray for Tests, he will have to utilise the limited chances he gets.

“When three spinners like Ashwin, Jaddu and I are in the squad, it’s challenging to pick the right combination. You need to be ready to grab your chance. Of course, there is pressure because you only get a few chances, and you have to make full use of them,” Kuldeep said.

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England’s Moeen Ali takes indefinite break from Test cricket

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moeen ali
Moeen Ali.

London: All-rounder Moeen Ali will take a break from red-ball cricket and won’t be up for selection for England’s Test tours of New Zealand and South Africa.

Moeen’s decision comes after being left out of England’s list of centrally contracted Test players, announced on Friday, 20 September. He had lost his place in the Test side after the first Ashes Test, which England lost.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Moeen said he wanted a chance to “recharge his batteries” after a busy summer. “It’s just to get away from it a little bit,” he said. “I feel like I want to enjoy my batting and this will give me a bit of a break.

“I want to spend some time with the family. I’ve been playing for England for five years and it’s been quite tough. The intensity is obviously higher in Test cricket, so this is just to give me a break and then we will see what happens after that.”

Moeen didn’t rule out playing Test cricket in the future, and Ashley Giles, the ECB managing director, reiterated that the all-rounder has not retired from Test cricket. “He just wants a little bit of a break from Test cricket,” said Giles.

“He’s been a great servant to this team and that’s why I encouraged him to leave that option open for him to come back. He might just need that time away and freshen up, but he’s been a really good servant to this team and he’s relatively young.”

In the year up to losing his place in the Test side, Moeen had taken more wickets in Test cricket than anyone else. However, having been a permanent fixture in the England side in all three formats, Moeen endured a difficult 2019 summer. He was dropped from the ODI side in place of Liam Plunkett and then made two Test appearances before losing his place to Jack Leach.

Giles added: “I think for all the guys, not just talking about Moeen, it’s been a really challenging summer. A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys, psychologically as much as physically. Some of those guys are still carrying that. His experience in the first Test wasn’t a great one but that’s cricket.”

Moeen, however, has retained his white-ball contract, and figures to be a key figure in both the limited-overs sides.

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