Friday, June 6, 2014

IPL 7 - A Case For Going Back to the Basics

Some of the things that need to be looked at by the huge coaching contingents of the teams in the IPL.

Without second guessing themselves, bowlers need to do the basics right - full and in the block hole. Bowling wides down the leg side, wide of the off stump, stopping and bowling, slowing down and bowling, making faces etc are more theatrical and do not show for skill. They have no value. What is of value is the skill that Malinga brings, bowling those yorkers and slower balls at will and all bowlers can learn from that.

There is no substitute for skill, for being able to pitch the ball where you want to. It needs practice and practice.

Bowlers getting behind the wicket while backing up for a run out:
How many times have we seen bowlers standing in front of the wicket and letting crucial run out chances go waste. This is the kind of stuff that one is taught at school level cricket. Obviously they are not being drilled in enough. I cannot believe that they can get away without doing such basics right.

Wicket keepers collecting the ball before it passes the stumps:
Robin Uthappa learned this the hard way. But its a sad fact. The wicket keeper is a specialist position and it is embarrassing as hell when something like this happens. To compound their misery, Manan Vohra hit the next ball for a boundary.
KKR may have won, but they could have easily lost for the mistake of gambling with a non-regular keeper. Why did they let go of that brilliant Saha? 

Changing winning combinations:
Kings XI Punjab second guessed themselves and complicated things a bot for themselves. Changing a winning XI, going for old favorites who are struggling with form, changing the winning formula of Johnson bowling full and fast and bowling a bouncer, are all against the cardinal rule of 'keeping it simple'.  Why change things when things are going along fine? Why complicate your life?

Having captains think on their own:
The more captains we have thinking on their own, the better. At all levels. Coaches and mentors can only assist, help and aid.

Low profile coaches:
Sanjay Bangar is a wonderful example of a low profile coach who has come in for great praise and rightly so. Impassive, not getting carried away by the vagaries of the game (Priety Zinta does enough getting carried away for all of Punjab anyway), he is the true, hardened professional. He has done his bit off the field, when the team is preparing, and then he sits back in the back rows and watches how it plays out. He knows performance is all a factor of preparation.

Sanjay Bangar should be now looked at as a coaching option for Team India. Seriously. He is low profile, knows his business and can be the right person for the job.

I was glad to see young R. Sridhar, a successful coach now with the BCCI Under 19 with two World Cups and now the Kings XI performance. He is a good coach with a sound head on his shoulders, communicates well, knows his business and can think. He will be one to watch out for in the future.

These are some of the things I could think of now. More when I can think of other things later.

No comments: