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There are few Indian cricketers who have given back to the game as richly as Balwinder Singh Sandhu. Sandhu, who played an important role in India's 1983 World Cup win by dismissing Gordon Greenidge, turned to coaching after retirement and has coached teams at different levels in the domestic set-up. In the Times of India, Makarand Waingankar traces Sandhu's development as a cricketer and a coach.
The story of Ballu becoming a medium pacer is amazing to say the least. He was playing in 'D' division of a Mumbai Cricket Association tournament for Sind sports club. One day their main medium-pacer didn't turn up. The captain GT Punjabi threw the new ball to Ballu, who then was an off spinner! From that day, Ballu always bowled with a new ball.
Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie will begin his first county coaching stint with Yorkshire this season. In an interview to the Guardian, Gillespie shares his hopes for Yorkshire and why he believes Australia will have a challenging summer ahead of them.
" Their batting is the issue and Jimmy Anderson will pose the biggest problems. Australians struggle against good swing bowling and Anderson is the best in the business. Steve Finn is also very impressive. He's a big tall bowler who hits the track hard. He's got a good engine and runs in hard all day. There's a lot to like about Finn. Anderson will pitch it up and move it around while Finn runs in and gets bounce. [Stuart] Broad does both so it's a good, balanced attack and [Tim] Bresnan and [Graham] Onions can fill roles accordingly. And Graeme Swann is the best finger spinner around. They're in a pretty good place."
Australia are doing their best to ensure their young batsmen learn the art of building innings. Former England batsman Graeme Hick, has taken up the position of a consultant at the Center of Excellence for the winter, and Cricket Australia are hoping their emerging batsmen can benefit from his experience. In the Courier-Mail, Hicks says that flashy cricket is a symptom of a society that moves fast.
"A few of the young players now like the flashy stuff and are probably more concerned about playing the reverse sweep than batting a long time."
In the Hindu, Greg Chappell writes that players tend to develop a natural style while learning to compete against older players and pick up coping and survival skills in unstructured environments, where excessive coaching inputs are absent. Taking India as an example, he writes that the country will be better served if they provide spaces for young kids to be able to meet other like-minded individuals to explore their own talents without too much interference from adults.
In the developed countries, the structured environments with highly intrusive coaching methods that have replaced those creative learning environments, have reduced batting to an exercise in trying to perfect the imperfectible. This has meant that batting skills have deteriorated to the point where modern players really struggle to survive, let alone make runs, when the pitch is other than a flat road where the odds are overwhelmingly in the batsman's favour. If I had my way, I would change the education of coaches from training them to be the font of all wisdom to becoming managers of a creative learning environment in which young cricketers learn the game with minimal invasion from adults.
Shane Warne, writing for The Telegraph, questions the way Mickey Arthur is functioning in the dressing room and expresses his unhappiness about the rotation policy the selectors are employing.
To me the coach of any international team is a facilitator - someone to be in the background. He is a sounding board, a confidante for the players. If a player is struggling with his technique it is up to the coach to help him. He prepares players for cricket matches. That is his role.
The team have gone through a lot of issues over the past 12 months and many of the problems have been caused by the selectors. All the players are uncertain about their place in the team because of the way teams and squads have been chosen.
Greg Chappell, the former Australia captain and India coach, talks to the Telegraph's Lokendra Pratap Sahi about his relationships with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, and his philosophies in cricket.
The role [of a coach] is highly misunderstood [in India] and the expectations are very high... When I took over, the expectations were such that nobody could have achieved what was expected. One must realise that, at times, you need to risk losing in order to set things up for the future.
Dravid showed courage because, for everyone else, it was we can't do this, for if we get beaten, the media would tear us apart... Dravid did a magnificent job, because he bought into the philosophy of taking risks, making changes and looking ahead. As I've said, you don't stand still in sport... We wanted to take risks because we wanted to get better as a team.
There are plenty of international batsmen who could benefit from a few more hours in the nets. Perhaps they could learn from Jade Child, a cricketer from Ricky Ponting's home town of Launceston. This week, Child earned himself a Guinness World Record for the longest net session ever when he batted for 25 hours straight.
Child, 26, started batting at 8pm on Wednesday and finished at 9pm on Thursday, not surprisingly also claiming the world record for the most balls faced in a net session along the way. The previous record stood at 12,353 deliveries and by the end, Child had faced 15,701 from a bowling machine and also from local bowlers.
"I'm tired, but I'm happy," Child told the Examiner. "The support I had was incredible, I had people here at 3am helping out when they could've been sleeping, and my wife, Ktima, has helped so much with putting everything together."
In breaking the world records, Child raised about $2000 for the Save the Tasmanian Devil programme.
Michael Clarke has bought a multi-million dollar property in New South Wales with the intention of turning it into a cricket academy. The property, which already features its own private cricket oval, is located near Berrima in the Southern Highlands of the state, close to Don Bradman's boyhood home town of Bowral, where the International Cricket Hall of Fame is located.
"I have dreamed about doing something like this all my life but because of my playing schedule I never had the time to act on it," Clarke told the Sunday Telegraph. "[My wife] Kyly has played a big part in turning this dream into a reality. Her experience in design and property management will help make this academy happen and I couldn't be happier about it.
"I'm at a stage of my career where I'm getting older and one day I'll retire or be dropped. This gives me a great opportunity for a job after my playing career is over, doing something I can be proud of.
"I remember going down to Bowral when I was a kid and walking in Don Bradman's footsteps. It's a big part of the reason why we chose this area."
Although the cost of the property was not disclosed, it had recently been on the market for A$3.65 million.
Anand Vasu, from Wisden India, speaks to Delhi Daredevils' head coach Eric Simons who says that modern cricketers have too much power and coaches must be given a greater role in decision-making.
“At the moment, you have a situation where if the coach is pushing a player and the player is not happy, the coach gets it in the neck and he disappears,” Simons said. “That's crazy. It's ridiculous the power that lies with the players in cricket. People should recognise that a coach should have a greater role in decision-making and then he can live and die by his decisions. At the moment, the coach is targeted and focused on when there's a struggle.”
In the Hindu, Greg Chappell has a column on what top batsmen should do when going through a poor run of form. He says that instead of obsessing over replays and looking to tweak their techniques, batsmen will be better off if they "take a deep breath, start watching the ball again and trust their instincts".
The human brain is multi-layered; in simple terms, the ‘conscious' mind is the hardware that deals with the big-picture whilst the ‘sub-conscious' mind is the software that runs the physical programme.
When all is well, the player allows each part of the brain to do its job. This could be as simple as saying to oneself ‘watch the ball' — which gives the conscious mind something to do while letting the sub-conscious mind get on with what it does best.