Indian domestic news July 15, 2009

Prabhakar to coach Rajasthan

Cricinfo staff

Manoj Prabhakar, the former India allrounder, has been appointed coach of Rajasthan for the forthcoming Ranji season. Prabhakar takes over from KP Bhaskar, who was in charge of the team for the previous two seasons.

Rajasthan finished bottom of the table in Group A last season in the Super League, failing to win any of their seven games, and were relegated to the Plate League for the upcoming season. Looking ahead, Prabhakar was confident of scripting a turnaround.

"They are down but certainly not out. They can bounce back into the elite group this year itself," Prabhakar, in Jaipur to supervise a preparatory camp, told the Times of India. "They just need fighting spirit and confidence. I am here to instill confidence and grit in the team."

Prabhakar, a former bowling coach with Delhi, was concerned over the fitness of the Indian players, in particular Ishant Sharma, who he felt wasn't as effective as he used to be.

"He (Ishant) is one of our mainline bowlers but has lost his sting. He was hit for 21 runs twice during the IPL and the West Indies tour," Prabhakar said. "If he is being hit the captain is sure to lose confidence in him. He is our main strike bowler and such hitting affects the team's morale. See how his front is dropping and his wrist is also not locking while delivering the ball. He has to rectify these small technical flaws. If he loses his big inswinger it will be a pity."

The Indian team, he said, should utilise their two-month break to work on their fitness. India's next assignment is a short tri-series in Sri Lanka in September followed by the Champions Trophy in South Africa.