BCCI plans camps for spinners, wicketkeepers

To keep India's players warmed up for the Test season ahead, the BCCI has planned two separate camps for top wicketkeepers and top spinners at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper, has been selcted to groom India's talent at the NCA.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

In order to get the key players tuned in for a gruelling season of Test cricket staring ahead and to keep the bench strength ready for the rigours of international cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has planned separate camps for top wicketkeepers and spin bowlers in the coming three months. Both camps will be held separately at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

India is supposed to play 17 Test matches till March 2017, 13 of which will be at home. As a result, the BCCI hierarchy in consultation with the top executives of the cricket development wing, national selectors and coaches at NCA has decided to conduct these two camps. While the wicketkeepers’ camp will be held in three phases, the spinners’ camp is expected to be held after the team’s return from the West Indies in August and before the start of the flood-lit Duleep Trophy in September.

Former India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who has been appointed as the spin bowling coach at the NCA, will fine-tune skills of around 10 to 12 spinners, to be shortlisted by national selectors, ahead of the gruelling season ahead.

Since India’s coaching staff is expected to be appointed prior to the camp, the bowling coach of the team will be asked to monitor the bowlers’ progress. Sportstar understands that all the top spinners, including the likes of R. Ashwin and Amit Mishra will be asked to attend the camp. Besides polishing the skills, the camp will also act as an indicator about the bowlers’ form and fitness going into a tiring season.

Kiran More roped in

Since the NCA doesn’t have a full-time wicketkeeping coach, the BCCI has roped in former India glovesman Kiran More to groom the talent. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni having retired more than a year ago and leading contenders to be his successors, including Wriddhiman Saha and Naman Ojha who have kept wickets in Test matches in the last 18 months, not getting any younger, the selectors have been asked to identify the potential wicketkeepers who could keep wickets across formats.

With the advent of Twenty20, there has been an increasing trend of part-time wicket-keepers, which has worked adversely at the highest level. As a result, More has been tasked with working on the technique of talented wicketkeepers in a bid to revive the role of a specialist wicketkeeper, especially for the longest format.

More has been invited for the last week of the ongoing off-season camp of the Under-23 players at NCA. He will work with two wicketkeepers of the team and later on, will be assigned a batch of six to eight glovesmen next month.

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