Cricketers must learn to multitask, says World Cup winner Balwinder Sandhu

Citing his example, Sandhu said he was an off-spinner when he represented the university but made his Ranji Trophy debut as a medium-pacer.

Yashpal Sharma, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Kris Srikkanth celebrate on the Lord's balcony after outplaying the two-time champion West Indies in the 1983 World Cup final.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Former India medium-pacer and World Cup winner Balwinder Singh Sandhu said it was extremely important for young cricketers to learn different skill sets and to multi-task.

In an interaction with the trainees at SAI’s regional coaching centre, the 63-year-old said players shouldn’t be one dimensional and urged them to develop secondary skills. Citing his example, Sandhu said he was an off-spinner when he represented the university but made his Ranji Trophy debut as a medium-pacer.

“Aspiring cricketers need to be multi-dimensional and they should be willing to multitask if the need arises.

“A batsman should learn how to bowl and keep wickets and similarly the bowlers should explore different styles, besides trying to improve their batting,” he said.

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Sandhu said a cricketer should be the best judge of his own game and filter the information to his advantage.

“Self-assessment is very important. You will be flooded with ideas, but at the end of the day, you should know what is good for your game.

“It is important to know your strengths and [you] should try to maximise it. At the same time it is imperative to work on your weakness with the coach,” he said.

Sandhu said the primary virtues of a good bowler are patience and confidence and both can be attained only through hard work. “It is important for a cricketer to take their net sessions seriously.

“Even in the nets, the bowlers should aim to get the batsmen out primarily through three modes of dismissal — bowled, leg-before and caught in the slips.

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“Nothing will give you more confidence than that. But you have to be patient, assess the batsman and plot his dismissal,” he said.

The session was well attended and Sandhu gave replies to questions posed to him by the trainees. The questions varied from technical to mental aspects of the game.

“Sandhu paaji is a living legend and he is a coach of immense experience. It was wonderful to have a person of his standing address the trainees. It was a great experience for them,” said Biju George, chief coach of SAI regional coaching centre.

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