Deep Dasgupta bats for specialist coaches for wicketkeepers

Former India stumper-batsman Dasgupta wants every association to appoint wicketkeeping coaches to groom youngsters from an early age.

Former India stumper Dasgupta feels a 'keeper needs to be identified and taken care of from an early age.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta believes that each and every state association should appoint specialist wicket-keeping coaches in a bid to groom youngsters.

While he admits that it may not be possible to have a full-fledged keeping coaches for the national teams, Dasgupta feels that at the grassroots, the wicketkeepers must be nurtured well.

“For every association, there should be a fielding coach, who would look after all age groups. At the maximum, you are going to have two stumpers in each teams, but in total, there would be 15-16 wicketkeepers across groups. So, at grassroots, we need to take care of our wicketkeepers,” Dasgupta told Sportstar in a Facebook live session.

“Even football teams have specialist goalkeeping coaches. So, similarly, you need to start looking at the wicketkeepers from an early age. There is no point looking at them at 21, you got to start looking at them at 13-14. That will be of help,” Dasgupta, who played for India in eight Tests and five ODIs, said.

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While the game has evolved over the years, Dasgupta admits that wicketkeeping hasn’t changed much.

“The whole challenge of wicketkeeping is the fact that we are not talking much about keeping. We all state that it’s an important aspect of the game, but we generally don’t speak enough about it. Batting or bowling departments evolved through discussions, techniques. We don’t do that enough for keeping, so the process of making or coaching them hasn’t changed,” Dasgupta said.

There have been debates on whether wicketkeepers are losing their importance as the focus is mostly on batting. But Dasgupta admits that in today’s cricket, batting is of utmost importance. “There is a huge debate about keeper-batsman. A keeper comes into prominence because of your batting. You would get your names in the newspapers, if you score runs and not even if you take absolutely brilliant catches. The system teaches you that how good a keeper you are, you have to score runs.”

Online coaching sessions

Recently, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has roped in Dasgupta to conduct training sessions with the stumpers. Going forward, even he is thinking of exploring options, and the first step towards that is his online coaching platform — — which was launched on Wednesday.

“I have always been passionate about coaching. I have always been a consultant with the CAB, but it was difficult to commit myself for a full-time role. For the last two months, I thought why not start online coaching? I receive questions and videos from kids and I answer them online and send them videos suggesting changes, where necessary,” Dasgupta said.

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“It’s now a website, and it is more about being a personal coach or a mentor. There is so much we can do with it. I might not be there physically, but virtually, I can do so much. It’s online, one on one coaching,” said Dasgupta.

“For the last two months, I have grown leaps and bounds in terms of technology — Zoom, Facebook and so much. I am a reluctant user of social media, but now this is how you express opinions and it’s so easy to connect to people,” said Dasgupta, who is also a popular commentator.

These are still early days for Dasgupta - the coach, but the former Bengal captain hopes to make it large in the future.

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