Dinesh Lad: ‘Technique-wise, Siddhesh is similar to Rohit’

Rohit Sharma’s coach and father of Mumbai cricketer Siddhesh Lad is ecstatic at his son’s India ‘A’ selection. He feels it’s time people knew him for his son’s heroics, too.

Siddhesh Lad had a fruitful sojourn in the Ranji Trophy last season, with 652 runs at an average of 59.27.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Siddhesh Lad learnt his cricket in a three-session format throughout his junior career. He would start the day practising with his father, and then, report to Pravin Amre. Evenings were reserved for a final session when the father would help the kid sum up the day’s lessons.

Why not, when the father is also the coach of a superstar Indian cricketer? Dinesh Lad — popularly known as the coach of Rohit Sharma — is now a step away from hearing what his ears have been longing for; as the mentor-father of Siddhesh.

The Mumbai cricketer earned an India A call-up for the Quadrangular series — with South Africa A and Australia A — in August, and Dinesh is hopeful of a turnaround in his ward’s cricket career.

“I feel happy when people address me as Rohit and Shardul Thakur’s coach. But if people also know me as Siddhesh’s coach, it will be a huge thing for me. He had a natural flair for playing an attacking game, but now, he has realised the importance of sticking to the wicket. He can attack when he wants but at the same time, he can defend, too,” Dinesh told Sportstar on Wednesday.

Siddhesh scored 652 runs (two hundreds and three half-centuries) at an average of 59.27 in the Ranji Trophy last season, followed by 373 runs (three hundreds) at an average of 62.16 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The ‘crisis man’

He earned the sobriquet ‘crisis man’ on the back of a few ‘turning point’ knocks for Mumbai. It perhaps made him fearless. “It is a big thing and I am happy because no other cricketer in Mumbai has had such a nickname. He is probably the first kid to be called ‘crisis man’ as he saved Mumbai from crunch situations on many occasions,” he added.

Dinesh Lad (left) with son Siddhesh.

 

Rohit also contributed to Siddhesh’s ascension. The India opener took the youngster under his wings at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. “He didn’t get a game because he didn’t fit into their combination but Rohit always had good things to say about Siddhesh. I was tension-free as he was being looked after by one of my best students. The net sessions with Rohit helped him a lot when he came out to bat in the domestic season,” said Dinesh, adding that he doesn’t advice Siddhesh any longer as he is batting according to the situation.

“He knows how to do it. The only thing I tell him is that whatever he has today is because of the game, so he needs to remain loyal to cricket come what may. Technique-wise, he is very similar to Rohit. My patent shot is cover drive and the way Rohit hits it. Siddhesh is getting there.”

Before the limited-overs assignment, Siddhesh will turn out for Indian Board Presidents XI for the three-day practice game against South Africa ‘A’ at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru starting July 29.

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