Jeff Thomson to train Indian pacemen in Australia

Former Australia quick Jeff Thomson will train two bowlers from Karnataka for three weeks at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Australia. The program was taken up by the IDBI-Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation.

Jeff Thomson admitted fast bowlers these days have it tougher with less breaks between assignments.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Karnataka pacemen David Mathius and Prasidh Krishna are set to fly to Australia later this month for a three-week coaching stint under the legendary Australian Jeff Thomson at the Centre of Excellence, Cricket Australia. The program, taken up by the IDBI-Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation, will also feature Mumbai bowlers Tushar Deshpande and Minad Manjrekar.

“The focus of the program is to not just get the bowlers to bowl better and quick but to also use their heads better,” Thomson told the media on Wednesday. “You need to make sure they are ready to grab the chances they get. So you have got to be prepared all the time.”

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Prasidh. “There will be different pitches and weather conditions there. It’s good preparation to get into next level of cricket. I see it as a period to learn and with all the training techniques that they have, I will come out better.”

The Foundation started its operations in Mumbai last year. This time around, following a two-week camp there, eight fast bowlers have been chosen. They are now in Bengaluru where they will train under Thomson with another lot of bowlers chosen here. “In Australia you get noticed easily,” Thomson said. “Here there are a lot more people and more competition. So you have got to do something special and that’s what we want to help these guys with.”

Tougher game

Thomson drew comparisons to the times he played in and said that cricket had become a far tougher game now. “You don’t get breaks anymore like how we used to. As much as I would like to call myself tough, these guys have to be tougher. We didn’t play for much back then. But these guys, if they make it, are well-rewarded. So that's a good incentive.”

Even as he asked bowlers to be aggressive, he said that aggression was not about abusing others. “It’s about making the batsmen know that you are the boss and that he will play the way you make him play. It’s about getting the captain to believe that ‘ok there have been a couple of boundaries. But stick with me’.”

“I played on the flattest wicket in Sydney because the curator was not going to make it quick enough for me. I got used to it and then when I get a better wicket, it’s a picnic. If it’s harder, you will end up as better players.”

Brijesh Patel, the Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, hoped that the foundation would help Karnataka nurture a good crop of fast bowlers. “The Ranji Trophy might now be played in neutral venues. You have to play across the country. So I hope this helps to learn the skills to exploit different conditions,” he said.

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