Ranji trophy 2019-20: Mohammed Azharuddin dons coach's hat at Hyderabad nets

The 56-year-old Azhar, sporting a tracksuit, spent more than an hour discussing the nitty-gritty with the players on the eve of the Ranji match against Kerala.

Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin discussing batting technique with Hyderabad cricketer Himalay Agarwal.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Former India captain and now president of Hyderabad Cricket Association, Mohammed Azharuddin, set aside his reputation and stature to don the role of a ‘mentor’ for the Hyderabad team on the eve of the Ranji match against Kerala at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Thursday.

The 56-year-old Azhar, sporting a tracksuit, spent more than an hour discussing the nitty-gritty with the players. Like when Himalay Agarwal was batting, Azhar gave a few tips regarding his grip and the way his shoulder and the toe were pointing in his stance. After the minor adjustment, Himalay felt he was more relaxed.

Azhar then spent time with wicket-keeper-batsman K. Sumanth and all-rounder T. Ravi Teja with coach N. Arjun Yadav chipping in with inputs.

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No blame game

“I don’t want to indulge in any blame game at this stage of the season. These boys need some moral support and minor technical adjustments. I am here to help them at any time. It is always a joy to be with them if it helps the team’s cause,” Azhar told Sportstar.

His words were pretty plain and simple. Don’t play maidens against any bowler. Once in awhile it is okay. You have to dictate the line and length of a bowler according to your strength and you can do that when you train hard, keep improving and show the willingness to keep learning.

“Each one of us has a different style of batting. But ultimately what counts is how well you perform on the given day. Just remember not many get a chance to play for Hyderabad. So, ensure that you make the most of it,” was Azhar’s message.

“You can’t expect me to be out there in the middle. I can only help the boys and ultimately those picked have to live up to the expectations,” he signed off.

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