Sriram's 'local knowledge' will help Australia

Given the rapport Sridharan Sriram shares with Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the respect he has of the cricketers from Down Under, it is not really surprising that the 40-year-old former India cricketer has been named the coach of the Australian spinners for the upcoming four-Test tour of India.

Sriram has been with the Australian team during the ICC World Twenty20 in India and in the Test series in Sri Lanka.   -  R. Ravindran

Sridharan Sriram brings to the table loads of commitment and valuable knowledge of the sub-continental conditions.

Given the rapport he shares with Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the respect he has of the cricketers from Down Under, it is not really surprising that the 40-year-old former India cricketer has been named the coach of the Australian spinners for the upcoming four-Test tour of India.

READ: >Sriram joins Australia for India tour

Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar will be the mentor for the spinners, who will essentially help them prepare ahead of the tour in Australia. Sriram, though, will have a more ‘hands on’ job during the campaign.

The Aussies have recruited him on an important campaign for his bowling abilities. In fact, Sriram’s record as a left-arm spinner – 9 ODI wickets, 85 first class scalps and 115 List ‘A’ victims – does not quite demand attention.

It is here that the Aussies feel that the quality of his inputs as a former spinner transcends, by far, his achievements as a bowler.

Forceful impact

While interacting with the team management of Australia ‘A’ during its tour of India in 2015 – the side defeated India ‘A’ in the ‘Test series – what came through forcefully was the impact Sriram made on the technical and mental side of the cricketers as a consultant.

Much focus was on use of the crease and creating different angles. The variations in pace and trajectory was also stressed by Sriram. He called upon the spinners to have different game-plans for different batsmen, bowl differently on different pitches without losing control.

Since then, it has been a relationship that has grown. Sriram has been with the Australian team during the ICC World Twenty20 in India and in the Test series in Sri Lanka.

There is this belief that Sriram will give the spinners useful perspective from the standpoint of a batsman too; how they could respond to a specific delivery.

The Aussie spin pack of Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’ Keefee, Ashton Agar, Glen Maxwell and Mitchell Swepson will work with Sriram. Swepson, a leg-spinner rated high by legend Shane Warne, is a particularly exciting prospect.

Sriram will have his hands full. He is an eager beaver though.