IPL: Sridharan Sriram excited to work with Kohli at RCB

Sridharan Sriram, RCB's new batting and spin bowling coach, feels the team needs to rid itself of the over-dependence on Kohli and A.B. De Villiers.

Sridharan Sriram (right), Australia's spin bowling consultant.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

The prospect of working with India captain Virat Kohli has got Sridharan Sriram excited ahead of his new assignment with the Royal Challengers Bangalore as its batting and spin bowling coach.

“Kohli is among the best batsman in the world, if not the best, and he leads India. It doesn’t get better than this. And RCB also has A.B. de Villiers, such a gifted player,” said the former India and Tamil Nadu cricketer.

Maximising potential

Fresh from assisting Australia in combating spin in the dramatic Ashes series, Sriram has trained his thoughts on helping RCB maximise its potential.

Asked why RCB has often under-achieved despite a wealth of talent, Sriram replied, “It’s no rocket science. The batting is too dependent on Kohli and de Villiers. We need everyone to contribute and elements such as game awareness and rotation of strike will be crucial.”

Much focus will be on end-game skills and closing out tight matches, Sriram said. And mental toughness will be needed to win humdingers.

Sriram said, “We need to work on a lot of things like why Umesh Yadav did not pick enough wickets with the new ball last season.”

Someone who understood the Australian mindset and work ethics extremely well, Sriram was confident he would hit it off with chief coach Simon Katich.

“He’s a friendly man, but a hard taskmaster,” said Sriram.

Challenge for spinners

The Chinnaswamy Stadium, with its short boundaries, is not the easiest of grounds for the spinners to operate. Sriram observed, “Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has a good record at this ground. The spinners have controlled the middle overs well here. And someone like Washington Sundar is smart, alters his pace well and has subtle variations.”

Sriram is up for the fresh challenge.