Bahutule, Mazumdar decode modern-day coaching

IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule and batting consultant Amol Mazumdar shed light on modern-day coaching.

Gujarat coach Sairaj Bahutule and Priyank Panchal during a practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot.   -  Vijay Soneji

The advent of Twenty20 cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL), in particular, has revolutionised the way coaches go about their job.

Former India leg-spinner and Rajasthan Royals (RR) spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule believes, earlier all of it used to be more 'instructions-based' than 'data-driven.' 

“When we played, coaching was more instructions-based and our coaches made sure instructions were properly given to us. They were really good motivators and always made sure that our basics were strong. Nowadays, a lot more analysis and data have come into coaching. It is more data-driven when compared to my time. This is where I feel coaching has evolved," Bahutule said.

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Bahutule, who represented India in two Tests and eight ODIs coached State sides like Bengal, Gujarat and Kerala in the past. And he opined that the coaching set-up for a domestic team is quite different from that of an IPL franchise.

According to Bahutule, mentoring a side in the longer format is different when compared to T20 as the latter presents its own set of challenges. 

“In domestic cricket, there is a lot more time and we can focus on players’ fitness individually. Here, we are helping players to develop and grow whereas in the IPL, we’re helping them mentally prepare for games in a short period of time. The approach is different. There isn’t a lot of time but there is a lot more buzz. So you prepare accordingly,” the 47-year-old who scalped 630 first-class wickets said.

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The Rajasthan coach also elaborated on how modern-day cricket employs technology to get the best out of a cricketer. 

“I use the Catapult quite a lot. It is a chord that is put on the back of the vest the players wear. It tracks and monitors their workload. John Gloster, our physio, then works with the available data. He manages their recovery and we keep that in consideration during matches as well,” said the veteran of 188 first-class matches. 

Mazumdar's viewpoint 

Mumbai stalwart and Rajasthan Royals batting coach Amol Muzumdar concurred with Bahutule, adding that gizmos instantly help you get hands-on data.

 

Rajasthan Royals batting coach supervises a practice session.   -  TWITTER | @amolmuzumdar11

 

“There’s something new coming up every day. As a coach, you need to be aware at all times of what is coming up. Here we have implemented the Str8bat technology. There is a micro-chip on the back of the bat, which is really light and does not affect the weight at all.

"It gives data instantly to you on your device regarding various facets such as the backlift, downswing, the bat angle and bat speed,” Mazumdar, who amassed 11,167 first-class runs said.

Earlier, Muzumdar also had the experience of coaching the Dutch batsmen alongside the touring Proteas Test side late last year.

However, he feels nothing can be compared to the IPL's intensity.

“I’ve been with The Netherlands, the South African side and I am with Rajasthan now for three years. IPL is a beast and nothing can be compared with it. It’s robust and there’s a quick turnaround time with high intensity,” he said. 

As a batting specialist, Muzumdar, a veteran of 171 first-class matches feels it is a must he considers the whole squad as a batting unit.

It helps but then again, it makes the task at hand more challenging at the same time. 

“I have to consider everyone a batsman and that is the hardest task for me. And it is important that each one is ready when their chance comes.

"A coach needs to make sure that he is thinking ahead and needs to make precise judgements for the future.”

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