Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Each player's role is defined in the team, says Delhi coach Mithun Manhas

Delhi, last year’s runner-up, is aiming to lay its hands on the title this season and coach Mithun Manhas has laid a blueprint by introducing a system of fines for indiscipline.

Delhi coach Mithun Manhas is confident that his team will put a good show in the upcoming Ranji Trophy.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When Mithun Manhas entered the Delhi dressing room 21 years ago, he was greeted by senior pros Raman Lamba, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma and Atul Wassan.

“They made me comfortable but also made my role known well. I was to work hard for my place,” recalled Manhas.

He has applied the same philosophy in his current role as the coach of the team.

The 39-year-old Manhas, who played his last first-class match (representing Jammu and Kashmir) in November 2016, has introduced a system of fines for indiscipline.

“There is no compromise on discipline. Anyone coming late, senior or junior, is fined. The collection is distributed among the ground staff. No one is allowed to waste the others time by coming late. I have made it clear that every member of the team will have to adhere strictly to the disciplinary norms set for the season. The individual will be scolded too and cheered too,” Manhas told Sportstar.

Evaluating the Delhi team before the impending season, Manhas noted, “It is a different ball game. I have to gain their trust, discuss their strengths and weaknesses with an open mind. I have to also give them confidence to come and share their problems with me.

They have to confide their fears, if they have any, in me and allow me time to rectify those shortcomings. I have to work to make them better players.”

The team is going to miss players like Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.

“I have to see that the nucleus of the team stays firm. I will back the player if he makes sure he is giving his best effort. I will give them responsibilities because I want them to step into the roles of the seniors. It will be good for them and the team. The players have to remember that they are answerable to their fans and the association. I have been working with them, teaching them their role and what I expect from them.”

Manhas, with an experience of 157 first-class matches, did not lose time in explaining his part in developing the team.

“At the start of the season I defined their roles. I will be available for them anytime. They must realise the importance of excelling on home turf and learn to be a good team when playing away. It is an opportunity for the youngsters to grab the chance. I will welcome healthy competition for places. No individual is going to get preferential treatment. I am there to back each player and I expect them to give their best to the team.”

Delhi, last year’s runner-up, opens its Ranji Trophy campaign with a match against Himachal Pradesh at home from November 12.

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