Rasheed's father: Big dream to see Shaik play Test cricket soon

India U-19 batter Shaik Rasheed starred in the semifinal and final of the U-19 World Cup to help steer his side to the title.

India u-19 captain Shaik Raheed during the U-19 World Cup.   -  BCCI

J. Krishna Rao, head coach at Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) Residential Academy in Mangalagiri (Guntur, Andhra Pradesh) where India’s victorious World Cup under-19 team vice-captain Shaik Rasheed honed his skills since 2012, doesn’t even have a picture with the young cricketer despite playing a lead part in the latter’s evolution into a consistent performer.

But, the 48-year-old NCA Level III coach, who  produced many junior India cricketers including India wicketkeeper-batter K. Srikar Bharat in his 20 years of coaching, takes pride in playing his bit in the
emergence of Rasheed as an exceptional cricketer.

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“I am not one of those coaches who would say we saw the potential in Rasheed to go on to play for India. But, I could sense that given his smart attitude in training, very disciplined behaviour and the positive mindset he could develop into a very good cricketer,” Rao informed Sportstar from Mangalagiri on Sunday.

“Yes, Rasheed was nervous and down when he was hit by Covid-19 during the league phase of the World Cup. But, my advice to him was to be realistic and do things which are in his control and not think too much. He was feeling bad whether he would get a chance again or not,” Rao revealed.

“I just told him to stay in the present, not to think of the past or the future. Your day will come for sure if you show the desired mental toughness,” was the coach’s advice to Rasheed.

“Rasheed’s staying capacity is the key besides footwork and hand-eye co-ordination. [He] Takes time to settle down and then starts playing strokes freely. Yes, I feel he should have continued till the end in the final instead of playing that stroke and getting out at 50,” the proud coach said.

ACA head coach at Mangalagiri Residential Academy J. Krishna Rao.   -  Special Arrangement



“I spoke to him before the semis and final. Just advised him to take it like any other match. Glad that he played well in the two big matches to contribute to India’s victory,” Rao said acknowledging Rasheed father’s unstinted support to the cricketer.

Father confident

For his part, Rasheed’s father, Shaik Balishavali, who works in the loans section of State Bank of India, said he knew his son would play for India under-19 because of his consistency in the age group but never thought the big moment of winning the World Cup would come so soon.

“Rasheed is the younger son (elder son Riyaz is an Engineering student) who had the spark in him since he started playing cricket at the age of eight. Somehow, I always believed in his abilities and went all out to support him. Yes, there was a phase when we thought we might have to stop him from playing cricket four years ago because of financial problems. But, by God’s grace, there was no break,” he explained.

The proud father believed that 2021 was the turning point when Rasheed started being consistent in the one-day format.

“We are grateful to ACA, his coach Krishna Rao sir and MSK [Prasad] sir (former BCCI senior selection panel chairman). Our big dream is that Rasheed would play Test cricket soon," he signed off.

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