Steffan Jones applies for Team India's coach job

UK-based fast bowling coach Jones, who trained the likes of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer, is aiming for the bowling coach role but he feels he fits the ‘strength and conditioning coach’ requirement too.

Known for his expertise in data and sports science, Steffan Jones feels he also fits the ‘strength and conditioning coach’ requirement.   -  Getty Images

After training superstars such as Stuart Broad to England’s World Cup hero Jofra Archer, UK-based fast bowling coach Steffan Jones now wants to work with Indian bowlers. The Welshman has thrown his hat in the Team India support staff recruitment ring.

Jones did not play international cricket but his county career spanned two decades. First as a player, and then as player-coach. He had stints with Somerset, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.

The coaching assignments in Big Bash League [at Hobart Hurricanes] and Indian Premier League [at Rajasthan Royals] further strengthens the 45-year-old’s candidature.

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“There are four aspects to coaching — technical, tactical, physical and mental. What I can do is cover four of them. The problem with modern-day cricket is that most coaches are only able to fall back on playing experience and that’s just a small part of it. The body doesn’t work in isolation. It is a complex system, so you can’t have knowledge on one or two aspects,” he told Sportstar on Wednesday.

Known for his expertise in data and sports science, Jones feels he also fits the ‘strength and conditioning coach’ requirement.

“If a bowler collapses on front foot contact, the question is why does he do that? Is it because they are physically not strong or they haven’t got the skills? You can’t spend hours on deadlifts and squats. They might actually be strong enough already. You need that knowledge to understand if it is a hardware issue, a brain issue or a software issue; whether it is dysfunction in a key parts of the body. So that’s technical and physical.” 

— Steffan Jones

Talking about the Indian speedsters, he feels there is an issue with their run up.

“Most bowlers shuffle in, 20 per cent of ball velocity comes from the speed and the height of centre of mass on front foot contact. So then, you need to understand and appreciate how you can improve them as sprinters. Improving their approach will ultimately give them more momentum on crease and it will make it easier for them to bowl quickly.

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“You can fall back on playing experience, but to make a difference, you need the knowledge on all four aspects and that separates me from the rest of the world,” Jones, who carries an ECB Level 3 certification, summed up. 

India internationals Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron and Jaydev Unadkat often dial Jones' number in times of trouble but he will face stiff competition to enter the BCCI payroll. 

Among other star names, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad — who has worked as a bowling coach in the past — has applied for the role. 

The support staff will be finalised by the selection committee led by MSK Prasad. The Cricket Advisory Commitee comprising former players Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will conduct interviews for the head coach position on August 13 and 14.

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