TNPL 2018: We have a balanced side, says Badani

Hemang Badani coached Chepauk Super Gillies to the TNPL title last year. The bar has already been set high for his side ahead of the competition’s third edition beginning July 11.

In Badani, Super Gillies has the right man at the helm.   -  V. Ganesan

Guiding the defending champion in a fresh campaign is never easy. Expectations bring with them the pressure to perform.

Hemang Badani comprehends the challenges. He coached Chepauk Super Gillies to the TNPL title last year. The bar has already been set high for his side ahead of the competition’s third edition beginning on July 11.

The former India left-hander told Sportstar on Monday, “We have brought in several new players this season, including India all-rounder Vijay Shankar and State players, leg-spinner M. Ashwin and opener Ganga Sridhar Raju.”

Badani elaborated, “So, in several respects, it is like starting all over again. I have to get them know the team culture, the mind-set required and the role definition. We have already had a camp and it went off well.”

Super Gillies, also the runner-up in the inaugural edition, has some names from that team as well such as K.H. Gopinath, U. Sasidev, S. Karthik and R. Alexander.

“We have a well-balanced side and are confident,” said Badani known for his cricketing nous.

Lacking in two areas

Looking at the first two editions, it is clear that the TNPL was lacking in two areas — power hitting and pace bowling.

Asked about this, Badani replied, “The Tamil Nadu cricketers have been brought up on the longer duration first division cricket. But in the Twenty20 format, you have to play besides the line, play inside-out, strike across the line and deflect over the ’keeper.”

He added, “Similarly, the pacemen need to mix their length, change their pace and bowl yorkers at the death. The first year, they did not quite know what to do. Last year, they were better.”

Badani is pleased that the TNCA is introducing a one-day league for all the first division teams beginning July. “It will bring about a change in the thought process of the cricketers for the shorter formats.”

In Badani, Super Gillies has the right man at the helm.