U. K.-bound Abhimanyu Easwaran to train in Bengaluru

The Bengal batsman is keen to make use of the cooler conditions in the city to prepare for the India A tour in July; his coach feels others may follow suit.

Abhimanyu Easwaran enjoyed a good Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season, with 564 runs in seven games.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Surat-based cricket mentor Apurva Desai’s tactical and technical finesse emanated freshly after Dinesh Karthik, one of his wards, smashed an eight-ball 29 — including a last-ball six — to win India the Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh in March.

Desai, who is also the coach of Bengal batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran for over five years, is now keen to make the youngster shine in his first official tour of England in July. Being selected in the India A squad for the tri-series and four day games in England, the 22-year-old Abhimanyu will start his preparations this month.

Suitable weather

Instead of training in Kolkata or Dehradun (his hometown), where his father runs Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, the right-hand batsman — following Desai’s plan — will camp at Just Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to get closer to the conditions in the U. K. “The weather in Bengaluru is good and there will be wickets that will assist swing. In Kolkata, you won’t get swing because the temperature is pretty high,” Abhimanyu told Sportstar on Wednesday.

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“It is better if the grass stays on the wicket. In Bengaluru, the ball always carries a little more unlike Kolkata, where the temperature is around 40 degrees. You can’t relate Indian conditions to the U. K. but you can try to get as close as you can,” he added.

Abhimanyu had a fine Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season with 564 runs in seven games including three hundreds and a half-century.

‘Fresh’ wickets

Desai further explained the interplay between the weather and the wicket in England. “The weather will decide your approach. We are heading into monsoons from summer and at this time of the year, Bengaluru is the only place that provides proper outdoor practice with good wickets. Every other place in India now will have a dying wicket. In June and July, you get fresh wickets here,” he added.

But there are specific timings to experience a replica of the desired conditions. “If you can train early in the morning, there will be some moisture in the wicket. You can simulate the conditions. As a batsman, you got to get bat to ball and bowlers need to know their length. Bengaluru seems to be the only option at this time closer to the England series. We will try and get some green top wickets,” reasoned Desai, who feels there will be more cricketers who may follow suit.

Since Abhimanyu didn’t get a chance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, the Indian Premier League snub didn’t cause anxieties. “Bengal has supported me in ODIs and long formats. Once I get a chance and do well in Mushtaq Ali, an IPL chance will surely come,” he assessed.

Before leaving for Bengaluru, the youngster is scheduled to visit Dehradun, too. “I may have a few warm-up drills with the coach, Manoj Rawat, at the ACA.”