» Cricket » Coach Bhave decodes the rise of CSK pacer Mukesh

Coach Bhave decodes the rise of CSK pacer Mukesh

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
April 26, 2022 16:45 IST
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IMAGE: CSK pacer Mukesh Choudhary celebrates the wicket of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

When a lanky Mukesh Choudhary, all of 16 back in the day, bowled for the first time at his academy, there was some spark which convinced former national selector Surendra Bhave to believe that his newest ward would go on to make it big.


Eight years later, 25-year-old left-arm pacer Choudhary has grabbed opportunities provided by Chennai Super Kings with seven wickets from seven games, including a man-of-the-match winning 3/19 against Mumbai Indians.

"When I saw him at our academy in the first week, I immediately told our coach Rajesh Mahurkar that I could 100 percent visualise a first-class player in him. They (academy coaches) still can't believe that what I predicted came true," Bhave, a former first-class heavyweight and current Punjab Ranji team coach said.

Bhave recollected the time when young Choudhary came to him after not being satisfied with a couple of academies.

"Mukesh came to my academy after after having visited a couple of academies earlier. I believe somebody suggested that he visit our academy if he wants systematic coaching," Bhave, who has scored nearly 8000 first-class runs for Maharashtra and West Zone, said.

IMAGE: Mukesh Choudhary has grabbed opportunities provided by Chennai Super Kings with seven wickets from seven games. Photograph: BCCI

But since his academy did not play invitational tournaments which is a norm if one wants to make a case for Ranji Trophy selection.

What worked for Choudhary was his good physique, coupled with a very smooth action. It wasn't long before Bhave laid the first platform for the Rajasthan boy which enabled him to showcase his talent in-front of Maharashtra selectors.

"He had a naturally beautiful action, which was refined, and had a good physique. Then he trained with us on a regular basis.

"When I felt that he was doing well and he needed a platform, that is when I was spoke to officials of the Deccan Gymkhana club and told them that I had a rookie left-arm pacer and it was necessary for him to get a platform and that is when Deccan Gymkhana took him up," Bhave recalled.

Deccan Gymkhana, one of the oldest clubs in Pune, had produced many state players and when they took Choudhary into their folds, as they say the rest is history.

"It is Maharashtra Cricket Association's selection criteria that squads are chosen on basis of performances in the invitational leagues."

Bhave is happy that despite having a couple poor games, CSK persisted with him and that yielded results when he removed Rohit Sharma and ishan Kishan first up in their match against Mumbai Indians.

"He (Mukesh) got a good platform in terms of CSK. He didn't have two great games (but still CSK backed him). He is in right hands and a guy like MS (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) to guide him from behind the stumps, it is like a stuff of dreams (for Mukesh)," Bhave, one of the finest domestic coaches, said.

Nikhil Dixit, his coach at Deccan Gymkhana, insisted that the rookie pacer was taking wickets at ease in the invitational tournaments and that paved the way for him.

"Mukesh was taking wickets at ease during the invitational matches. His consistent performances helped him to break into the Under-23 side and then into the Maharashtra Ranji team. He was also net bowler for the CSK, which also helped him make the cut," said Dixit.




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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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