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Why no wicket-keeping coach for Team India?

Last updated on: July 17, 2019 19:24 IST

India didn't need a wicket-keeping coach during the Dhoni era, but would need one once the legend retires.
Harish Kotian/Rediff.com reports.

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant, who is set to take over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has struggled with the gloves and could do with a wicket-keeper coach as part of the support staff. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday, July 16, invited applications for the posts of head coach and support staff for the Indian team.

The contract of the current coaching staff expires after the tour of the West Indies starting August 3, where India play three T20 internationals, three ODIs and two Tests.

The positions for which applications have been invited are head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach as well as an administrative manager.

 

Strangely, an important position is missing among the BCCI's listing -- wicket-keeping coach, an area which needed no attention during the Mahendra Singh Dhoni era, but could come into the reckoning once the legend retires.

Young Rishabh Pant, who is set to take over from Dhoni, has struggled with the gloves and could do with a specialised wicket-keeper coach as part of the support staff.

"It is surprising that they are not inviting applications for a wicket-keeping coach. Nowadays all the top countries including Australia and England have a specialised wicket-keeping coach along with the fielding coach," a former India player, who didn't want to be named for this report, told Rediff.com.

Newly crowned World Champions England have a wicket-keeping coach in Bruce French while Luke Ronchi was the fielding and wicket-keeping coach for World Cup finalists New Zealand.

Former wicket-keeper Brad Haddin does the same role with Australia and has been instrumental in Alex Carey's development.

"Wicket-keeping has become such an important position in today's times that one slip up could prove to be vital. Hence they should have a proper wicket-keeping coach to help the young wicket-keepers for both the Indian team and the India 'A' teams," the former India player added.

Pant credited former India wicket-keeper Kiran More for his improved showing behind the stumps in Australia after he had struggled in English conditions last year.

He also underwent extensive training at the National Cricket Academy last year to improve his wicket-keeping skills against the spinners.

'Keeping in England was an altogether different experience. After that, I worked with Kiran sir at the NCA on a few specific areas. It included hand-positioning and body posture. Every keeper has distinct movement and I tweaked it a little and it worked,' Pant said earlier this year.

Ishan Kishan is the India 'A' wicket-keeper and could also do with having someone who monitors and improves his glove work.

India has never had a specialist wicket-keeping coach, but keeping in tune with the demands of international cricket, maybe the time has come to appoint one.

HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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