Coach Shaun Williams guided the Maharashtra team to its victory against Hyderabad
An Aussie approach would have certainly helped Maharashtra thrash Hyderabad by an innings and six runs in their Ranji Trophy encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium recently. Orchestrating the campaign from the sidelines was the visiting side's coach Shaun Williams, almost always at work on his laptop or taking a break doing exercise. Not one to underestimate Hyderabad, Williams on the eve of their match had said Maharashtra would have to be at its best if it must compete.
Such an outlook should have spurred the touring side quite a bit. Rarely relinquishing control of the contest, his boys called the shots most of the way. In contrast, Hyderabad was its typically laidback self, its wickets falling like nine pins, its follow-on total not much more than the ignominious 21 it had posted against Rajasthan last year, an all-time low in the tournament's history.
Williams had diagnosed Maharashtra's inability in bowling out the last few Goan batsmen in their earlier outing. "It was a mental lapse," the Melbourne native had concluded. That flaw seemed certainly ironed out against Hyderabad.
Through Akshay Darekar and Nikhil Paradkar, Maharashtra tied up Hyderabad's batsmen in knots, rarely giving the latter any leeway. A deputy of the legendary Dav Whatmore, Williams had drilled his boys with zeal and vigour, which largely enabled them bundle out Hyderabad in under two of their four-day face-off.
Hyderabad doesn't seem to have learnt its lessons from its pathetic performance, making only cosmetic changes to a squad of losers, which crosses swords with Assam at Guwahati from today (Thursday).