Mumbai has been an amazing success story for cricketers and cricket coaches alike. While very many cricketers became part of the Mumbai Ranji Trophy folklore and from thereon played for India with distinction, their coaches also became famous. Some of them were Ramnath Kenny, Vasant Amladi, Mohin Amladi, Anna Vaidya, Vithal 'Marshal' Patil, Vasu Paranjape, Joe Kamath, Hemant Hadkar. Shivaji Park’s Ramakant Acherkar became world famous after the rise of Sachin Tendulkar. After Rohit Sharma’s splendid ODI double century against Australia at Bangalore and after his 177 in his debut Test against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens, Dinesh Lad has earned the bragging rights as a top notch coach and also the right to join Mumbai’s elite cricket club.
The 52-year-old Lad expressed disappointment at his son Siddhesh failing to make an impact in the Ranji Trophy league match against Punjab on Thursday, but said he’s filled with happiness after Rohit Sharma rescued the Indian team and proceeded to forge a match-winning partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin.
Lad who has been coaching and mentoring Rohit for 15 years told The Hindu: "I am a zero level coach; I flunked the BCCI’s Level 1 coaching exam and did not a make a second attempt. For the first 14 years of my coaching career, I found faults with batsmen’s technique, but did not know to correct them. But by god’s grace I have learned to correct faults and shortcomings in a batsman. I am very happy that Rohit has finally arrived. He was always a gifted batsman; he had so much time to play shots right from his school days. He was 11 years old when I saw him first and became his coach. We exchanged messages yesterday and I told him to take all chances to make a double. It’s unfortunate he did not reach there; but he steered the team from a precarious 83 for five wickets," said Lad.
Becoming a coach by accident when a friend invited him to coach at a summer vacation camp some twenty years ago Lad said: "I have done a lot of training with Achrekar sir, but did not imagine to become a full fledged coach. I did not consult books, but took serious interest by observing players and seeing matches. Apart from Rohit, I have coached my son Siddhesh, Harmeet Singh and Shardul Thakur.
"I think being dropped from the 2011 World Cup squad hurt him and I will say it was the right thing to have happened. He came to me and promised to make amends. I told him to stay focused on the game itself and then only he will advance in his career. He has always had the talent; it was just a matter of applying his mind in the right direction. He practiced a lot and finally he has been rewarded. He played cricketing shots in that knock of 209; playing proper shots has been his forte."
Lad described Rohit’s 177 as a solid Test match performance. "He’s become a responsible cricketer and a person. He became the captain of the Mumbai Indians team in the IPL; it was a good development because it taught him responsibilities as a batsman and captain. I am not surprised that he has succeeded as an opening batsman in ODIs; he used to open for his school. If he plays for ten years, I am sure he may end up scoring many runs and centuries that would see him near Sachin Tendulkar’s records,’’ he said hoping to be at the Wankhede Stadium to see India’s most recent brightest star in action in a home Test match.