Former India leg-spinner and outgoing national selector Narendra Hiwarni is likely to be roped in as ‘spin consultant’ for the upcoming home Test series against England and Australia.
According to reliable sources in the Indian Cricket Board, Hirwani’s appointment might not be a full-time one but he will be helping out Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin - the trio who are likely to play an important role in the next two Test series at home.
“Hirwani has on and off given tips to our spinners in the capacity of national selector. The series against England and Australia are important ones and two of our main spinners, Ojha and Ashwin, aren’t too experienced at Test level,” a senior BCCI official, preferring anonymity, told PTI on Thursday.
“Hirwani’s guidance might help them in pressure situations. Even Harbhajan has benefited from discussions with Hirwani,” the official added.
It has been learnt that the BCCI brass has been mulling seriously on the issue since they have got good feedback about Hirwani’s technical acumen from some of the senior India players.
The 43-year-old Hirwani played 17 Tests and took 66 wickets and the highlight was his 16-wicket haul on debut against Viv Richards’ West Indies in 1988. He has a tremendous first-class record having taken 732 wickets in 167 games.
The other aspect, which brought up Hirwani’s name in the reckoning, is the unimpressive show by current India bowling coach Joe Dawes.
The 42-year-old Dawes, who was appointed prior to the Asia Cup, hasn’t made much of an impact in the six months that he has been on the job.
None of the Indian pacers have shown any remarkable improvement under Dawes. Unlike former India medium-pacer Venkatesh Prasad or South African Eric Simons, the ex-Queensland pacer’s role during training sessions has been restricted to giving throwdowns to the Indian batsmen.
Also he hasn’t been seen working a lot with the Indian spinners who would certainly need specialists’ help when they face the English and the Australian teams who had blanked them in their own backyard last year.