Into his second stint as Tamil Nadu coach, W.V. Raman is intent on playing his cards firmly close to his chest. Whether it’s a question on the team culture he wishes to create or the naming of the captain, he isn’t inclined to reveal much.
The 48-year-old, however, is comfortable speaking to The Hindu about his role in the selection-process and the ongoing conditioning camp featuring 29 probables. Excerpts from a recent interview:
Is there extra pressure on you to deliver given that a traditionally-strong Tamil Nadu side hasn’t won much silverware lately?
There is always going to be an element of pressure when you are handling a professional side. I am not unduly weighed down by it. I would be happy if the side does what it ought to be doing.
Have you been assured of a long run considering what happened to your predecessor V.B. Chandrasekhar (he was sacked as coach after less than a year in charge)?
I don’t want to get into what happened in the past. That would be unfair. I would look at things on a day-to-day basis. I have had a chat with the TNCA. These are things for the parties concerned to answer.
With reports that a group of senior players didn’t get along well with Chandrasekhar, would you adopt a different approach?
The important thing is for all of us to work as a team. At the end of the day, everybody needs to stick to the team culture. When you get onto the field everything else becomes irrelevant. If the guys call themselves professionals, these things wouldn’t matter to them.
How much say do you have in the selection process?
I would leave selection to the selectors. But any coach will have a lot of discussion with the selectors. I have worked on such things in the past and it isn’t a huge problem. Once we begin discussing things across the table, I am sure decision-making will be unanimous.
Do you think talent from the Districts is being tapped well enough?
We need to get over this City-Districts business. I don’t want to create any segregation. This will be another key factor in what we want to achieve for Tamil Nadu — a sense of belonging.
What have you set out to achieve in the two-week conditioning camp?
We are working on fine-tuning skill-sets and replicating match-situations in practice. The drills are meaningful and purposeful. There is greater accent on fitness and ground-training. Improvement is the key factor; it doesn’t matter if it’s only incremental. The boys have been enthusiastic and that’s encouraging to watch.
Is the delay in announcing the captain a conscious decision?
That is something you need to ask the selectors.