K.C. Vijaya Kumar
Part-time bowlers need to develop their bowling Anil Kumble needs some rest and rehabilitation
Bangalore: Greg Chappell walked past the microphones and zooming camera lenses. The Indian cricket team coach strode briskly towards the bowling machines placed near the KSCA (B) Ground pitches, checked the machines' technical and height parameters, had a word with bio-mechanist Ian Frazer before walking back to the waiting media contingent.
Day one of the latest training camp for the Indian team was well and truly buzzing and Chappell lent some perspective on the idea behind having a limited number of players train together. "In the first two camps we had before we went to Sri Lanka, it was about leadership, team development and about the group whereas this camp the rolling camp is more about developing individual players. It is about looking at their personal needs, looking at how by making them better we can make the team better," Chappell said.
"Basically it is about each individual, we have had meetings with each individual in the morning, talking about their particular needs, talking about what areas we think they need to work on, what areas they think they need to work on, and that is what we will be working on in the next few days," Chappell added.
Before Chappell spoke to the media, the first batch of five players Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan spent the morning alternating between sessions inside the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and some running between the wickets drills at the KSCA (B) Ground.
Asked about specific plans for these individual players, Chappell was guarded. "Yes, we do have plans but I am not going to go through each individual and talk about the plans. The players have identified certain things and we have identified certain things that they need some work on. Obviously the bowlers need to develop their batting and some of the part-time bowlers need to develop their bowling so that will be part of the camp as well."
Chappell also cautioned about the need to not read too much into the manner in which the players have been segregated into three units. "A number of senior players have committed to some functions in Mumbai, so that's the main reason why they are scheduled for the last batch. Who is in which camp is based on who is available at what time, so there is nothing to be read in there," he said.
No fitness issues
Chappell also spoke positively about the fitness of Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble. Tendulkar was back in the squad for the washed out Sri Lankan tri-series after recovering from a right-shoulder surgery while Kumble had to recently cut short his stint with Surrey following tendonitis in his right shoulder.
"Sachin is fit to play and that is the important thing," Chappell said.
And on Kumble, the coach added: "Anil obviously needs some rest and rehabilitation. He is much improved, obviously there is the tri-series in Malaysia but I don't expect him to be considered for selection there but John Gloster hasn't sent a report yet to the selectors and that might be different, so I can't really comment on that but we would expect him to be fit very soon. It is not a long term problem as I understand it."
And as for those bowling machines he tweaked at the KSCA (B) Ground, Chappell said: "We have got our bowling machines out there, obviously the idea was that certain teams around the world have got rather tall fast bowlers and we have got to try and simulate that as far as possible. We have to simulate the sort of things we expect to see in various tournaments in the next few months."
Later in the afternoon, Chappell and Frazer used the two bowling machines while Sehwag, Yuvraj and Kaif took the early strikes.