‘Bhuvi is one of the best pac­ers in the world’

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story - AYUSHMAAN PANDEY NEW DELHI

In­dia’s World cup win­ning coach Gary Kirsten feels coun­try’s bowl­ing spear­head in ODI cricket Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar has raised his skills and is cur­rently one of the best bowlers in the world. He said this in an e-mail con­ver­sa­tion with this re­porter.

Kirsten has coached In­dia from 2008-2011 and is cur­rently work­ing as an as­sis­tant coach of Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore (RCB). He was in New Delhi to at­tend a one­day ta­lent scout at Siri Fort Sports Com­plex on Thurs­day.

When asked about how he feels about the cur­rent crop of fast bowlers and bud­ding young­sters in the coun­try, he said, “I think In­dia has a good batch of fast bowlers and there are also some re­ally ex­cit­ing young u-19 play­ers com­ing through who are bowl­ing 140 plus. If you look at Buvi Ku­mar, you don’t nec­es­sar­ily al­ways need ex­press pace but he has cer­tainly grown his skill level and is one of the best in the world cur­rently.”

Kirsten be­lieves IPL is a good plat­form to groom fu­ture In­dian play­ers and stressed on the need to tap the po­ten­tial of tal­ented pool of young­sters the coun­try pos­sess.

“In a coun­try of over a bil­lion peo­ple, there are al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cul­ties that come up. We are hop­ing to help with the al­ready strong pro­cesses in place and look for­ward to see­ing play­ers ex­plore their games more. The IPL is a won­der­ful plat­form and I think you will see more and more young In­dian play­ers com­ing through be­cause of it,” the for­mer South African opener said.

50-year- old Kirsten doesn’t see the MRF pace foun­da­tion as a com­pe­ti­tion and wants to cre­ate plat­form for all play­ers to en­hance the level of their game. The iconic pace foun­da­tion in Chen­nai has gone on to rep­re­sent In­dian cricket team with play­ers like Jav­a­gal Sri­nath, Irfan Pathan, Za­heer Khan among oth­ers.

He said, “If we can cre­ate a plat­form for all play­ers to im­prove their games and have a place to go to where they can ex­plore op­tions, then ev­ery­one is ben­e­fit­ing. We cer­tainly don’t see any­one as com­pe­ti­tion and we are hop­ing to work with all en­ti­ties around In­dia so that we can start driv­ing sim­i­lar mes­sages and pro­vid­ing sim­i­lar plat­forms.”

The 2019 Cricket World cup in England is just a year away and the Sun­day Guardian asked which na­tion does he thinks will win the ti­tle. Kirsten said, “They all have a chance.”

Mean­while, the ta­lent scout saw the se­lec­tion of six can­di­dates for fur­ther train­ing. The hunt was over­seen by Gary him­self and other as­sis­tant coaches. This was the 3rd of the na­tion-wide hunt planned by Gary Kirsten Cricket in the months of April and May. It was held in Mum­bai (23 and 24 April) fol­lowed by Ban­ga­lore (28 and 29 April) and will con­tinue in Chen­nai (14-15 May) and Pune (21 May).

Gary Kirsten

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