THE Uttarakhand players stood outside the dressing room with their coach Bhaskar Pillai. The quarter-finals was over within five overs of the final day as India pacer Umesh Yadav, along with Aditya Sarvate, scythed through Uttarakhand’s lower-order. Pillai and the selector Suru Nayak had requested Wasim Jaffer and Umesh Yadav to share their experience of how to go about preparing for the longer format. Hence the wait outside the dressing room.
Uttarakhand is a new team in domestic cricket, playing four day cricket is a new experience. They tried their best but the lack of experience showed in the game.
Jaffer spoke at length to the players about preparation and how batsmen should bat session by session. He talked about how a batsman needs to prepare three months before the Ranji season.
“If we want to get 75-80 % in exams then we don’t start preparing one day before the exams, na? A batsman’s job is that he should bat for long hours. Practice in the way that your muscles get used to it. Until you get the feeling from inside the you have batted well today, keep batting in the nets,” Jaffer said.
There is no better role model than Jaffer to talk about the art of building big innings and about ideal preparation methods. At 40, he is going stronger than before. “Just imagine you have to face Umesh Yadav next day, and you practice for under arm bowling. Is it a realistic practice? If we are playing in Australia then we require that type of practice. One has to come out of his comfort zone.”
Before the season Jaffer quit eating post 6 pm, stopped eating junk food and spent most of the time in training. He advised the players to make necessary sacrifice to keep improving in the game. “The biggest challenge in cricket these days is that you have to cope with all three formats, which was not the case in my time. It was not a challenge for my generation. Practice also needs to be tailored for that,” Jaffer, who scored 206 for Vidarbha, said.
However, it was Yadav who had a very interactive session where bowlers asked him about fitness and reverse swing. On a pitch where nothing was happening, Yadav finished with a five-wicket-haul in the second innings, after taking four in the first.
The Vidarbha seamer advised to bowl more maiden overs — the one aspect that Uttarakhand completely lacked in
the last four days. He talked about how it builds pressure on these pitches. In the 184 overs, Uttarakhand bowled in
quarter-finals, they only managed 21 maiden overs. With runs flowing easily, Vidarbha had an easy outing.
“The more you bowl maiden overs the more the chances are of getting a wicket. Once we play international game, the theory is if we manage to bowl three consistent maiden overs then the chance of getting a wicket is increases,” Yadav said.
Uttarakhand’s pacers asked about the art of reverse swing and how to bowl consistent pace throughout the game.
Yadav explained the methodology and the rationale behind the need to try.
“Start bowling cross seam. After some time, see which side has gotten worse. Shine the opposite side. If spinners are
bowling, tell them to maintain the ball. Don’t give the ball to anyone whose hands are wet and sweaty. Let two fielders do the shining job. Then try to hide the ball before release to make it tougher for batsmen to pick,” Yadav said.
He also spoke about how the Indian team has moved away from old training methods and how they do power
training these days. To increase stamina and have a strong lower-body. “The upper body never gets tired, the lower body does. Make that strong. Whatever training you do, do it fast because fast bowlers have speedy movements. Zaroori nahi hai ke heavy weights karo, but joh bhi karo fast karo,” he added.
Uttarakhand are likely to forget the first half hour of the day, but they will remember the masterclass from Jaffer and Yadav.
Brief Scores: Uttarakhand 355 & 159 (Karnaveer Kaushal 76; Umesh Yadav 5/23, Aditya Sarvate 5/55) lost to Vidarbha 629 by an innings & 115 runs