Thursday, November 30, 2023

India won’t change winning combination: Mhambrey

Aiming for their fourth consecutive victory in World Cup, India would not tinker with their winning combination in the clash against Bangladesh, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said on Wednesday, suggesting that the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Mohammed Shami would continue to warm the bench.

In a scintillating start to their campaign, India floored five-time World Cup winners Australia in their tournament-opener and followed that up with dominating victories over Afghanistan and arch-rivals Pakistan.
Mhambrey said the team has taken tough decision to bench players of the caliber of Shami, Suryakumar and Ravichandran Ashwin but the choices have been keeping in mind the best interest of the side.

“It is important to maintain the start. As of now, there is no discussion of rotation from our point of view. We want to carry this momentum to the next game as well,” Mhambrey told the media ahead of India’s training session.

- Advertisement -

Mohammed Siraj has done well in company of Jasprit Bumrah, leaving no space for Shami and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s dazzling show has sidelined Ashwin. Mhambrey acknowledged that it is difficult to see a quality fast bowler like Shami not getting a game so far in the World Cup, adding that the team management has had conversations with the player.

“Honestly, it is never easy to see. But right now the conversations are on, we had a clear chat with him. Whenever we select a squad the message from us is clear that we pick a team we feel is the best for that wicket,” Mhambrey said.

“Sometimes you will miss out, someone like him is missing out, someone like Ash (Ravinchandran Ashwin) will miss out and I think that is the communication we had with him (and) we were very clear.
“It is a difficult decision, honestly we know with the quality that he brings to the team. It is difficult but we have to take the decision, we (can) only have eleven on the field,” the India bowling coach added.

Mhambrey praised Ashwin for being a perfect team guy’ after the world class’ bowler was dropped from the team after the opening game against Australia in Chennai. Mhambrey said all talks in the camp are always team-centric.

“He has been a great lad, he understands that, he is a great team guy. I have never seen him grumpy, I have never seen him complaining at any time in any of the last few years that he has been with us,” the former India player said. Even after so many years, he is there, he wants to do well for the team, he turns up every practice session, goes through the rigorous grinds and he keeps bowling. He’s a great team man.

Mhambrey said it is difficult to create space in the playing XI for Suryakumar, who featured consistently in India’s buildup to the World Cup. Surya is a champion, he is a match-winner for you. He has shown (it) to you. He is a difficult batsman to bowl anywhere, look at the fine leg area (and) you need to get it covered, you look at third man (and) you need to get it covered. You bring covers up and he starts hitting out there. He is a 360 (degree) player, Mhambrey said.

It is a difficult decision, like Ashwin, like Shami. Surya is a quality player, (but) it is difficult to get someone like him. You need to create an opportunity for him to play, but the question then (gets) asked is whom do you replace him with? We do not have a slot for him right now but we all know what he brings to the table. If an opportunity arises, he will get his game.”

Mhambrey admitted it was “tough” for the team to be without pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, whose comeback after a lengthy period of injury layoff has been sensational. After an impressive Asia Cup campaign, Bumrah has been among the top bowlers in the showpiece with eight wickets from three outings.

You have seen him in the last three games that he has played. What he brings to the table he is a world class bowler. He gives you the breakthrough you require in the powerplays. He is well adapted to bowl in the middle overs and he is a top gun death bowler, Mhambrey said.

In that sense, we really missed him (when Bumrah was injured). Glad that he’s shaping well.”
Talking about India’s another go-to bowler Kuldeep, Mhambrey said working on the mental aspect was equally important alongside the changes he has made to his bowling action.

In the last few years, he (Kuldeep) has worked on certain things in terms of his bowling, his action, and you can translate that in the way he has bowled. His speeds have gone up. His accuracy is up there, hitting those lengths consistently.

Other than the technical aspect, your mental aspect is important. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind, in the right space. That is something we worked on. It is a combination, Mhambrey said.
Mhambrey said India will not take any opponent for granted, more so after the two upsets in the tournament so far — Afghanistan defeating England and the Netherlands trumping South Africa.

“I do not think we will take anyone (lightly). We are the only side playing on nine different teams, nine different venues, nine different surfaces that offer different challenges. We want to prepare for that, he said.



Most Popular