Taking the last Test match’s result, it can be concluded that South Africa are down and out. Trailing the series 2-0, they are already out of the winning scene. But however, they are desperate to give it one last try at the Indian spinners who were responsible for their series defeat.

South Africa have reached a point of desperation where they practice with the local lads of the venue who excel in spin bowling so that they could counter-attack Indian spin trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra in the 4th and final Test.

Among the local lads who are bowling at the nets to the visiting team resides a middle-aged man, who is tough to comprehend by the South African batsmen. A fairly short run-up of just three steps, the man bowls leg-break that is proving to be difficult for the likes of Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar to pick up.

Named Subodh Chabbria, a 43-year-old former banker, probably sneaked into the Kotla ground through some internal connections carries an inspiring reason and story to tell as to how he gets to bowl to the international players despite not playing any of the recognized domestic cricket.

He stayed in Dubai for 25 years and worked with the money-making corporations there to earn his living before he left it all in the middle-east to pursue his love of cricket. He had just one ambition – learn the best leg-spin bowling he possibly could. “I had enough money in my bank but there was something I was missing. Make no mistake, I had a great life, a supportive family and a job that paid well. But I was not satisfied wearing a tie and doing the 9-5 job. I decided I had to move on and do something that I loved,” he said.

“I spent my own money and went to Australia to meet Terry Jenner (former Australian leg-spinner and more importantly Shane Warne’s coach). I went there thrice to know about the nuances of leg-spin and exact wrist positioning.” Having learned the basics and advancements of his interest field of play from a recognized expert, he thoroughly believes he has learned to bowl the best leg spin the 43-year-old possibly can. “Also I have completed ICC’s Level I coaching course. Having done a coaching course makes one more rounded in his knowledge,” he added.

He has been bowling to the South African side since the commencement of the Test series and has been a regular in their nets session since. IPL has also played a big role in his love for cricket as he has been practicing with the Mumbai Indians’ camp almost regularly for about 6 years. He’s even bowled to the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar but feels his most proud and cherishing moment was when he bowled alongside Shane Warne before the Aussie legend’s last IPL match.

“Warne told me that it is important for a bowler to know that he has bowled a good delivery. He told me that the ‘moment the ball comes out of your hand, you should know you bowled a good ball. And if it’s hit for a six, so be it. Never judge a delivery from a batsman’s perspective’,” Subodh revealed as he was about to bowl the next session to India skipper Virat Kohli.


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