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Lalchand Rajput

Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images
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Virat Kohli Turned To Lalchand Rajput For Help After Disastrous 2014 England Tour: Greg Chappell

Virat Kohli often acknowledged that 2014 tour of England was the toughest phase of his career as the run machine struggled to cope with England’s veteran pacer James Anderson and often fell victim to his swing and control which also saw his self-confidence to be hit. Still, he bounced back after working hard on his game plan.

In his recent column on Sydney Morning Herald, former Australian captain Greg Chappell, who also worked as India’s head coach, revealed how the run machine Indian skipper Virat Kohli received advice from former Indian cricketers Lalchand Rajput and Sachin Tendulkar which helped him regain his confidence.

Virat Kohli, James Anderson
Virat Kohli, James Anderson (Credits: Twitter)

Virat Kohli Disappointed In England Tour In 2014 After Suffering From James Anderson’s Pace, Swing And Bounce

Virat Kohli scored only 39 runs in 5 tests and 10 innings averaging a pathetic 13.4 his lowest average in a 5 match test series. He had registered average of 9.2 in Australia’s tour of India in 2017 and more recently averaged 9.5 in New Zealand tour in 2020. But those were 3 and 2 test match series respectively. But his average is a high 53—63 in tests.

“From a cricketing point of view, the turning point for Virat was his disappointing tour of England in 2014. English conditions and bowlers – Anderson in particular – had made batting seem more difficult than solving Fermat’s last theorem,” Chappell wrote.

Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli
Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli-Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In 2018, in next England tour, he continued his form by scoring two tons and averaging 59.3 in 5 Tests.

Virat Kohli Turned To Lalchand Rajput And Sachin Tendulkar For Help After Poor Outing In England Tour

After taking advice from veteran Lalchand Rajput and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, he bounced back scoring as many as 4 tons and averaging a staggering 86.5 in 4 Tests against Australia in Australia immediately after the disastrous England tour amassing 692 runs-his highest in a single series.

“On his return to India, Kohli turned to Rajput for help. They spent 14 days together, working on getting into better positions to deal with the best deliveries. Tendulkar also offered some cogent inputs on batting against top bowlers.”

“During one of these sessions, Rajput told Kohli that he could be a similar player to Viv Richards. Kohli wasn’t convinced. ‘No sir,’ he said, ‘he is too great for me.’ It is now looking like a prescient statement. Sir Vivian would be proud to have played some of the innings that Kohli has played in the intervening years.”

Virat Kohli and Sir Vivian Richards
Virat Kohli and Sir Vivian Richards (Image Credit: Google)

“The ensuing tour of Australia was a watershed in which he set his career on a solid footing and won over the demanding crowds. This country holds a special place in his heart because “respect has to be earned; it is not given easily,” Chappell signed off.

In the disastrous tour in 2018 to England, Virat Kohli fell to pacer James Anderson 4 times and registered 6 times single-digit scores. Interestingly, Viv Richards average of 50.24 is less than Virat Kohli in Tests. In ODIs too, Virat Kohli averages nearly 60 while Viv Richards averages 47.

ms dhoni, dhoni, jharkhand,, coach,
Dhoni back in the nets. Photo Credit: BCCI.
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MS Dhoni Is A Mixture Of Sourav Ganguly And Rahul Dravid: Lalchand Rajput

Former cricket manager of the India National Cricket Team, Lalchand Rajput has stated that former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is a blend of veteran Indian skippers, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Notably, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid led team India before passing the baton to MS Dhoni in 2007. Dhoni, having made his international debut in 2004, Dhoni played under the leadership of Ganguly and Dravid.

Dhoni was last seen in the Indian colors in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Unfortunately, India lost the game to New Zealand and was eliminated from the competition. Since then, Dhoni has been away from the Indian team. His return was much anticipated with the return of IPL 2020 this year as he was back to the field sweating it hard for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, the BCCI had to postpone the tournament indefinitely due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, this has again given way to speculations on Dhoni’s future with Team India.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Now, Lalchand Rajput has said that Dhoni is a mixture of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly and said that he has adopted a lot from his predecessors.

Lalchand Rajput Lavishes Praise On MS Dhoni

Rajput said that like Ganguly, even Dhoni used to show confidence in his players, giving them enough chances to show their mettle at the highest level.

“To be very honest Dhoni was very very calm and used to think two steps ahead of the opponent and he was always a thinking captain. He was a mixture of Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Ganguly used to give players the confidence and he was the one who changed the mentality of the Indian team,” Rajput was quoted as saying to Sportskeeda.

“So, I think that carried forward with Dhoni because even he gave opportunities to players and if he saw potential in someone he used to give him ample opportunities. Dhoni will never show any evasive action on the ground and that helped the players in giving their best,” Rajput added.

Former Cricketers Divided On MS Dhoni’s Return To Team India

Recently, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star batsman Suresh Raina said MS Dhoni did not show any signs of ageing and that he was hitting the big sixes at will, as usual during the training camp in Chennai. Laxmipathy Balaji, the bowling coach of Chennai Super Kings, also vouched for MS Dhoni’s return.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: Twitter)

On the other hand, former wicketkeeper-batsman, Deep Dasgupta had said that MS Dhoni should have kept playing domestic cricket if he aspired a return to the Indian team. Kris Srikkanth also noted that if the IPL does not take place, Dhoni’s return looks impossible. Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra also had similar views to those of Srikkanth.

 

 

 

 

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Image Credit: Google
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BCCI Starts Support Staff Interview Process; Some Big Names Face It On Day One

As Ravi Shastri has retained his head coach position of the Indian national cricket team for the next two years, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now started to select the support staff of the national team. According to Sportstar, on the day one of the interview process, a total of 18 candidates present for the various roles.

MSK Prasad-led national selection committee has started the selection process on Monday (19th August). On day one, 13 candidates gave the interview for the batting coach role, and the other five candidates were present for the bowling coach interview.

Read More: Three-Day Tour Match: Ajinkya Rahane Gets Crucial Half-Century On The Final Day

Lalchand Rajput, who recently fought for the head coach role, has once again started his fight for the batting coach role. The 57-year-old Rajput is a high-profile member as he was the manager of the national team from 2007 to 2008. During that period, India won the ICC World T20 2007 and the 2007/08 ODI tri-series in Australia. Apart from coaching the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2008, Rajput also coached Afghanistan and Zimbabwe team.

interview, batting coach, bowling coach
Lalchand Rajput (Image Credit: Google)

Big domestic names were present for the support staff interview

The top domestic coaches like Vikram Rathour, Sitanshu Kotak, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Amol Mazumdar, Pravin Amre etc. also appeared in the batting interview process.

interview, batting coach, bowling coach
Vikram Rathour (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Venkatesh Prasad, Subroto Banerjee, Paras Mhambrey, Amit Bhandari etc. were present for the bowling coach interview.

Read More: Kuldeep Yadav Should Be First Choice For India Over Ravichandra Ashwin – Harbhajan Singh

Among the foreigners, English cricketer Jonathan Trott gave his interview via Skype.

BCCI Starts Support Staff Interview Process; Some Big Names Face It On Day One 1
Jonathan Trott (Image Credit: Google)

The present support staff are busy in the ongoing Caribbean tour. The batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar will give their interviews for their respective positions on Tuesday (20th August). As they are the current support staff, they have earned the direct entries in this interview process.

Also, the former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes is likely to face the interview process on Tuesday. Rhodes will appear via Skype for the fielding coach interview. As a coach, Rhodes served for Mumbai Indians, Kenya and South Africa national cricket team.

interview, batting coach, bowling coach
Jonty Rhodes (Image Credit: BCCI)

According to the Sportstar, this selection process will run until Thursday (22nd August).

BCCI, Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. (Credits - Twitter)
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BCCI To Announce The Head Coach Today At 7 PM

Today at 7 PM, BCCI will announce the Indian men’s cricket team Head Coach to handover over the future of India Cricket team. The six candidates Shortlisted by BCCI have been interviewed today by Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) from 10:30 am at BCCI’s Headquarter.

CAC comprising of former India cricketers Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will select the apt candidate among the six shortlisted candidates.

Read More: Ravi Shastri To Continue As India’s Head Coach

The six shortlisted candidates are Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Ravi Shastri, Phil Simmons, Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput.

However, the CAC will not make the final selection. It will rank the candidates according to their merits and preferences.

BCCI said that there was a total of 2000 applications for the post of India head coach and the support staff, including the administrative manager of the team. In which merely Six were shortlisted for the head coach interview.

BCCI has to settle on the minimum requirement they had initially advertised for the head coach. The measure remains the same for batting, bowling and fielding coach except for the number of games played. Mike Hesson and Lalchand Rajput are the two for which BCCI has to sacrifice the minimum criteria of ‘minimum of 30 Tests or 50 ODIs played’.

Read More: Profile Details Of Six Shortlisted-Candidates Who Are Facing Interviews For India’s Head Coach Post

Mike Hesson was the former coach of New Zealand. He made the team to fight first time in finals in 2015 ODI World Cup. But he had never played international cricket. Rajput was the manager of India cricket team during 2007 world cup. Under His Coaching, Afganistan wins over West Indies for the first time.

Tom Moody, Mike Hesson and Phil Simmons are the three foreign coaches. BCCI has not been in approval of foreign coaches.

Ravi Shastri may lead

Ravi Shastri may lead. Captain Virat Kohli wholeheartedly accepts him. Shastri is the first Coach under which India team has retained the position of No.1 in Test ranking. He has played the role of director with head coach Fletcher in 2014.

BCCI, Ravi Shastri
Photo Credit: AP.

Speaking purely from the results perspective, he (Shastri) has done quite well. So, besides Ravi, all other positions (in the coaching and support staff) in my opinion are open depending on who is applying, their credentials and whether they meet the criteria of the BCCI,” Gaekwad had told Mid-Day.

Present India’s men cricket staff, including Head Coach Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar, was granted 45-days extension period for India Tour with West Indies. Shastri will give his interview at 4 pm through skype as he is with team India.

Read More: Twitter Reacts As CAC Reappoints Ravi Shastri As India’s Head Coach

Ravi Shastri, India, Test Cricket
Ravi Shastri. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Profile Details Of Six Shortlisted-Candidates Who Are Facing Interviews For India’s Head Coach Post

On Friday (16th August), the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) is interviewing the head coach post for the India men’s national cricket team in Mumbai.

Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy are the members of the newly-formed CAC. They are taking the interviews of the six candidates, which were shortlisted by the BCCI. After this interview, the CAC members will rank the candidates. Soon, the BCCI will take the final decision of the head coach of the Indian national cricket team.

Read More:

Here are brief profile details of the six coaching candidates.

Lalchand Rajput

Head coach, candidates
Lalchand Rajput (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The 57-year-old former Indian cricketer Lalchand Rajput played for India in two Tests and four ODIs from January 1985 to March 1987.

Lalchand Rajput started his big coaching career as the coach of the Indian national cricket team. He was also the Joint Honorary Secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association.

Read More: Misbah-Ul-Haq To Lead Pakistan Training Camp Ahead Of New Season

In 2007, he was the manager of Indian national cricket team. Under that tenure, India won the inaugural ICC World T20 2007 and the ODI tri-series trophy in Australia (2007/08).

In the inaugural IPL (2008), Rajput was the coach of Mumbai Indians (MI). He faced controversy in that season when he was caught laughing during the slapping incident by Harbhajan Singh to S Sreesanth after a match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Later, he paid 50% fine of his match fee.

Lalchand Rajput coached Afghanistan national cricket team from June 2016 to August 2017. In this period, Afghanistan beat the West Indies in an ODI on the Caribbean soil. Since May 2018, Rajput is the head coach of Zimbabwe national cricket team.

In the recently concluded Global T20 Canada 2019, he was the head coach of Winnipeg Hawks.

BCCI, head coach, India
Image Credit: Getty Images
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BCCI Announces The Interview Date For The Head Coach Post After Shortlisting Candidates

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed the names of six shortlisted candidates who will give the interview for the head coach post of the India national cricket team. The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) will take this interview on 16th August.

Read More: Wasim Jaffer Predicts Virat Kohli’s Number Of Centuries In ODI Career

These shortlisted candidates are Tom Moody, Robin Singh, Lalchand Rajput, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons and the present India team head coach Ravi Shastri.

BCCI, head coach, India
Ravi Shastri is the present head coach of India national cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

Meanwhile, Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy are the members of CAC. They will conduct the interview process on 16th August from morning to 5:30 pm. All the six interviews will be held in Mumbai, but all the candidates have got different time slots. However, some of the overseas coaches will present in the interview via video call.

Ultimately, BCCI will decide the Indian head coach

The CAC members will rank the candidates after the interview. Later, the BCCI will take the final decision based on availability and other conditions.

A senior BCCI official told CricketNext on Monday, “The board have finalised a list of six names based on their experience and qualifications for the post. All the six interviews will be held in Mumbai with different time slots for all the six candidates. The interviews will begin in morning and will go on till 5:30pm in the evening on August 16.

“Shastri is the automatic entry into this process like the rest of the support staff. The CAC will probably rank all the candidates, so BCCI can choose the final candidate on the basis of availability and other conditions. The final decision on how many names will finally be offered to BCCI will be decided by the CAC on the day of the interview.

“Some of the overseas candidates may not be able to attend the meeting, so they would connect with the panel via video call.”

After the conclusion of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, the BCCI invited the application for the coach and support staff roles. As per the media reports, the BCCI has received more than 2,000 applications. Now, the BCCI has shortlisted the interview candidates.

Brief details of the candidates

Ravi Shastri is the present head coach of the India national cricket team. After the conclusion of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Shastri has taken this role. He had the initial contract until the end of the CWC 2019. After India finished their journey in the semi-final of CWC 2019, Shastri has earned a 45-day extension for this position.

Read More: Rassie Van Der Dussen Earns CSA Central Contract

However, recently, the Indian captain Virat Kohli has backed Ravi Shastri.

BCCI, head coach, India
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri (Image Credit: Google)

The other shortlisted candidates also have very good coaching experiences. Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons played the head coach roles for Afghanistan national cricket team and West Indies cricket team.

BCCI Announces The Interview Date For The Head Coach Post After Shortlisting Candidates 2
Phil Simmons (Image Credit: Google)

Lalchand Rajput served as the manager of India national cricket team from 2007 to 2008. During that term, India won the ICC World T20 2007. Rajput also coached Afghanistan and Zimbabwe national cricket teams.

BCCI Announces The Interview Date For The Head Coach Post After Shortlisting Candidates 3
Lalchand Rajput (Image Credit: Google)

Robin Singh has vast experiences in coaching. He was the fielding coach of India national cricket team from 2007 to 2008. Also, he was the coach of India U19, Hong Kong, India A, United States etc. He also played the several coaching roles for the IPL teams Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians.

Robin Singh,
Robin Singh (Image Credit: Google)

Mike Hesson was one of the successful coaches of New Zealand national cricket team history. Earlier, he also taught Argentina and Kenya national cricket teams. In IPL 2019, Hesson was the head coach of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).

BCCI Announces The Interview Date For The Head Coach Post After Shortlisting Candidates 4
Mike Hesson (Image Credit: Google)

Tom Moody was the former head coach of Sri Lanka national cricket team. In his long coaching experiences, Moody also trained the IPL teams Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Tom Moody
Tom Moody (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Lalchand Rajput, India, Head Coach
Photo Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Lalchand Rajput Applies for the Position of India’s Head Coach

Former India cricketer Lalchand Rajput is in the race to be India’s next head coach. In his recent statement, Rajput maintained that he will be delighted to coach India in the top-flight cricket.

The Zimbabwean head coach had applied for the top-brass post ahead of the deadline for the coach.

Read More: Sourav Ganguly Gives His View On Virat Kohli’s Support To The Head Coach Ravi Shastri

Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had set the deadline for chief coach and supporting staff as of June 30.

Lalchand Rajput aims for high on filing nomination:

Lalchand Rajput, India, ICC World Cup 2019
Rajput represented India in four ODIs and two Tests between 1985 and 1987. Photo Credit: BCCI.

The 57-year-old Rajput maintained that India would require the right way with talented players all around. He further stated that it would be an honour to serve his country in the international fold

“I will be privileged to coach this Indian team, which is brimming with talent. It just needs the right direction,” Rajput told TOI.

In the meantime, the Mumbaikar is serving as the coach for Global T20 Canada League franchise Winnipeg Hawks.

Moreover, Rajput had over two decades of experience as a coach at different levels. The veteran had also served Afghanistan as a chief coach.

“I have a coaching experience of over 20 years at various levels. I’m the only Indian coach who has coached international teams like Afghanistan and Zimbabwe,” Rajput added.

Apart from Rajput, Robin Singh had also filed his nomination alongside former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson apart from Tom Moody, who had wealth of experience as a coach.

Ravi Shastri has done well for India:

Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, BCCI Official
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Earlier, the tenure of the coaching staff had culminated post the ICC World Cup 2019 in the United Kingdom (UK). Also, Ravi Shastri and his support staff were handed an extension of 45 days in their contract. Thus, they will be with the team for the Caribbean tour.

Meanwhile, Shastri and the support staff were also been given a window to reapply for the posts. Apart from Shastri, Sanjay Bangar had assisted him with Bharat Arun as a bowling coach.

Read More : Tom Moody is in Race for Team India’s Head Coach

Also, R Sridhar had served as a fielding coach which had proved beneficial for the Men in Blue in the recent past.

With interviews expected to be held in August, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev will name the next head coach of India. Besides, the CAC is comprised of Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad.

Lalchand Rajput, India, Head Coach
Photo Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Lalchand Rajput Feels India Will Enter as ‘Best Bowling’ Unit at the ICC World Cup 2019

The compliment came from former Team India opener – Lalchand Rajput for Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019. Rajput, who’s currently serving as a chief coach for Zimbabwe maintained India has a potent bowling attack compared to other teams partaking in the ICC’s mega event in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the tourney will get underway when hosts England takes on South Africa on May 30 in London. On the other hand, India will kick-off their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Southampton.

Rajput represented India in four ODIs and two Tests between 1985 and 1987. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Lalchand Rajput, India, ICC World Cup 2019
Rajput represented India in four ODIs and two Tests between 1985 and 1987. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Overall, India has yielded desired results with its strong batting line-up. However, much to the delight, the bowling department has infused a new life in the team in the past couple of years.

Pertinently, Rajput, who also had a stint with Afghanistan as a coach, had served as the team manager in 2007 when Team India under the leadership of MS Dhoni lifted the inaugural title of the Twenty20 World Cup.

“I think India has got best bowling attack and we have got a very well balanced team. We have got very good all-rounders and if we look at any other team, India is best equipped for that,” ToI quoted Rajput, as saying.

In the ten-team tournament, the different teams are keen to improve on their bowling side. Notably, the wickets are considered batting friendly during the quadrennial event.

Well, in the ongoing England-Pakistan series, things were evident with the way things have folded in different conditions.

Hardik Pandya as an X-factor: Rajput

Lalchand Rajput, India, Hardik Pandya,
Pandya crucial for India at the World Cup 2019. Photo Credit: AP.

He stated that all-rounders play a quintessential role within the team.

“As I said, there are a lot of all-rounders, all-rounders makes a lot of difference and I think we have got good all-rounders, the strikers as well, we got a very heavy top three (batsmen) and that’s very important,” he said.

The 57-year-old Rajput reiterated that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is an X-factor. He maintained India is a team to beat on their day. Furthermore, Rajput feels Ravindra Jadeja is capable of doing his best at the lower batting order.

“…And if it is a good day for our team, it is very difficult to beat them. And Hardik (Pandya) is a great X-factor in the team and (Ravindra) Jadeja who can get going at the lower order,” he added.

Thus, Rajput stated India stands an excellent chance to be one of the semi-finalists at the ODI showpiece.

“So, overall I think we have got a very good chance. And I think we should be in the top four,” Rajput further added.

In conclusion, Rajput asserted India is laced with prominent batters in the top-order. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have done an outstanding job for India, whereas, skipper Virat Kohli has been remarkable particularly with the run-chases.

Overall, he remarked India has a balanced squad for the World Cup.

“Earlier also there was (Virender) Sehwag, Sachin (Tendulkar), now we have got Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit (Sharma) and Virat (Kohli). (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni as usual a great finisher, so we have got a very well balanced team,” Rajput inferred.

Meanwhile, with Jasprit Bumrah spearheading the bowling attack. Besides, Mohammed Shami and Bhuveneshwar Kumar will assist Bumrah in the UK.

Lalchand Rajput, India, Head Coach
Photo Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Zimbabwe Appoints Lalchand Rajput as their Head Coach

Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed former India cricketer Lalchand Rajput as their head coach. He will succeed Heath Streak, who had to step down after Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the ICC World Cup.

Meanwhile, Rajput was a part of  India’s coaching staff during the 2007 World Twenty. Furthermore, he also worked with the Afghanistan side.

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukhlani admitted that they are targetting to qualify for the next 20 and 50 over tournaments. He feels Lalchand Rajput can build the young side.

We are targeting qualification for the next T20 and 50-over World Cup tournaments and we believe Lalchand has the pedigree and experience to build a young side and help us achieve our goals,” he said.

Zimbabwe Appoints Lalchand Rajput as their Head Coach 5

Lalchand has a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record of success throughout his career. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward,” he added.

It is a positive move from Zimbabwe

Hamilton Masakadza feels it is a positive move from Zimbabwe as he can bring his wealth to the team. Masakadza admitted Lalchand Rajput could bring positivity to the side.

I think it is a positive move from ZC. Appointing someone of his experience and stature bodes well for the future of our cricket as he is a really positive coach who brings a lot of positive energy and wants to see positive results for the team,” Masakadza said.

Zimbabwe Appoints Lalchand Rajput as their Head Coach 6
Getty Images

I have been very impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail. We have worked on a lot of specifics and put a lot of time into our games. The boys have responded really well to the rigorous training schedule and we are already starting to see a lot of improvement,” he added.

Lalchand Rajput played two Tests and four ODIs between 1985 and 1987. Zimbabwe have a limited-overs tour of South Africa in September – and will play Test cricket in Bangladesh after that.

Mumbai, Lalchand Rajput, Abhishek Nayar, IPL 2018
Photo Credit: Web
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Lalchand Rajput and Abhishek Nayar blame IPL for Mumbai’s decline

Not very long ago, beating Mumbai was considered a huge upset in the domestic fold. Their unparalleled record in premium competition Ranji Trophy pretty much proves that.

Mumbai side has won the coveted title for a record number of 41 times, a scarcely-believable 33 times more than second-placed Karnataka.

Moreover, they’ve produced more than 70 Test cricketers, with nine of them having led the country.

However, Mumbai’s reputation has taken a beating in the recent times.

In the last season, they exited the Ranji Trophy at quarterfinal stage after suffering an innings-defeat at the hands of quality-side Karnataka.

And Lalchand Rajput and Abhishek Nayar have an interesting take on Mumbai’s dwindling fortunes. Both of them feel that the rise of the cash-rich IPL is responsible for the decline in Mumbai cricket’s standards.

“Cricket is now a power game. Today, Mumbai’s youngsters think of playing in the IPL, rather than for Mumbai. This mindset is wrong, because first and foremost, you have to try and play for your state, and then for your country,” Rajput said.

Mumbai, Lalchand Rajput, Abhishek Nayar, IPL 2018
Mumbai exited last season at the last eight stage (Credits: ESPN)

“The IPL will come automatically. However, this mindset has changed because of money. This is the reason why Mumbai cricket has slowly come down from the level it was at earlier,” added Rajput.

The former Mumbai cricketer Rajput further recalled how teams used to be scared of the team in the past. He added the other teams were boosted by the emergence of the short-paced tournament like Indian Premier League (IPL).

“In our days, they used to plead with us that ‘don’t make us field for two days.’ However, now the same teams are competing with us and beating us too. This means that they’ve started believing that anybody can beat Mumbai. The other teams have developed because of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) coaching and the IPL, where you play with bigger players,” said Rajput.

Mumbai, Lalchand Rajput, Abhishek Nayar, IPL 2018
Rajput and Nayar feel IPL is responsible for Mumbai’s woes (Credits: BCCI)

Nayar, the former Mumbai allrounder, also echoed Rajput’s sentiments.

“The stage is set for people to get picked for India through the IPL. The times have changed. You realise that Mumbai cricketers like Siddhesh Lad and Shreyas Iyer repeatedly do well in the Ranji Trophy, but sometimes don’t get that call-up,” he concluded.

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