Cricket

Sunil Joshi gets an extension


Sunil Joshi will continue to assist Bangladesh as a spin consultant till September 2018. His short contract, for two Tests against Australia, was extended following good results and recommendation of the senior players.

Bangladesh had made history by winning its first ever Test against Australia at Dhaka recently.

The architects of the victory were veteran left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan and young off-spinner Mehdi Hasan Miraz. The spinners, including left-arm Taijul Islam, accounted for 19 Australian wickets with one batsman run out.

“It was a different, enriching experience to pride in,” said Joshi, who was in the capital to apply for the South African visa. Bangladesh leaves for South Africa later this month to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is.

The former India left-arm spinner, drafted to assist Chandika Hathurasinghe (chief coach) and Courtney Walsh (bowling coach), met with immediate success as his tactical inputs helped plot the Australian downfall.

“I worked on the basics and some technical issues. I advised them on how to use the crease and explore various angles with the right field placements. Field placements form an essential part of a spinner’s armoury and I am glad that Shakib and Mehdi were quick to understand my suggestions,” said Joshi.

He praised the two for some exemplary bowling. “Mehdi has an amazing seam and wrist position. I have not seen a bowler so young (19) get such good drift with the ball. Shakib is an expert at varying the angle and length and his field positions can be stifling. The nuances I picked from (Bishan Singh) Bedi sir were passed on to these two spinners.”

For Joshi, the win against Australia rekindled his performance at the same venue 17 years ago when he hit a face-saving 92 and claimed eight wickets to fashion India’s win in Bangladesh’s inaugural Test.

“I have fond memories of Bangladesh and this one was special too. It came in a different role and what I liked was that the Bangladesh players learnt their lessons in quick time,” Joshi added.

He pointed out the intensity with which the players want to improve.

“They are very inquisitive. At the end of the day’s play, they would come to discuss al the three sessions. I have seen few Indians do that in First Class cricket.”



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