In 2019, R. Sridhar wanted to quit his position as the field coach of the Indian cricket team – after a stint of five years. However, he had to change his mind as Ravi Shastri, the head coach, wanted him to continue for a few more years. So, Sridhar had to reapply for the job and pass the interviews before being given the job for another few years.
And as his stint finally ended earlier this month, Sridhar is glad he listened to Shastri and continued after 2019, as it gave him the opportunity to work with Rishabh Pant and develop a “ awesome bond.”
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“I’m glad I did the interview because I had the opportunity to interact and develop a wonderful bond with this outstanding cricketer, Rishabh Pant. Over the past two years I have spent a lot of time with him and I’m lucky to have worked with him,” Sridhar said. sports star.
Change of approach
While it was initially difficult to coach Pant, Sridhar soon realized he needed to change his approach in order to get the best out of the young hitter. “In six months I realized my style of coaching was not to cut the ice with him. There’s a nice phrase in Level 1 coaching, ‘if kids don’t learn like you teach , teach as they learn…” So, after thinking between the two series [South Africa and Bangladesh at home]before going to New Zealand I thought it was a mistake on my part and I had to get the best out of him,” said Sridhar, 51.
“So I changed the way I trained him, something that suited his personality and luckily it clicked and we developed a really good relationship of trust and understanding.”
Having watched Pant grow as a cricketer, Sridhar was happy to see him succeed in the home Test series against England earlier this year. “We could both work really hard and one of the most satisfying moments was how he kept the wickets in the Test series against England at home. He’s a lovely kid and the next big thing for Indian cricket. More importantly, he is a lovely human being. I enjoyed working with him. So with Rishabh, the main thing was that I change my coaching style,” Sridhar added.
After spending seven years with the Indian team, Sridhar now wants to spend time with his family and has also teamed up with Shastri and Bharat Arun to form a coaching company called ‘Coaching Beyond’.
“We are in the coach education space, high performance training for elite and semi-professional cricketers. And we are also in the business of bringing technology into coach education,” he said. While the project will have its two pilots based in Hyderabad and Chennai, Sridhar also plans to work with an IPL team, if given the chance.
“Right now I’m talking to a few IPL teams. But I’m waiting for Ravi Shastri to decide if he’s going to join a team or not and then I’ll start moving on that,” he said.
“If given a chance, I will work with an IPL team and after that I will work in basic training and coach development in India. I love working with children and molding them. Young children are like wet clay, you can mold them as you wish. I did that for seven or eight years before I joined the NCA. I loved doing this. I haven’t decided yet if I want to do full-time international coaching assignments because I’ve been on the road for seven years and I have to give time to my wife and daughter, who is now ready for the university.