Amre backs his wards to come good

Cricket: Preparatory camp


Wiser by the experience of previous year when his players drained out a lot quicker than their Aussie or South African or New Zealand opponents, coach Pravin Amre ensured that the Australia-bound players spent extra hours working on their fitness under the guidence of trainer Ramji Srinivasan. While a five-day camp may not work wonders, the former Indian opener felt this was the best he could possibly have done in a given time-frame.     

“The players know that even one bad game can cost us this tournament. On paper we are very talented and we are on par with the Australian, New Zealand and South African teams but when it comes to fitness they do have an edge. The grounds there are big and can test our fielders’ endurance, especially in a 50-over match. The hard surface can tire the bowlers’ legs.Last year we found that between the 45th and 50th overs, we were stretched quite a bit.

“It was an intense camp with equal focus on skills and fitness. At the same time we took care so that the players would be fresh for the Australian tour in which we will be playing nine matches in a period of 13 days. Even the direct flight from Mumbai to Brisbane is 13 hours,” Amre explained after winding up the day’s proceedings.

Terming the Emerging Players tournament as an ideal opportunity to catch National selectors’ attention Amre said: “We want to win the tournament in Australia but it is also important that players from this squad make it to the next level. Last year, we had players like Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra and S Badrinath make the grade. The players too understand the opportunity they have. In fact being in the squad itself is a reward for their consistency over a period of one year at the domestic level.”

Using bowling machine

The Mumbaikar was also happy with the way camp shaped up. “In terms of skills, we helped the bowlers to focus on the right areas to bowl in Australia and with ragard to batsmen we extensively used the bowling machine, positioning it as close as 18 yards away from the batsman and replicating the bounce we may encounter on the tour. Last year, besides the bounce it was the seam movement also that affected us especially on overcast days and we factored that too in our training programme,” Amre remarked as he prepared to leave for Mumbai.

The players will leave for Mumbai on Thursday to catch their flight to Brisbane.

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