Joe Dawes © Getty Images (File photo)
By Kushan Sarkar
Fatullah (Bangladesh): Mar 16, 2014
India‘s bowling coach Joe Dawes has been under-fire for quite sometime as his ‘out of the box’ coaching methods are simply not working and there was a distinct lack of energy evident among the Indian players ahead of their opening warm-up tie against Sri Lanka on Monday.
None of the Indian bowlers practiced against the giant seven feet mannequin that was positioned on one of the centre strips at Khan Shaheb Osman Stadium, specifically for the faster bowlers.
The red and black coloured mannequin resembled exactly Ajay Jadeja’s stance with a slight backlift when the bowler is on delivery stride.
Reportedly, the mannequin made with soft rubber has been imported from Australia (interestingly Dawes’ homeland).
The idea about using it during training sessions is to help the fast bowlers practise separately on a specific area, such as bowling a bouncer or a yorker or even sticking to a channel outside the off-stump.
During the two and half hour training session here this evening, not even for once did the quartet of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma seemed interested in bowling against the mannequin.
This mannequin was first brought during the tour of South Africa and within three months, but it seems the bowling unit has lost interest in this out of the box practice method.
The four-man Indian pace attack were more keen on bowling to the batsman at the two adjacent nets at the far end of the ground.
While bowling yorkers aiming at toes of the mannequin can be a good exercise, no one cared to explain what a bowler would do if the batsman uses his feet to alter the length.
The height of the mannequin being seven feet, a well directed bouncer aimed at it would actually go over a real batsman’s head.
In soccer, teams used to have these artificial human walls for set-piece movements and direct free-kicks. But increasingly, top soccer coaches of leading clubs have decreased that trend.
In the end, one saw the mannequin lying on the ground as some of the batsmen wanted to take throwdowns and hit sixes.
Just as it was brought to the ground, it was taken away without being used.
Meanwhile, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn’t bat in the nets, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja didn’t bowl today.
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