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Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Emphasis on batting in first practice session

Message from my side is clear and simple: follow basics and keep working hard as the rest will then take care of itself, says Laxmi Ratan Shukla
Laxmi Ratan Shukla during Bengal’s practice on Wednesday.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla during Bengal’s practice on Wednesday.
Picture courtesy CAB media

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 04.08.22, 03:13 AM

Bengal got the ball rolling for the forthcoming season with a practice session at Eden Gardens’ Indoor Centre on Wednesday.

In order to address the batting-related concerns that have been plaguing Bengal for a long time, the batsmen were made to face wet tennis balls to counter the extra bounce and plastic balls to deal with the swing. The focus was also on leaving the ball. Head coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla also ensured makeshift nets were put up under the gallery (‘K’ block) close to the indoor centre.

“Each of those nets was utilised for specific purposes,” Shukla said after the five-and a-half-hour training session. “For instance, in one net, batsmen had to play only the hook. And in another one, they were asked to play only the sweep shot.

“So this is how we plan to approach our training sessions, in a holistic manner.”

For bowlers, there were spot bowling sessions for both quicks and spinners along with other basic drills. Such a training method in the first practice session ahead of a new season hasn’t been common for the Bengal senior men’s team over the last few years. 

“The focus will be purely on skillset training as the season begins (with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy) in two months’ time. That’s what I have told our cricketers and nothing else because I don’t believe in long lectures.

“The message from my side is clear and simple: follow the basics and keep working hard as the rest will then take care of itself,” Shukla emphasised.  

The players are likely to get sufficient game time next month as part of their pre-season, as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) wants to send a team for a T20 series in Namibia, the approval of which is expected to arrive from the BCCI in the coming week.



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