Self-belief is the key for Oman cricket team, says Sunil Joshi

Sports Saturday 16/January/2016 21:41 PM
By: Times News Service
Self-belief is the key for Oman cricket team, says Sunil Joshi

Muscat: Self-belief is the key for World T20 and Asia Cup-bound Oman national cricketers, opined former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi during a brief tête-à-tête with Times Sport.
Sunil Joshi, who has taken up the role of spin-bowling coach of Oman, is in town to hone the skills of the spin bowlers and he reflected upon the conditioning sessions in Rajkot recently.
Sunil Joshi said that the set of spin bowlers in the Oman squad are qualitatively good and my role is to educate them on the nuances of spin bowling.
"We had a good session in Rajkot and I have stressed that each of them must understand the importance of their role, be it the batsman or the bowler, and execute their ideas and plans to perfection," said the former India bowling all-rounder.
"I have told them to set targets and have confidence in executing their plans systematically," said Joshi, who has turned the fortunes of a lowly Jammu & Kashmir team in the Indian domestic scene.
"In Twenty20's a bowler's prime focus must be to bowl dot balls, which puts the batsmen under pressure. And when that situation arises, wickets can be purchased. And this tactic can be applied on placid batting wickets too," he said.
"Imagine if one bowler can bowl at least 50 percent of their 24 deliveries in a match, and the others too follow, the battle is won.
"This was my focus, while the team was in Rajkot, and I can say that the bowlers are quickly grasping the notion, and I am sure they will be ready for the big stage," he said.
"I am also educating the bowlers on various other tactics that can help them in a T20 game. All of them know the art of bowling, I am just honing them technically (the variations and the use of crease) and inducing self-belief, which is ultimately the key to success," he explained.
"During training the spinners, some of them very good, have started setting their targets and are working hard in achieving it," said Joshi.
However, he lamented that the team should have had their conditioning camps in Dharamsala much before.
"Now that we will camp at the high-altitude venue in February, I doubt we will get the chance to train at the main stadium," said Joshi.
"Normally with little time left for the world event, International Cricket Council may not allow teams to practice at the stadium until atleast before the tournament proper. But had Oman planned it early they could have got a chance to have the feel of the venue," he added.
"Nevertheless we can still have the best feel of playing at high-altitudes and can prepare efficiently," said Joshi, who also have studied all players through video clippings from the ICC qualifiers and the UAE tour.
"Oman is fortunate to have a batting legend (Duleep Mendis) as their head coach and also not to forget another great fast bowling expert in Rumesh Ratnayake," said Joshi, who also suggested that the players should go up to them and ask questions during training sessions and clear their doubts.
"I find this bunch of 15 players very responsive, and they are coming to us with queries which we are pleased to answer," he said.
"We (Duleep, Rumesh, fielding coach Vijay Bharadwaj and myself) are ready to help them always, ultimately it is team effort that brings success," Joshi said.
The former India Test player will be here till January 21 and rejoin the team when they reach Dharamsala.
Asked whether all the experts will be with the team during the Asia Cup and World T20, Joshi said: "I really don't know but ideally it should be that way and all depends on what Duleep and the Oman Cricket administers decide."
Oman are grouped with Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands in the World T20 qualifying round, and will play their matches in Dharamsala. The winner of the group will advance to the Super 10 stage.
Before that Oman will also play the four-team Asia Cup T20 qualifier in Bangladesh, which also features Afghanistan, UAE and Hong Kong. One of the associate teams will advance to the main draw involving the region's four Full Member teams.
Sunil Joshi, who has played Tests and ODIs for India between 1996 and 2001 as a bowling all-rounder, pointed out that the Asia Cup will be the prime testing ground for Oman.
"Oman is playing Asia Cup qualifiers against teams whom they have defeated before and I believe they can do it once again...why not?
"Being positive is the criteria and wonders follow," Joshi, whose best figures (10-6-6-5) came against South Africa in the 1999 LG Cup ODI match, said.
For the record, Joshi has represented Karnataka in Ranji Trophy, played briefly for the Bedfordshire County Cricket Club in England during the 2004 season and also represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2008 and 2009 season of the Indian Premier League.
He called it quits from all forms of cricket in 2012 and turned coach. His coaching stints were with Hyderabad and Jammu & Kashmir, who caused a flutter by stunning Ranji Trophy giants Mumbai in the preliminary rounds.
"I was criticised when I took over J&K, but I love the challenge and when they performed well, the nation took notice. Likewise, I am taking up the challenge of Oman on a bigger stage," signed off Joshi.
Meanwhile, Times Sport has stepped on the pruned 15-member team, who are training hard.
Though the 15-member team is yet to be announced officially following are the players in the list (there could be changes before the team will depart to Dharamsala for the camp starting February 10): Sultan Ahmed (skipper), Zeeshan Siddiqui (Raha CT); Jatinder Singh, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Adnan Ilyas, Aqib Ilyas, Munis Ansari, Rajesh Ranpura (Muscat CT); Aamir Kaleem, Amir Ali, Bilal Khan (Passage to India); Zeeshan Maqsood (Assarain); Mehran Khan (Enhance); Ajay Lalcheta (Al Turki) and Sufyan Mehmood (Fairtrade).