R Sridhar recalled his conversation with Ravichandran Ashwin© Twitter
Former Indian cricket team fielding coach R Sridhar recalled a conversation that he had with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and how it changed his coaching style. Sridhar was the fielding coach of the national side from 2014 to 2021 and he worked with several coaches namely Duncan Fletcher, Anil Kumble and Ravi Shastri. Early in his tenure, Sridhar spoke to Ashwin about the strategies he wanted to bring in his coaching and was quite influenced by the answers given by the senior spinner.
In his autobiography titled ‘Coaching Beyond – My Days with the Indian Cricket Team’, he wrote – “Being with Ashwin, I was struck by one of our early conversations in my first week with the national team”.
“Non-confrontationally, he asked me, ‘If you don’t mind, Sridhar sir, why should I listen to you and follow the fielding drills you suggest? Why should I do what you are asking me to? From 2011 to 2014, we had Trevor Penney as the fielding coach. Now you have come in, you will be there for let’s say two to three years. You will say something; you will go a way. Then a new fielding coach will come. If I am honest, in the next three years, I have a lot at stake. I should be convinced that what you are saying is going to work for me. It should help my game, otherwise why should I listen to you?’”
Following the conversation, Sridhar wrote that he realised that changes were needed in the way he worked with the national team and he tried to implement them.
“We knew each other quite well by then, and I immediately got where he was coming from. His questions set me thinking: how much should I coach? What is coaching really?”
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