‘Fielding hasn’t improved for Mumbai’

Aug 10,2018

The assistant coach of the Mumbai domestic team, Amit Dani stresses on the need to improve the team’s fitness in order to get the team back on track.

For the longest time, the Mumbai Cricket team had not appointed an assistant coach. Gaffers in the likes of Chandrakant Pandit, Sameer Dighe and Pravin Amre have all served their terms without an accomplice. Probably a horrendous 2017-18 season called for a change and that change was seen in former Mumbai Cricketer Amit Dani’s appointment as the assistant coach to newly hired coach Vinayak Samant.

The duo has already linked up in the past the same way for the Under-23 Mumbai squad. While Samant is running the batting and overall development, Dani is handling the fielding and bowling departments.

From the first couple of weeks into his job, Dani perseveres that fielding needs to be addressed as a concern since it has not been the squad’s strongest element. “What I have suggested is to improve the fitness of the players first. If they are fitter and faster, fielding becomes invariably easier. We have lacked in this aspect of the game and my job is to improve with the exciting set of players,” he says.

Looking back at the last season when the team somehow reached the knockout stages only to knocked out by Karnataka in the quarterfinals, Dani’s job is precisely the harder one. The team played seven matches and managed to take exactly 100 wickets in the two innings format. It sounds like a fantastic number unassailably.  

The fact that there were 140 wickets up for grabs is his concern. Not that a team is supposed to do that but for a team with such quality, the bowling department need to have more venom to strike down oppositions.

Dani considers that there is a need to cultivate a leg-spinner since there is no deficiency in left-arm spinners. “We have experienced fast bowlers and that makes my job easier. Shardul (Thakur) and Dhawal (Kulkarni) are seasoned players. There is not much that I have to teach them. In the spin department we have to find a wicket-taking leg-spinner who can assist these two. We have a squad of over 30 players so it should not be a problem to find one,” says the 45-year old.

Now working with the Samant again, the pair can look at fetching results for Mumbai and get the team back on track this year. “We have been childhood friends and working with him is good for the players as well. Since we have worked together for Under-23 squad previously, the work is cut-out well for both of us,” says Dani, who is enthused to be working with his colleague.

For the last couple of years, Dani has been associated with MIG Cricket Club in Bandra including the feat from 2013 when he was the fielding coach when the team lifted the Kanga League.

The Mumbai outfit will travel for a tournament organised by Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association (APCA) by the end of this month. The competition was originally a red-ball format but since the season will begin with one-dayers this year, the APCA has changed the format accordingly with day and night games. It will start from August 29 and the team will reach five days prior.


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