DC Assistant Coach Pravin Amre Opens-Up On His Coaching Philosophy
Pravin Amre played 11 Tests and 37 ODIs for India in the early 1990s and scored a century on his Test debut against South Africa at Durban in 1992.
Former India cricketer Pravin Amre has been a very sought-after coach in the cricketing circle. From being the coach of India Under-19 side and for Mumbai in the domestic cricket circuit, Amre has also served as a talent scout for IPL teams Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
Apart from being the personal batting coaches to players like Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer among others, Amre is currently relishing his role as the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals.
On the sidelines of Delhi Capitals opening their first academy in Noida, Amre, who played 11 Tests and 37 ODIs for India in the early 1990s and scored a century on his Test debut against South Africa at Durban in 1992, spoke to IANS about his coaching philosophy, how he got into cricket coaching and usage of data in the game.
Q. How would you describe your coaching philosophy?
A. My philosophy is simple. What I learnt from my guru (Ramakant) Achrekar sir, it's all about taking a player to the next level. I think that's always a challenge. When we start from U-15, how you can take it to U-19, U-19 to Ranji, Ranji to India. So, I think this goes on. It's like a journey, like you go with that players' journey and you also enjoy their success. So, it's a long journey and you start from academies.
Q. Can you explain how you got into coaching? Was it something which came or was this path already in your mind?
A. To me personally, I never thought I will be a coach. I never thought my temperament is for a coach. But yes, Achrekar sir told me that I should do this job. I have really enjoyed this. I started in 2000 and now it's 2022. So, it's a long journey and I learnt a lot. I am really thankful because to play as a cricketer, your approach is different. But when you become a coach, your approach is different.
We have to handle many cricketers, then man management comes, then you have to be knowledgeable when you have to solve their problem. Specially when I am focusing on my career as a batting specialist coach, there are a lot of complicated things which happen in a batsman's mind.
We have to address that and also, technology has come which helps us. More than anything important, there is no substitute to experience and that matters sometimes. We as coaches learn everyday and that is what pushes us to go to the next level.
Q. In your playing days, data wasn't that big part of the game as it is right now. To what extent do you use data and equip the batters with it?
A. It's important, and I will say it's one tool. It's like some percentage, you can improve your game. But the whole thing is, like you should have your own game and have the basic skills right. So, that will take you there. So many times you do comparison and too many analysis sometimes makes you paralysis. It's very important then to focus on your own game. As you rightly said, when we played cricket, there was no such data. But I think the runs was important and now also, plus in future scoring runs will always be an important factor.
Q. The cricketing schedule has become very hectic. How do you see the batters cope up with the challenge of playing all formats of the game consistently?
A. Yes, it's challenging, it's not that easy. But ultimately you have to set your mind. A good mindset will be important and, in a calendar, this is what will happen there. So, it's important to use the days you will get in preparing for that type of format. Time is going to be like that, so the better a player adjusts to that quickly so that it would be good for their own performance.
Q. When a batter faces some difficulty during the IPL, how do you go about solving that issue faced by him?
A. It is always person to person. In IPL, it is such a thing that you don't meet only just one month before, talking about all the abroad players. That's really challenging for a coach because when I was handling the Mumbai Ranji team, it was a different thing. You are there with players for ten months. Here, it's really challenging for the coaches also but you find a way because of trust. If players have trust with the coaches, it becomes basically easy.
Q. If a youngster is coming to you for coaching, what are the first things which you notice about him/her?
A. This game is all about skill. As a coach, we see the setup, his stance, grip and how he is playing the ball, his impact point and body balance. So many things are there, like as a coach you see whether the decision making, he is doing is right or wrong. Those are the things which matter, like a spark is there, then you make that judgement easily. With experience, we learn how to make those decisions, like this boy has got the talent.
Q. You have also served as a scout in the IPL. How has that experience been for you?
A. When you are scouting, you have to travel a lot and then you see them actually in the matches. More important is, the situation he is batting and how he handles that situation and won the game for the particular team. This what all we notice, like this boy has got potential and he can be a match-winner for us. There is excitement, like you pick that boy, back him and does well to win matches for the franchise. It gets really exciting to go and hunt the real good talent.
Q. Your thoughts on Delhi Capitals opening their first academy in Noida?
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A. Well, I think it's a great initiative. We are extremely delighted and also happy to see that there's a full-sized ground. I am sure that with our DC management, we will have the vision to get this ground for a longer period because it's going to be a necessity for us to grow Delhi Capitals academy here. The boys, at a young age, they will get to play on a full-sized wicket. I am very personally excited to see this ground.
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