Dav Whatmore is one of the most brilliant coaches in world of cricket. The former Australian cricketer came into limelight when he coached the Sri Lankan team to 1996 World Cup glory and then helped Bangladesh win their first Test a decade later.
Now after coaching Kerala in the Ranji Trophy for the first time, Dav Whatmore shared some of the insights in an interview with Times of India. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Summing up the first season with Kerala, Whatmore said, “It's a season that gave us mixed results. In Ranji Trophy, which is considered as the most prestigious domestic competition in India, we made it to the quarterfinals. The players put in their best and I was pleased with their performance. We were not good in the T20s but played much better in ODIs. So if can sum up the season in brief it will be like ---very good, not so good and good again.”
Talking about the positives from the season, Whatmore pointed out, “Look, we have a good bowling unit, both seamers and spinners did well. The young spinners Sijomon Joseph and Akshay KC with experienced Jalaj Saxena formed a potent spin trio. I think Nidheesh MD was the most consistent of the seamers. Amongst the batsmen, it was a welcome return to form for Sanju Samson. Rohan Prem made some vital contributions while Jalaj Saxena's allround skills fetched him three man-of-match awards.”
Talking about the areas of improvement, Whatmore said, “There are three prime areas that I have identified. We tried different combinations for opening but somehow none of them were up to scratch. That is one area we need to patch up. In modern-day cricket, contributions from the lower-order can make a difference between winning and losing. So our lower-order needs to take more responsibility and score more runs. Ideally, I would like to have a good fast-bowling allrounder in the team, who can bat as well.”
“I think Sanju hasn't realised his full potential yet. He is a wonderful talent and we are only going to see the best of him in the years to come. Right now, I think the national selectors are looking at Basil as a bowler for T2O's which I think is right at the present moment. But I think he has all the right attributes to become a very good bowler across formats,” said Whatmore about the two talents from the state.