...but today at the Brabourne Stadium, ward and coach are in opposing camps
For Delhi Daredevils to hand Rajasthan Royals their second consecutive loss today at their new home ground, Brabourne Stadium, one man whom JP Duminy & Co would be relying to formulate a master plan would be assistant coach Pravin Amre.
Ajinkya Rahane during a practice session ahead of IPL-8 at Brabourne Stadium last month. PIC/SURESH KK inset: Pravin Amre
The Brabourne Stadium will also host Indian Premier League’s 500th match today. Not only does the Mumbai Ranji Trophy coach know RR’s Mumbai-based players — Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Pravin Tambe and Dhawal Kulkarni well, Amre is also the personal coach of RR opener Rahane.
Seeking Amre’s guidance
It is a known fact that Rahane often seeks Amre’s guidance before any tournament. No wonder then Rahane, has not shied away from seeking help from the Delhi Daredevils coach even during the IPL-8.
"I have been talking to him (Amre) between games. I talk to him about my batting and my preparation. He knows my batting since he was with the Mumbai Ranji team for four years.
"His tips have been very helpful. He is a very straight-forward coach and tells me whatever is wrong with my batting. I spoke to him when we played against Delhi Daredevils in this IPL. He was very happy with my batting," said Rahane on Saturday.
However, today Amre will wish to send Rahane back in the dugout as early as possible especially after what happened when Delhi met Rajasthan last time at Feroz Shah Kotla on April 12 when Rahane slammed a 39-ball 47 as RR chased down DD’s 184-3.
"On match eve we generally mind our own business. I have to strategise how to get his wicket. It is my commitment to my team. After the match, I am always available to give advice," said Amre.
"All teams are aware how big Rahane’s wicket is. He is in form and any team would want to dismiss him early. Yes, I know his strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, but at the moment, there seems to be hardly any area where Rahane is weak. It is also a test for him. If he gets out early then I have some more work to do on his batting," Amre added.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to zero in on the candidate to wear the coach's hat after Duncan Fletcher's contract ended, India pacer Dhawal Kulkarni feels his Mumbai Ranji Trophy coach Pravin Amre could be a good choice.
Kulkarni, who was with the Indian team as a back-up for injuries to the pacers during the World Cup, said Amre would be a good option.
"I feel he (Amre) can be a good coach. He has been India 'A' coach before and most of the guys (in the Indian team) know him really well," Kulkarni, who has played four ODIs, told reporters during an interaction facilitated by Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.
India's middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane and Kulkarni's RR and Mumbai Ranji Trophy teammate, said: "Personally, Amre sir has been really good for me."