Rajasthan profit from coach Asawa's simple methods

Rajasthan coach Amit Asawa believes his coaching philosophy of simplifying things to players has resulted in positive vibes, not to mention back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles too

In his newly launched book Out Of The Blue, former India opener Aakash Chopra has given a vivid description of his Rajasthan team, especially the characters of the side that never wanted to leave things half-done or undone. Truly, that has been reflected in their performance -- back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles and that too after beating some of the superpowers of domestic circuit.

Cup of joy: Rajasthan coach Amit Asawa with captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar 
celebrate after beating Tamil Nadu to clinch the Ranji Trophy in Chennai

Besides, three professional cricketers -- Chopra, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Rashmi Ranjan Parida -- who were not the so-called local lads, played a big role in mentoring a side full of talent, sans stars. Also coach Amit Asawa, for instance, wasn't a name to reckon with until he helped Rajasthan win their maiden Ranji title last season. Now, they have made it twice in succession and Asawa deserves some credit for that.

Having played 26 first-class matches for Rajasthan, Asawa took to coaching and is currently employed with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. Guiding the Rajasthan boys, has helped him mature as a coach. "Coaching is no rocket science, it's just common sense and simplifying things to the guys on field... and to improve you need to read a lot, which I do," Asawa told MiD DAY, after wrapping up the final against Tamil Nadu (declared winner by virtue of first innings lead) yesterday.

According to him, though having three seasoned pros in the ranks helped their cause, the most important thing was their positive vibes. "In this team, no one looks at any negativity. We, as an unit, always try to find something positive. That's why, despite having a disastrous start (conceding  first innings lead in our first five games), we never ever spoke of a dropped catch or a bad stroke. Instead, we just kept counting the plusses and that fetched the result in the end," he felt.

Coaches' mentor
Asawa felt his association with the NCA  was key to this huge success. "I wasn't a great cricketer, but my roles in NCA, as the mentor of level III coaches across the country and also some work with the Zonal Cricket Academies, have taught me how to find a winning combination from a bunch of talented youngsters," he said.
As far as results were concerned, Asawa never put pressure on anyone. "I have always told them not to think about the result. If you do the basics right, nobody can keep you away from tasting success for long," he signed off.

RCA announce Rs 1.3 crore reward
Pleased with team's performance, Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) announced a cash award of Rs 1.3 crore yesterday. "I am immensely pleased with the performance and RCA has decided to honour the players with a cash award of Rs 1.3 crore," said RCA president and union minister CP Joshi. The Board of control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also announced a cash prize of Rs 2 crore

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