Coaches Arun, Sridhar are no strangers in the Indian dressing room

Aug 21, 2014, 08:39 IST | Gaurav Joshi

India's new assistant coaches Arun & Sridhar have previously worked with most of the current players

London: Minutes after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar would be taking over from Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney as assistant coaches and fielding coach, India's U-19 World Cup winning captain, Unmukt Chand tweeted: "Congrats to Arun and Sridhar sir, best cannot hide forever."

Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Cheteshwar Pujara were part of the Emerging India team that Arun (inset) coached. Pics/Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Cheteshwar Pujara were part of the Emerging India team that Arun (inset) coached. Pics/Getty Images 

Such is the respect for the two men the BCCI has hired for the remainder of India's tour to England. Not only has Arun guided the India U-19 squad, he was also the coach of the Indian emerging teams that won in Australia in 2010 and 2011.

Players such as Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron who played these tournaments form the core of the Indian team now.

When this correspondent asked Arun about the rise of these players recently during the U-19 World Cup, he said: "We have seen them from the minute they landed up at the National Cricket Academy. So, to be able to guide them to the top gives us extreme pleasure."

Prashant Chopra, one of the stars of the U-19 World Cup, recalls an incident at the NCA: "I had some issues with my rhythm. I was trying to hit the ball too hard. He told me to calm down and helped me with my flow and made me bat for a long time. We continued even after the others were done with the nets. That incident showed how interested he was in helping us.

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Another player said: "One of the best things about Arun sir is that apart from technical aspects, he really knows how to manage players. He ensures everyone is in good space."

Arun's biggest strength is that he has overseen the evolution of most of the players in the current side and has helped them fine-tune their skills.

Smit Patel, the man who famously hit the winning runs for India in the U-19 final in 2012 credited R Sridhar for the inputs before he went in to bat in the summit clash. "As I got up to go out to bat, we still required 100 odd to win. All that Sridhar sir said was you are going to hit the wining runs today — enjoy!"

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