Ex-age group player Devraj Raut is now a video analyst
A Little more than a dozen years ago, Devraj Raut was representing Mumbai at the under-19 level. He figured in the same team as Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara in age group cricket
A little more than a dozen years ago, Devraj Raut was representing Mumbai at the under-19 level. He figured in the same team as Rohit Sharma (Mumbai U-19) and Cheteshwar Pujara (West Zone U-19) in age group cricket. He too dreamt of playing for India, but like many players, he was not destined for it.
Devraj Raut continued his association with the game, did his Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) and turned into a video analyst. His father Pradeep was a fine batsman for Tata Power on the inter-office circuit. In 'A' division club cricket, he represented Rajasthan Sports Club and Young Maharashtra CC during the 1970s and 1980s.
Raut, 32, is in New Zealand with the Rahul Dravid-coached India U-19 team that will participate in the forthcoming World Cup.
"Though I am not a player, I am working in the same field and I enjoy helping players perform better. Of course, working with Rahul sir is altogether a different experience. I am proud to work with a legendary cricketer," Raut told mid-day recently.
India take on Australia in their opening match on January 14 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and will thrive on their five matches to tune up for the tournament which they last won in 2012.
Of course, there was some intense preparation done in India as well. "During our practice sessions in Alur, near Bangalore, we tried to simulate ground dimensions and wicket conditions of the venues in NZ. We also kept the grass on the wickets and started our matches early in the morning as there would be was some dew on the pitches," said Raut.
The path to tackle unknown opponents has already been charted by the video analyst "Australia played against Sri Lanka in Australia last April, so we gathered those videos and tried to analyse how they played. In addition to that, I will get some videos of the two warm-up games which our opponents will play.
"Of course, rival teams will also analyse our videos and chalk out their strategy. We also discussed what kind of shots we should play and which ones to avoid in those conditions. We will have strategies in place for opposing batsmen and bowlers taking into consideration their strong and weak points."
Raut reckoned India have a very balanced team. "Prithvi Shaw is a very attacking batsman, Shubman Gill is capable of attacking and staying on the wicket as well while Himanshu Rana's temperament is outstanding. Our pace attack consisting of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi is good. They are not only bowlers, they are complete bowlers," he emphasised.
Raut, who was part of the support staff for the India 'A' and U-19 teams for the last two and a half years, explained how Dravid's tips played a vital role in Sarfaraz Khan's performance during the last U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh. "Before the World Cup, we played in a tri-series in Kolkata which involved Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Sarfaraz was in good form, but the problem with him was he wanted to hit boundaries off every ball. In the process, he used to get dismissed off the fourth or fifth ball of the over.
This is what happened during that tournament. Rahul sir showed him the videos of his dismissals and recommended he plays a defensive shot or take a single after scoring two boundaries. He implemented the advice during the World Cup and we got the desired results from Sarfaraz, who came up with some consistent performances," Raut concluded.
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