Ishant doesn't come to me anymore: Coach

Every time any of India’s top players is in a slump, the first thing they do is seek their childhood coach. After all, no one knows these players better than those who have been instrumental in grooming them since their early days.

Even during the off season, they work hard with their childhood coaches, who have seen them rise through the ranks and provided constant support and motivation.

But Ishant Sharma, the toothless leader of India’s bowling attack in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, is different. The pacer who gave away 189 runs from the 24 overs in the three ODIs so far, prefers to spend time with friends than meet coach Shravan Kumar.

Shravan admits that it has been a long time since he saw the lanky lad who used to train under him at his Patel Nagar academy.

One of the most respected coaches in the capital, Shravan said Ishant preferred to go to his friend Rajeev Mahajan’s academy to work on his bowling during the off season.

“Looks like he needs Australian coaches and doesn’t like Indian coaches. Maybe he thinks he doesn’t need to come to me anymore. He feels there is a big crowd in Patel Nagar and prefers training at his friend’s academy at the Vasant Kunj Sports Complex,” he told Mail Today.

“If he doesn’t want to come to me, he can go to some other coach, but he shouldn’t listen to all and sundry and waste his talent. He is no longer a kid and needs to realise that there are two types of friends. One lot will stand by you through thick and thin but the others are there just to exploit you and feed off you. These friends of Ishant love being around a celebrity and don’t realise the need to give him a reality check.” Shravan said that every cricketer needs guidance and it is the same with Ishant.

“After a while, players tend to err and that is when they need to train. I think Ishant hasn’t trained properly during the off season. Mistakes that creep into the game need to be corrected at the training ground during the off season. Working in the gym isn’t enough. There can be no substitute for long spells in the nets,” he said.

The veteran coach also feels playing football is something that needs to be stopped immediately.

“We aren’t Australians, so we can’t compare our physical ability with theirs. I do remember the great Curtly Ambrose once saying that he would never play anything but cricket during the season. I don’t know why so much of emphasis is given to football during training sessions,” he said.

But Shravan is just a call away for Ishant and says he is more than willing to help him in his hour of need.

“When your son commits a mistake, you as a father might be angry, but you don’t ignore him. Similarly, when he felt it was better to go to Vasant Kunj, he did. But if someday he thinks he wants to come back to Patel Nagar and train, he is more than welcome,” he signed off.

Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.

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