Pad up for big daddy of swing

He is a player with matchless skills.

Meet the brand new bowling machine of Cricket Coaching Centre, Bistupur, which is foxing budding willow warriors ' and teaching them at the same time ' how to tackle swing deliveries.

There were a number of edges and raps on pads as cricket enthusiasts learned all about inswingers and outswingers ' released at 130kmph ' here on Tuesday afternoon.

The coaching centre recently loosened its purse strings and procured the mechanised bowler from a Raipur agency for Rs 1.30 lakh. Unlike an ordinary bowling machine, this one can make both swinging and spinning deliveries.

"Our boys stands to gain from this equipment. In the days to come, the trainees will learn how to negotiate and play outswing and inswing deliveries," chief coach Umesh Sethi said.

A former left-arm Ranji medium-pacer, Sethi does know a thing or two about swinging deliveries. "Look, footwork is of utmost importance to play pace or spin. The balls released from the machine swings or spins from one particular spot of the wicket. So, the trainees will gradually learn to leave or play the deliveries. My coaching staff and I tell them about deficiency in footwork after each delivery," he explained.

Sethi added that they would increase speed in the due course of time. "We want the trainees to get adjusted to a particular pace. It can be increased at a later stage of their training."

The veteran coach said the bowling machine could be used for both turf and concrete pitches. "We lay mats on two concrete pitches, which are covered with nets from three sides," Sethi, who is assisted by three coaches, explained.

"It is a new thing, but I am enjoy playing deliveries released from the bowling machine. I am yet to adjust myself to the swing balls," said 13-year Sarthak Sonthalia, a promising right-hander.

Fellow trainee Yash Verma echoed him.

Established in 2010, the coaching centre currently has 60 boys learning the nuances of the gentleman's game.

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