Maharashtra are probably the only team in the domestic circuit who have an Aussie coach. Shaun Williams, who joined the team in July last year, has been grooming a young bunch for more than a year and sees promise in the group.
For Williams, coaching youngsters is an easier task than a mix of seniors and juniors. “It’s easier as the younger lot have the same goals and ambitions in life,” he said. “So it becomes a lot easier to convince them.”
Williams emphasised that big matches were a learning opportunity for his unit. “Delhi have always been a formidable side and playing against them is certainly a learning experience for us.”
One area of Indian cricket that concerned Williams was pitches. “A wicket should be conducive for all type of players and shouldn’t just cater to a particular type,” he said. “I have seen many centres in India where tracks which are completely flat.”
No doubt, they are good for the batsmen as far as scoring runs are concerned and easy to play drive shots on. They don’t give batsmen an opportunity to play shots like the pull or the hook. The end result is that he finds it difficult to adjust to tracks which offer a good bounce.”
“The same can be said about the bowlers. So a track should be made in such a way that it helps everyone. On the domestic circuit it’s all the more important to have good tracks as it is the grooming ground for players.” Williams admitted that Australia had a similar problem. “In Australia tracks often assist pacers to a great extent. So you won’t find two spinners in a particular team in Sheffield Shield match.”
Only now the things have started changing, with organisers going in for flatter tracks.”