‘Each batsman would coach one bowler’: VVS Laxman narrates unique strategy introduced by John Wright
Former India batsman VVS Laxman credited former India coach John Wright for instilling faith in India’s bowlers that they could also bat and put in handy contributions for the side from the lower order. Speaking to India Today, Laxman revealed the unique strategy which was put into place by Wright. “I think I should give credit to John Wright for this where I convinced John Wright that it is very important that we got bowlers who take pride in their batting whether Anil, Harbhajan, Ishant, Zaheer, whoever. We were very fortunate to have those bowlers who took a lot of pride in their batting and bowling.”
“John made it a point that each batsman in the team would become a batting coach and a batting partner to one bowler. For me, it was Zaheer Khan. We had to make sure that after each net session we gave a throw down to the bowlers so they can improve on their skills. Working as a family is very important. and then I also used to have a chat with them saying they were very good. So when the challenges started coming by especially against good bowling attacks, I used to give them strike to show my belief and trust their ability. And I used to tell them you are capable of scoring runs. Communication is very important,” Laxman said.
Under Sourav Ganguly and John Wright, India became a formidable force even in overseas conditions and as per Laxman, one of the biggest reasons behind the same was clear communication between the players.
Laxman spoke about how players spoke to one another and gave the example of the Perth Test in 2008: “I’ll give you one instance this was with RP Singh at Perth in 2008. There was Shaun Tait who was the quickest in Australia. Then there was Brett Lee. Mitchell Johnson. As soon as I came in asked RP are you comfortable facing these bowlers and he told me he can face everyone except Brett Lee. So, whenever the other bowlers were bowling it was just like a normal partnership with the frontline batsman. But the moment Brett Lee, I took all the strike. And Ultimately RP got 31 runs off that 60ish partnership,” concluded the former cricketer.