The coach who plotted India's downfall opens up
Australia\'s spin consultant Sridharan Sriram, who has been credited for Steve O\'Keefe\'s sensational performance in the first Test against India, feels it\'s not the name of a coach but his inputs that earn him respect from players.
Bangalore: Australia's spin consultant Sridharan Sriram, who has been credited for Steve O'Keefe's sensational performance in the first Test against India, feels it's not the name of a coach but his inputs that earn him respect from players.
Sriram, who played eight ODIs for India during early part of the last decade, is considered the guiding force behind left-arm spinner O'Keefe's match-winning figures of 12 for 70 in Australia's 333-run win in the first Test against India.
"I don't think the name really matters, does it? How does a name matter? I mean, I come in and if I talk sense they listen to me, if I talk bull**** they don't. It's as simple as that," Sriram said when asked if he has faced problems of acceptability considering he is not a big name.
"I think it's taken time... They have really been open. That's the best thing about this Australian team. They have been open to listening first. And then obviously I made sense a little bit and they started listening and they started trying out things in the nets and saw that it worked for them and I think that's how it's gone," said Sriram.
"I have a chat with everyone, it is not just the spinners, that is the freedom I get from my head coach which is amazing so I can chat to anyone if I feel there is something they should do, I go up to them and suggest and it is up to them if they implement it or not, some say no some say yes, I am willing to try and prolong the conversation," Sriram sounded practical in his approach.
Sriram said O'Keefe's success should be attributed to his "preparedness" and "willingness to experiment". Asked what exactly did O'Keefe change, Sriram said, "Not necessarily change, more I would use the word adapt. Because India is such a big country, there's no one-stop solution. If you say 'this will work', it is not going to work. So you have just got to adapt on the go.
You have got to see what works for you on that day. "And so I think that's where O'Keefe really scored, because he was well-prepared. He was prepared to experiment, he was prepared to sort of try different things in the nets," said Sriram.
O'Keefe was seen bowling during the second day's lunch break with Sriram keeping a close eye on him. He didn't have a good first session when KL Rahul had taken him on. So what did he tell O'Keefe at the break, Sriram said, "I came down from the viewing area and I knew he (O'Keefe) was a little disturbed. He was walking around. I didn't know whether to really speak to him or not.'
About the preparation in Dubai, Sriram said, "You prepare for the worst. Then if you get the best, you go for it. But I think the preparation in Dubai was excellent. We prepared different tracks, a rough. rank turners and slow and low pitches.
On whether this was the worst pitch that he has seen, the former Tamil Nadu player said, "I can't speak about one particular match. But I've seen worse than this. I can tell you."