HYDERABAD: MV Narasimha Rao is on a mission. The captain of the last Hyderabad team that won the Ranji Trophy in 1986-87, is back from Ireland to take up a challenging role as director of Hyderabad Cricket Academy of Excellence and revive the sagging fortunes of Hyderabad cricket. It was a sort of homecoming for him.
The 60-year-old, has worked as coach of the Ireland team for many years before coming back to Hyderabad.
“It is an exciting and a big challenge. As I have taken up the challenge to resurrect Hyderabad cricket, I will give my everything. A system has to be put in place and we are looking into the areas where we have to put in extra effort. We are going to focus on strengthening and conditioning,” he says.
Talking about the condition of Hyderabad cricket, he says, “Bowling is a concern. Batting talent is better in comparison to bowling. So, we will be looking into various aspects that will put cricket in a healthy condition. The game has changed and we have to move on accordingly.” Rao also shares that as a former captain, it hurts that Hyderabad is at the bottom.
“I played for Hyderabad for 16 years and I’m aware there is a lot of talent. I love Hyderabad. I will give my best to put us back on track. It will take a few years. It needs loads of hard work. We have to work as an unit,” he explains.
The former all-rounder, a leg spinner, is saddened by the disappearance of spinners from the city.
“We had a good legacy and we had the best spinners coming from this place. Probably, spinners are lacking in technique, variation and also not able to adapt to the conditions. They need to have a lot of mental strength and be positive to take wickets. They have to learn to use the crease for varying the flight or angles,” he elaborates.
He also thinks that T20 game has changed the mentality of the spinners and adds that bowlers – spinners or fast bowlers, need to learn to bowl variations.
As for the the batsmen, Rao says they need to learn to stay in the crease. “They should value their wicket. We need to be aggressive and play fearless and positive cricket. Consistency is very important,” he says.
Recalling the team under his leadership which won the Ranji Trophy 29 years ago, Rao added that there was tremendous team spirit.
“All players were very committed. We really wanted to win and we believed in ourselves. That is the reason we could beat strong teams like Delhi.”