Hasaranga bowls at the nets under the watchful eyes of RCB’s batting and spin bowling coach Sridharan Sriram
- Second highest wicket-taker behind Chahal whom he replaced
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
A Sri Lanka cricketer who is making waves in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) is leg-spinner
|RCB’s Wanindu Hasaranga has proved to be a perfect replacement for Yuzvendra Chahal
Wanindu Hasaranga whom Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the franchise he represents, truly believe that he is world class.
Anyone knows how important a wrist spinner is to any T20 side in the world and Hasaranga has truly made a mark for himself with his remarkable control and precision that has brought him 21 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of 7.85. Strangely enough the man whom he is pursuing is another leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal whose place he has taken in the RCB team. Chahal is the leading wicket-taker in the present tournament with 23 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of 7.54.
Batting and spin bowling coach of RCB Sridharan Sriram told in RCB Bold Diaries: “Replacing Yuvzendra Chahal is not easy. He comes with incredible expectations. Everyone knows what Yuvzee has done for the franchise and to come and fill into these boots and be second on the list, its full credit to Hasaranga because the way he’s handled the pressure of the expectations of the Indian public and the franchise fans and some of the criticism he has to face. How he has bounced back every time is incredible proof of his temperament.”
RCB’s director of cricket operations Mike Hesson, the former head coach of New Zealand said: “It’s very hard to replace one of the all-time greats Yuzvendra Chahal. He is an icon of RCB. To come and for a lot of fans to ask who this guy is Wanindu Hasaranga? But as the tournaments went on, we came to know he is a good cricketer as is Yuvzee. Wanni even though he did not get a massive number of wickets at the start he was always getting the best players out. He has been doing a very nice job for us.”
Hasaranga’s reaction to replacing a spinner in the calibre of Chahal: “I played the second half with Yuvzee so we are both very good friends. I always appreciate his bowling and he also does the same for me. I like challenges, it is very easy to handle pressure situations for me. This is one of the best franchises, the players are really friendly, and we work as one family all the time. Sri always supports my bowling, head coach Mike Hesson also supports me very well. They are all very experienced coaches and that’s good for us.”
What the IPL has done to Hasaranga is that it has improved his bowling vastly under the watchful eyes of Sriram.
“I am a big believer in making technical interventions as the tournament progresses. A lot of coaches think that you should not interfere technically. But I am a big believer that we should keep looking at footage constantly, revisit what has worked for you and if it is going away from you, make little tweaks,” said Sriram.
“What we have done with him is that the run-up has been very up and down. We have just fixed his run-up. The speed at which he runs is very much the same now. He is no longer fast in patches, and neither is he lacking it too. The speed at which he is running, the angles that he is covering, from where he delivers the ball, the wrong uns, we are still trying to experiment and get him to deliver better. Little tweaks here and there but at the end of the day, he is delivering the results.”
Sriram said that there is a big difference to Hasaranga’s bowling from the beginning of the tournament till now. “In the way he has started his run-up would be different. The speed at which he is running would be different. From where he delivers the ball into the crease would be very close to the stumps. Now he is around mid-box, that’s completely different. His strategy for a left-hander is completely different. His numbers to the left-handers from the start of the season to now has been a big jump, hence conscious efforts.”