Shami, Saha are doing really well for India: Laxman

Kolkata Sep 21 (IANS) Indian batting great V.V.S Laxman, consultant to Cricket Association of Bengal’s (CAB) ambitious “Vision 2020” programme, congratulated local boys — wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Mohammed Shami — for their impressive performances in national colours.

Talking to journalists on the final day of the camp in Jadavpur University ground in Salt Lake before the Ranji Trophy season gets underway, the stylish right-hander said: “I think both Shami and Saha are doing really well for Indian cricket and we should be really proud of that.”

While Saha will play his 16th Test on Thursday against New Zealand in Kanpur, it will be Shami’s 17th outing in the five-day format.

On Bengal’s chances in the Ranji this season, where they are in a tough group comprising Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai, among others, the batting legend said: “I am very happy with the way the camp has been conducted and organised despite rain. I compliment the ground staff on the good work they have done with the wickets here.”

“Overall the batsmen have shown great work ethic. We have had long nets in the morning, then indoor sessions in the evening and also a lot of other drills. The kind of commitment shown by every one of them is commendable. Now they have to convert potential into performance.”

Laxman refused to pick anyone particular as the stand-out player of the Bengal team. In-form Bengal top-order batsman Sudip Chatterjee has been among runs, scoring a century in the recently-held Duleep Trophy.

“I won’t pick out one player. I think Bengal batsmen did really well last season also, except that quarterfinal match against Madhya Pradesh, in the first innings.”

“The emphasis in the camp was to work on their skill, technique and the mindset. To play at the highest level, assessing opposition bowlers is very important. Talent only is not enough.”

“It is more about understanding their game. Once that is done then it’s very easy. We have had some very good discussions. As a coach I feel it’s about interaction rather than telling players what to do,” the Hyderabadi added.

Laxman lauded the pace battery of Bengal. “The team has got amazing bowlers, both fast and spin. I would love to see the batsmen score more centuries and double centuries for the state which will help win matches. For Bengal cricketers to shine, they need to win the Ranji Trophy.”

–IANS

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