Anil Kumble, the former India leg spinner and the then national team chief coach, first referred his name in the post of spin bowling coach to the Bangladesh Cricket Board officials during India-Bangladesh test match at Hyderabad last year. After a year or so, BCB has appointed Sunil Joshi as the mentor of the spin unit of their national squad ahead of the test series against Australia. Mr. Joshi, after his first session with the Bong brigade, gave an exclusive interview to the CrickerSoccer over the phone.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: First of all, many congratulations for your new venture.
Sunil Joshi: Thank you guys so much. I am looking forward to this new journey.
CS: How are you looking at this job, I mean as the consultant to the spin unit of the Bangladesh national team?
Joshi: Ohh, it’s been my pleasure to work with them. I just finished a session or two with the team. I’m really very impressed in the way of thinking of the boys.
CS: How challenging is your role going to be?
Joshi: Yeah, it’s been very challenging. We are facing Australia, one of the strongest team in world cricket. They have quality cricketers in the team who can dominate in every format. The good thing is that Bangladesh is playing at home. In the subcontinent, Australia don’t have a decent record recently.
CS: How are you approaching your job?
Joshi: Look, the first test match is just a few days away. I have a very little time in my hand. So I’m not going into the technical aspects much. What I am doing is to share my experience with the boys. They are happy enough to listen to me and my experience.
CS: How would you assess the current spinners in the Bangladesh national team?
Joshi: Ohh they are quite impressive. There is a perfect blend of experience and youth. Shakib al Hasan, of course, is the leader of the spin unit. He has brought in a lot of experience. He is someone who can single handedly make a difference. Then there is Mehedi Hasan Miraz, a very bright prospect. The off spinner has already left an impact. They all have potential. All I am doing is to fine tuning the entire unit. My aim is to create an atmosphere where the spinners feel comfortable. Being in a homely, happy dressing room is the key to success for any team in the world.
CS: How would you plan strategies against Australia batsmen?
Joshi: It’s very internal, private matter. I don’t want to disclose. All I can say is that the recent India-Australia test series gave me a very clear picture of the strength and weakness of the Aussie batsmen. That reading is helping me to prepare the boys tactically. What should be the line and length of the spinners against the Aussie batters, how should the fielders being placed – I have a clear idea about that. But at the same time, you have to employ all those strategies successfully on the field. Then only you can expect some results.
CS: So how confident are you ahead of the series?
Joshi: I’m really very excited. Australia is a very strong opponent. But I’m sure our boys will fight till the fag end.