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India vs England – T20I series – Vikram Rathour

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Interviews

India’s batting coach talks game-plans for T20s, and how and where strike rates matter in the shortest format

In England’s original schedule for their tour of India, the two teams were to play five Tests. However, the BCCI and the ECB decided to swap out the fifth Test with a five-match T20I series. It will serve as preparation for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in October-November in India. All five T20Is will be played in Ahmedabad, with the first one on March 12.

One of the men in charge of India’s preparation will be Vikram Rathour, the team’s batting coach. This will be Rathour’s second T20I series as batting coach, after India won 2-1 in Australia last December. Rathour spoke to ESPNcricinfo ahead of the England tour in February about the need to find a “settled team” before the T20 World Cup, not being fussed about the Indian batsmen’s strike rates as long as they could adapt to situations and roles, and what makes a good batting game-plan in T20 cricket. Excerpts:

Having never played the format, how easy or difficult is it for you to be a coach in T20s. You do have experience as a coach in franchise cricket and in domestic cricket, having done that in the IPL and with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab?
See, I am not really teaching them how to play a cover drive or a pull shot. For me, the discussions are on game-plans, on decision making, on handling pressure, having the right temperament, or reading the situations well. And for that, whether I have played that game or not, I don’t think it is that important. That is my thinking.

My job with them is (to help them with) what bowlers to pick, what areas to look to hit. And if they are doing certain things, what are their thoughts and why they are doing it – that is the area I focus on more actually.

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