India has been a reckoning force when it comes to fielding led by the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya. India’s fielding has improved by leaps and bounds while also allowing to raise the bar higher than ever. India’s fielding coach for the last 7 years, R Sridhar set a burning example about how things should go about.
He has been a part of several outfits before taking on the job role for India working with the Indian U19 team as assistant coach, Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab as fielding coach and as head coach of teams in domestic cricket before he made the leap to the giant of Indian cricket. In his recently released autobiography, he spoke at length about how Ravichandran Ashwin helped him to learn the basic dynamics of the Indian cricket team.
Sridhar wrote in his autobiography called My Days with the Indian cricket team, “Being with Ashwin, I was struck by one of our early conversations in my first week with the national team.”
He further added, “Non-confrontationally, he asked me, ‘If you don’t mind, Sridhar sir, why should I listen to you and follow the fielding drills you suggest? Why should I do what you are asking me to? From 2011 to 2014, we had Trevor Penney as the fielding coach. Now you have come in, you will be there for let’s say two to three years. You will say something; you will go a way. Then a new fielding coach will come. If I am honest, in the next three years, I have a lot at stake. I should be convinced that what you are saying is going to work for me. It should help my game, otherwise why should I listen to you?”
He concluded, “We knew each other quite well by then, and I immediately got where he was coming from. His questions set me thinking: how much should I coach? What is coaching really?”