KPL 2019, Hubli Tigers: Straight Drive with coach Mansur Ali Khan
Hubli Tigers head coach Mansur Ali Khan, with his calm demeanour, has been a big influence in the dressing room. In a chat with Sportskeeda, Mansur opened up on the journey so far in Karnataka Premier League 2019, some of the young talents in the team and much more.
Q. Being part of the Hubli Tigers set up, what does that mean to you?
I have been part of the Hubli Tigers for five years. It means a lot to me. The management has been very kind, supportive and they are very encouraging, especially Sushil sir, who has been the force behind this team. He has played cricket and every time when the team requires him, the team morale is down, the chips are down, he is there to motivate the team.
Q. Tell us a bit about captain Vinay Kumar.
He has done a tremendous job for Karnataka time and time again. If you see, he has helped Karnataka cricket a lot. He has huge experience and the boys have (a lot of) faith in Vinay Kumar. You can see his commitment on the ground be it batting, bowling or fielding. He has been the force behind the Hubli Tigers in the last three years.
Q. Your assessment of the youngsters in the side?
We have Luvnith Sisodia, KL Shrijith, Aditya Somanna, David Mathias is coming back, you can see Vidyadhar Patil delivering when we kept the faith in him. There is Suraj Seshadri, Shivil Kaushik wants to come and perform, Abilash Shetty who is knocking the doors in Karnataka U23 set up. He is a left-hander (left-arm pacer), he is learning a lot of things from Vinay Kumar. So we have enough youngsters in the team who can break into Karnataka U19s, 23s, Ranji and there are a few talents who can go on to play for the country as well.
Q. How do you motivate the boys after a tough contest?
We lost two close games to Shivamogga and Bellary. Then we had a pep talk with the boys. We gave responsibility to the boys. We had batting and bowling meeting among themselves. We made a small video of each and everyone’s batting and bowling and we share it with their portfolios then they started to believe in themselves. Cricket is all about confidence. The more you are confident the better you perform.
Q. During the tournament, how do you work on fine tuning the skills of the cricketers?
All the skills part we covered in the practice sessions before the tournament. During the tournament, it’s about fine tuning. For batsmen, it’s about using the crease and picking the (right) bowler. For the bowlers, we told them to be little bit smart.
When to use the stock ball and we told the boys that in crunch situations, when Hubli needs you, ‘you have to bowl your best ball. Wherever you are confident, you will need to deliver with you best ball, the stock ball which should be a dot ball as well.