In his prime, Ashoke Dinda could consistently clock 90 miles per hour, and his well-directed bouncers have troubled many established batsmen. However, the former India pacer revealed that most batsmen didn’t enjoy playing bouncers in the nets and also revealed the reason behind this.
During a net session ahead of the inaugural IPL in 2008, Ashoke Dinda, a net bowler, bowled a menacing spell to the then-Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Ricky Ponting. A barrage of bouncers left the Australian skipper fuming, but the high-quality fast bowling from the Bengal pacer also impressed Ponting and others from the team management.
In an exclusive interview with journalist Indranil Basu for SK Live, Ashoke Dinda cited covered nets and the quality of the practice pitches as the reasons for batsmen not enjoying bouncers during practice sessions.
“Many batsmen have problems facing bouncers in the nets because the nets are covered. Apart from the sighting, the other issue is the quality of the practice wickets, which aren’t as prepared as those you face in a match. The variable bounce can cause injuries. The thought goes that why risk a broken hand or other injuries unnecessarily?” said Ashoke Dinda.
Sourav Ganguly always wanted to work on certain areas of his batting: Ashoke Dinda
Ashoke Dinda also mentioned that some batsmen opt to work on weaknesses during the net sessions and even opt to play bouncers.
“All batsmen aren’t the same. Some of them like to play bouncers in the nets to prepare themselves for the match situation,” added Ashoke Dinda.
Ashoke Dinda revealed he has bowled a lot to fellow Bengal legend Sourav Ganguly, someone who had played an influential role in the fast bowler’s career. On his former KKR captain’s batting preparation, Ashoke Dinda added:
“Someone like Dada (Sourav Ganguly) would always want to work on certain areas of his batting. At times, it could be a cover-drive, where he wanted me to bowl that length, or he would say come around the wicket and target the chest. I would bowl at him for hours in the nets, and that helped me improve as well.”
Sourav Ganguly and Ashoke Dinda were teammates at Bengal and KKR in the early stages of the latter’s career.