Ravichandran Ashwin's domestic team coach delighted after batting adjustments work
Jayakumar also said that he had interacted with Indian opener Murali Vijay to work on his drives and running between the wickets.
G Jayakumar, coach of Chennai-based local side Jolly Rovers, whom Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin will be representing after switching allegiance from rivals Vijay CC, expressed his delight after the training undertaken by Ashwin. The Indian worked on improving his batting under the supervision of Jayakumar before departing to the Carribean for the four-Test tour and it seems to have paid off with the 29-year-old scoring a magnificent 113 in the first Test against the West Indies at Antigua.
Though Indian skipper Virat Kohli was the star of the show, scoring his maiden double century for India, Ashwin played a delightful knock bringing up his third century against Jason Holder’s side. Speaking to Cricbuzz in an exclusive interview, Jayakumar revealed that it was Ashwin himself who approached him to help iron out a few flaws in his batting technique, especially with regards to his stance.
"When we started training, his sole aim was to improve his batting. He was already the No 1 allrounder in the world and he wanted to retain that position. He was in search of a new stance and we worked together on it. He was standing at the crease with his shoulders open,” the Jolly Rovers coach said.
"We corrected that a bit.We also worked on his backlift. I saw him putting these few changes in technique into practice on Saturday and I am really happy that our efforts at the nets bore fruit," he added.
Jayakumar is now hopeful that the century gives Ashwin the confidence to silence his critics who have come down harsh on the off-spinner for his less than impressive performances with the ball lately. The 29-year-old had an off-colour IPL for his new side Rising Pune Supergiants, even getting dropped for a few matches, but his new coach is certain that Ashwin will get back to his best with the ball sooner rather than later.
“I don't know whether he was under pressure or not. But he used the break between the IPL and the West Indies series to improve his game. And the way he scored the century shows how strong he is mentally, especially when he was returning to cricket from a rough patch. Hopefully , he will now take a lot of wickets," said Jayakumar.
Jayakumar also revealed that Ashwin was not the only Indian player who he has interacted with during the off-season claiming that opener Murali Vijay had a few sessions with him where the focus was laid on improving his cover drives as well as his running between the wickets.
"We would practise for 2-3 hours every day . The way I used to train Vijay, I would follow a similar pattern as the basics remain the same. We also worked on his drives.That's why you would see him driving a lot in his innings.We also focused on his running between the wickets at the nets," Jayakumar said.