MUMBAI:In order to get key players tuned up for a gruelling season of Test cricket ahead and to keep the bench strength ready for the rigours of international cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has planned separate camps for top wicketkeepers and spinners in the coming three months. Both camps will be held separately at the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru.
India is scheduled to play 17 Tests till March 2017, 13 of which will be at home. As a result, the BCCI hierarchy, in consultation with the top executives of the cricket development wing, national selectors and coaches at NCA, has decided to conduct these camps.
While the wicketkeepers’ camp will be held in three phases, the spinners’ camp is expected to be held after the team’s return from the West Indies in August and before the start of the Duleep Trophy in September.
Former India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who has been appointed spin bowling coach at the NCA, will fine-tune skills of around 12 spinners, to be shortlisted by the selectors.
Since India’s coaching staff is expected to be appointed prior to the camp, the bowling coach will be asked to monitor the bowlers’ progress.
All top spinners, including R. Ashwin and Amit Mishra, are likely to be asked to attend the camp. Besides polishing skills, the camp will also be an indicator of the bowlers’ form and fitness.
Since the NCA does not have a full-time wicketkeeping coach, the BCCI has roped in former India glovesman Kiran More.
With Mahendra Singh Dhoni having retired more than a year ago and leading contenders to be his successors, including Wriddhiman Saha and Naman Ojha who have kept wickets in Tests in the last 18 months, not getting any younger, the selectors have been asked to identify those who can keep wickets across formats.
More has been tasked with grooming specialist wicketkeepers, especially for the longest format.
More has been invited for the last week of the ongoing off-season Under-23 camp at the NCA. He will work with two wicketkeepers of the team and later assigned a batch of six to eight glovesmen.