Muscat – The contributions of Aavishkar Salvi, the fast bowling coach of Oman, have been a central component of the team’s recent success. In September 2019, head coach Duleep Mendis asked Salvi to conduct a 10-day camp for the fast bowlers. The former India pacer obliged and has since become an indispensable part of Oman Cricket’s set-up.
Speaking of his initial impressions upon arrival Salvi said, “The first two days after I came here were a Friday and Saturday and Premier Division matches were going on at the time so I made it a point to watch them. As soon as I saw those games, I realised that there is a lot of talent and potential over here. There are some who have established themselves in the national team and there are some who can come into the squad by sharpening their skills. It was just about building discipline within them and enhancing a few attributes that are needed to be successful at the international level.”
Salvi is known to pay careful attention to detail and prepare his bowlers accordingly. He said, “If we are planning a tour we prepare for the conditions. If we go to the UAE during winter, we know that there will be fair assistance for fast bowlers so we prepare accordingly. Similarly, if we go during summer, we will have to use a lot more slower balls which will give the bowlers a chance to pick up wickets.
“Then we simulate those conditions during our practice sessions. I’m grateful to our coach Duleep because he gives us a free hand in terms of practising what we want to do. Our fast bowlers have the potential. As a bowling coach for me, it is just about channelling those energies into achieving the team goal,” he said.
Speaking of devising plans for Bilal Khan, Kaleemullah, and Fayyaz Butt to adopt, he stated: “We always want them (fast bowlers) to bowl to a particular plan. Accordingly, in the nets, I’ll give them a new ball and I’ll mark up a surface area where they have to consistently bowl. If they manage to do that, there is a chance that they will get wickets. By bowling in that area, the others within the team and the support staff will also know what the bowler is going to do. When the boys go out and execute these plans in the match, it becomes more of a routine for the bowlers and for the fielders around.”
Oman’s next set of fixtures in the ICC Men’s CWC League 2 takes them to the USA for a double round-robin tri-series against Nepal and the hosts. Looking ahead to it, Salvi said, “After the last successful UAE tour the boys had a break. Now they are coming back into cricket mode and have been training regularly. The mindset remains the same for this tour.
“The bowlers need to be disciplined and because it is a 50-over game with each one getting 10 overs, even if one spell doesn’t go well, they still have a chance to make a comeback later. We tell the boys that one bad ball doesn’t make you a bad bowler. We are looking at the tour in a positive way. We have had success against both the opponents in the past and right now we are just thinking about polishing our strengths,” added Salvi.