Saqlain Mushtaq, who is working as the spin bowling consultant with the England team in India, has asked the ECB to appoint a full-time spin bowling coach and he has made himself available for the position.
Former Pakistan’s off-spinner has a strong case for himself as his presence in England’s ranks have improved performances of Moeen Ali and moreover Adil Rashid, who is currently the highest wicket-taker in the ongoing test series in India. He has hunted 13 batsmen so far.
The inventor of off-spinning variety ‘Doosra’ believes that having a spin bowling coach is pretty essential.
Saqlain Mushtaq was quoted by ESPNCricinfo, “If you look at the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and the highest wicket-taker in one-day cricket, they are spinners.
“And it is not just in the subcontinent, but when you go abroad on the fourth and fifth day of the Test match the spinners are the main bowlers. The whole team relies on them so spin is a main thing and you have to have a full-time coach for the spin … not just for the main team but on the county circuit as well. I believe that.
“It is not just to look after the spinners; it is to help the batsmen as well as to how the spinners think about the batsmen.”
Saqlain Mushtaq will leave English team after the third test. England have hired spin bowling consultants for brief periods in the past as well. They have also received the services of Pakistan’s former leg-spinner, Mushtaq Ahmed.
They have not really paid much of a heed to this area of the game as they have specialist coaches for all departments except spin bowling.
Recently, Graeme Swann also coined English spinners as ‘third-class citizens’, afterwards Saqlain said that many other experts have highlighted this issue in the past few days.
Saqlain Mushtaq also shared his mantra of coaching and said building relationship with the players is extremely important for him.
“The first couple of days I started to build relationships. It is based on trust, truth, honesty and respect. This is my philosophy on working. The boys are passionate about cricket and they are very hard working guys, especially Moeen, Rash and Zafar Ansari. They are very keen to learn and are hard-working chaps.
“There wasn’t too much technical stuff to begin with but we did work on tactical things and a lot of mental things. The preparation that goes into knowing the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses and to know what is our strength. These are the basics.
“I’m enjoying it. Every session, every conversation during the breaks. I’m loving the support staff and everyone. It is like a family. It is a relaxed atmosphere, but a professional one. I would love to keep going and be involved in the future.
“I believe that things are going well and we’re on the same page. I’m trying to bring them, myself and the captain on the same page. Things are going nicely.”
Saqlain Mushtaq rated the leggie, Adil Rashid extremely high, “Adil is a very skilful guy and he’s got a lot of variations. We’re trying to make things simple and then it is easier to deliver and easier to control. We’re making it simple from a thinking and technical point of view. I’m saying to him to concentrate on his strengths whatever his strengths are. And he’s working on that.”
He also praised Moeen Ali for being a proper off-spinner and for having equal capabilities with both the bat and the ball.
“Moeen is a proper offspinner. The way he bowls, the energy, the shape of the ball, the control, everything. We shouldn’t be thinking that he is not a proper offspinner. He is an allrounder and I would say he is equally good at batting and bowling.”