Cricket News: VVS Laxman conducts first online session for Bengal batsmen

Former India player VVS Laxman on Tuesday conducted his first online session for batsmen of Ranji Trophy runners-up, Bengal, and to start with, he focussed only on the mental aspect.

During his two separate 45-minute sessions with Abhishek Raman and Kazi Junaid Saifi, Laxman also had in attendance Bengal coach Arun Lal, cricket operations manager Joydeep Mukherjee, and state U-23 coach Sourasish Lahiri.

Bengal opener Raman, who frittered away a bright start last season, was given lessons on how to deal with failures and ways to regain confidence.

“We talked about our last season. What were my mindset through the season. A session with lot to learn from and how to prepare the mindset during ups and downs of the season,” Raman said in a statement issued by the Cricket Association of Bengal.

Raman started the season with successive hundreds, against Kerala and Andhra, but eventually aggregated 406 runs at 25.37 from 10 outings.

Laxman talked about how to control the mind in order to avoid playing loose shots, importance of batting in the the first one hour of play on bowling friendly pitches.

Rookie batsman Kazi, who made his debut and went on to play two matches, was told about how to ensure a seamless transition from age-group to senior cricket.

“It was a very useful and important session today. Laxman sir was sharing his experience with me, how it is normal to be nervous, to be doubtful but at the same time one need to keep faith in himself and his abilities.

“What I learnt is that cricket is a learning process and you have to be consistent in your thought and preparation,” Kazi said.

The CAB will continue with its online classes with focus being on their top-order batsmen, their biggest letdown in an otherwise eventful season when they reached their first Ranji Trophy final in 13 years.

But their dream to lift the title for the first time since 1989-90 remained unfulfilled with the team’s top-order batting failing to rise to the occasion against Saurashtra.

CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said this exercise is the way forward at a time when the world is under lockdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our cricketers are at home yet working out under the guidance of the trainers. We also need to keep them in the proper frame of mind.

“And the right way to do it was to engage them with mentors and coaches who would analyse their performances from the previous season and chalk out ways to overcome the challenges,” he said.