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LOUIS -- The New Orleans Saints looked like a team playing out the string. http:///...l-mecklenburg-jersey . -- Gus Malzahn finally had his day in Fayetteville. Did you bowl a lot of overs in the West Indies? Initially, at St Kitts I probably got overexcited, pulled my calf and that put me back by three weeks! I was okay in the second half of the tour and I bowled quite a bit because I think the boys needed practice. [Getting] net bowlers is a challenge in the West Indies so yes, I rolled my arm.And if you were bowling that means it was competitive. Were you getting all of them out? No, I wasnt being competitive. I was just trying to protect my calf and protect every other part of the body not to break down.This is a unique assignment for you considering you havent coached at any level before formally. What have been your big takeaways in these two months that you have been India head coach? I have been part of sides where I have mentored/coached in the T20 game where things happen very quickly. But this was my first experience of a Test series and having a whole Test match unfold in front of you as a coach. So it was very different. It was a huge learning experience for me and the best part was the team was very welcoming. I have known all of them in various capacities, and when you win, things work very well. With this team it was very easy for me to settle in as well. You ask them whatever you want them to do and nobody complains, and thats a great thing to have.One of the theories that do the rounds on the outside is that stature is actually a hindrance in being coach. Weve had well-documented cases, such as Kapil Dev, Viv Richards, Greg Chappell etc, none of whom did very well in the job. Given you are one of Indias great players, has it been a hindrance? I spoke to everyone first, that no matter what I have done, it is all in the past. Now I am the coach, like an elder brother. I have the knowledge of being part of a team for 18 years and whatever learnings I have had, I have been able to share that. It will take some time for them to get comfortable and put an arm on my shoulder. I dont think stature will come in the way of them approaching me for any aspect of the game. I am certainly enjoying the interactions.Sometimes, players with your level of success cant understand why another player is not successful. Was that an area you had to work on as coach? As a player, I was probably different. I felt I wasnt the most talented. I had to work very hard, put in those long hours for me to be successful and be repetitive as a bowler. I understand the demands of international cricket and the expectations on all these players day in day out. So to be practical and ensure that these are realistic expectations. Every time you walk out on a cricket field you cant get a hundred or pick up five wickets. Those expectations will be there from the general public and just because I am coach, India cant win every game. But consistency is what I am looking at, and this team has shown a lot of consistency in the way they play and approach the game and also in the results in the recent past.Early days still, but there have been some signs about what kind of team India will be under you and Virat Kohli as captain. The five-bowler strategy is almost something you seem to have committed yourselves to. Is that the way India will play in every Test? It is not mandatory that you look to play five bowlers. It depends on the opposition, the surface and what the team requires. If we believe that four bowlers are enough to pick up 20 wickets and you need that additional batsman in the team then we are open for that. It is not that the five-bowler theory is written in stone and we will approach every game like that. With four bowlers you can win a Test match. Every team you play has four bowlers and the fifth bowler you play is the allrounder who fills in ten to 15 overs for the other bowlers to come back again and pick wickets. The approach will certainly be to win every game you play.One of the interesting things you did in the West Indies was pushing R Ashwin up to bat in the top six. Hes said in the past that he considers himself to be a top-order batsman. Can you throw some light on what the thinking was? Obviously Ashwin has shown in the past what hes capable of as a batsman. [Wriddhiman] Saha was batting at six and we felt that the pressure that he was getting under wasnt ideal for him. Someone like Ashwin can take that pressure off and then Saha can bat freely. Ashwin has shown what hes capable of. Hes scored two hundreds and made his mark at No. 6 whenever we played five bowlers.The similarities between you and Ashwin do get talked about. One of the things you confronted in your career was: Anil Kumble doesnt take wickets overseas. Ashwin has had the same type of criticism and hes responded well. Do you think having you in his corner has worked? We certainly have had a lot of conversations over the last two months. Even before I became coach, when someone asked me about Ashwins non-performance outside India, I said he needs to play! So hes played and hes performed, not just with the ball but also with the bat in the West Indies. Hes a fantastic bowler. Hes probably the best spinner in the world right now and the best allrounder in the world. It is great to have such quality and ability in your team. He is one of the most important cogs in the wheel for us. I am really looking forward to seeing him again in the home series with 13 Test matches coming up. He will play an important role in our success.The view on the outside with Cheteshwar Pujara is that sometimes he gets a bit hard done by by the selectors and the team management. Have you found dealing with his situation problematic? No, its from the outside that you look at the individuals. With modern cricket, everybody looks at the strike rate rather than what that particular player brings to that table. Pujara is, again, a very important cog in our wheel and when he plays at No. 3 he is a very important player. Yes, there are times when he misses out and Rohit [Sharma] comes in. Thats when we probably feel we need someone lower down to accelerate. Thats why in one of the Tests in the West Indies he missed out. The one good thing about this team is that all 17 who were in the squad were all available to play and all of them showed that intent. If they are playing they are fine. When they are left out they are disappointed, but at the same time they contribute in whatever way they can. Pujara, yes, the sword is always hanging on his head, which is not good. I certainly believe he is a very importaant player for us and he will play at No. Shaquil Barrett Jersey. 3, and for us to be successful, he is important in the short term and long term as well.Your predecessor, Ravi Shastri, said there is nothing wrong with India playing on raging turners at home. Do you believe India should play a certain way at home, unapologetically on certain kinds of pitches? The focus somehow comes on the pitch whenever we play at home. When we play abroad, you dont really look at the pitch and you start blaming the batsman or bowler for not executing the skills on that particular pitch. When batsmen, bowlers and fielders execute skills to perfection in home conditions, then it is always the pitch that is helping you to achieve that, which is not right. Indian pitches will spin, that is a given. When it will spin is a matter of how the pitch has been prepared. I am someone who would rather talk about how the team has played rather than the pitch.So Anil Kumble would never call up a curator and say, Listen, this is the kind of pitch I want when my team arrives to play a Test match? No, it is the job of the curator. It is a given that home conditions will favour the home team where spin is a dominant force, but not where [from] the first ball you have dust coming off. In September, when we are playing, obviously theres a lot of rain leading up to the [home] series so we dont know what kind of wickets and how much sun these pitches have. It all boils down to what nature gives you and allows you to prepare rather than you and me or somebody telling the curator what needs to be done.We are seeing head coaches around the world becoming more and more powerful. Theres been some criticism in Australia about how powerful Darren Lehmann is. Do you believe the head coach should have a vote in selection? It is important to be a part of the selection process. I always believe the captain is the boss. Your job as coach is to prepare the team to the best they can be in whatever conditions and whichever the opposition. At the end of the day it is the captains call. You assist and give him all the informed choices for him to make the right judgement. I dont think the coach is the boss.Theres a very successful feeder programme working now, with Rahul Dravid as coach of the A team. How important is that synergy between you and him in finding a deep bench strength? That is one of the things I initiated as soon as I became the coach. For the Indian team to be successful you need the India A, Under-19, the bench strength, the National Cricket Academy and the selection committee to be in sync. I was really appreciative of the BCCI because at short notice they were able to put together all of us in one room to discuss this. That was the first meeting and I am sure we will have another one soon. I am really glad the A team has won the quadrangular tournament in Australia. It is important that the next set of players are coming through that system and no better person than Rahul to look after them. The communication between us is really important, so thats something that we will continue to have through these meetings. A strong bench will determine how successful you will be over a consistent period of time. Sandeep Patil, the chairman of selectors, said recently that you had asked for several players to be part of the NCA. Can you explain the thinking behind that? We are very clear about fitness. I certainly believe you need to be at your best fitness to perform at the international level. It is not necessary that you need to be at someone elses fitness level, but your own peak fitness should be maintained. And if we can set a team benchmark and start pushing that benchmark over a period of time, it needs a one- or two-year horizon for everybody to start matching up and measuring up to a certain level. For that to happen you need assessments to be done. That was one of the reasons I wanted all of us to put together a squad of players who will come here and get assessed. I was really glad that most of them turned up and have been assessed. Now we will continue to monitor that. Before every series we will try to have fitness tests and try and monitor the progress. If you are playing 13 Test matches you need to be at your fittest to go through that.Do you see one of your challenges as handling the transition of MS Dhoni, who is coming into the squad for short bursts and then leaves for long periods? No, I dont see it as a challenge at all because MS has been with this team much longer than me. He knows all the players much better than how I know them. I have only been with this team for the last two months. I have known him as a player, captain, he kept wicket for me. The first interaction that I was supposed to have with MS was in October. It got fast-tracked to Florida, but that was only brief. I enjoyed meeting him. His maturity is fantastic. Hes very clear as to what he wants as a captain. That was the initial reaction that I had when I first had a chat with him regarding the team and everything he wanted.What happens in the 2019 World Cup? I dont think we need to look too far ahead and that long. Yes, the 2017 Champions Trophy is something you need to look at, but 2019 is three years from now and we have a lot of matches before that.Your contract is also for a year. I dont want to look too far ahead, but whatever I do now, it is important that the process continues. It shouldnt be somebody coming and changing the whole thing. It is important you set a process in place and thats exactly what I am trying to do. Long-term plans will be there and when the time comes we will sit across the table and have a chat. Currently we dont need to think or worry about all that.Finally, how has the family taken the fact that you are back on the road after all these years? The last two months were tough - only FaceTime with the kids and my wife. She could join me in Florida. Now, again on the road, but this time it is mostly at home. It is not in Bangalore, but its at least a short flight away from home. You get an opportunity to come home or they can come for the weekend. It will be a challenge. That was the first discussion I had with my wife even before I applied for this role. Only if she gave me permission, then I would attempt it! Shes done that, so now shell have to live up to the commitment that shes given. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '