Venkatapathi Raju showing the way

ACC Development Officer Venkatapathi Raju is in the UAE helping prepare the national team for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. “They’re in a challenging group but the team are and have been working very hard to finish on top and get to the World Cup next year,” says the former Indian international. Along with his work alongside UAE national coach Aaqib Javed, Raju will be spending time with the UAE U-19s as they prepare for the ACC U-19 Asia Cup and ICC U19 World Cup next year.

“What I always tell the players is that they just need to relax to give their best,” says Raju, whose international career spanned 11 years with more than 150 wickets in Tests and ODIs. “As a spinner you need to be relaxed, as a bowler you need to be relaxed, as a batsman, and as a fielder. Everything that can have happened on the cricket field has happened, nothing should surprise you. Anticipate, read the game situation, know your strengths, play to them, impose what you want to do on the opponent.” Raju will spend 10 days in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during his stay and take some time with Emirates Cricket Board Administrator Mazhar Khan in assessing some potential turf wicket sites.

Conditions in the UAE will suit the spin-heavy UAE attack, where the wickets are playing slow and giving a fair amount of turn. All of which the spinners of UAE Ahmed Raza, Shadeep Silva and Khurram Khan in particular, have capitalised on. The batsmen have shown in recent matches against Namibia and Pakistan at home that they are in form, with Shaiman Anwar – Player of the Tournament in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in August - in particularly peerless form. “With Aaqib I’m going to work on the fine tuning, getting the players to know what to do in those one or two critical moments in the game when the whole match can turn in your favour,” says Raju.

UAE Cricket Profile

Filed October 24th, 2013