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My becoming KKR coach will motivate other Indian coaches: Chandrakant Pandit | Cricket News


MUMBAI: Although IPL-2023 is still six months away, it is safe to say that one of the most anticipated things about it will be watching the ‘domestic super coach’ Chandrakant Pandit Acting as the new head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Having won the Ranji Trophy six times as a coach, the former mentor, known for his no-nonsense approach, as tough as a nail, faces a whole new challenge.
Having just taken over the reins of the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, the ‘Alex Ferguson of Ranji Trophy’ is, as Dinesh Karthik put it, ready to make it clear what is the biggest challenge of his coaching career. him so far.
The new one Coach KKR exclusively interviewed TOI.
Excerpts…

What was your first reaction when taking on a new role? Do you see that as a reward after all these years of domestic training baseball?
I’m obviously very happy. I wouldn’t say it’s a reward for what I’ve achieved in domestic cricket. Whenever an opportunity comes your way, you always like it. I’m glad it came from KKR, one of the IPL Franchising. Knowing so many players at KKR, I am very happy and excited to work with them. It’s a very happy moment for any coach to work with a big brand like KKR. Knowing the team culture, the feedback I get, the support staff I get, I’m excited about all of that.
Have you had any interactions with Brendon McCullum, who was the head coach of KKR in the past three years to get some feedback on?
No, I haven’t done that, but of course, I’d love to get feedback from everyone. He’s a coach who has worked really hard on team building and of course I’d love to hear from him. Even the support staff (KKR) was excellent. Getting feedback from everyone will only help us move forward.
Do you feel Indian coaches are starting to impress the IPL brand? Are you the third Indian head coach in the IPL after Ashish Nehra and Sanjay Bangar?
That’s the mark one can get. KKR has taken a step to recruit Indian domestic coach and it has been appreciated by everyone. Many Indian coaches will look forward to such opportunities and will be motivated to work harder because they have seen the opportunity and recognition for me.

You have been known as a strict disciplinarian in domestic cricket. Will you continue with it or change it up when working with foreign players like Sunil Narine and Andre Russell?
I don’t know what people are saying about me, but I’ll give you an example. If my son is 10 years old and suppose I behave with him a certain way until he is 14, am I going to behave like this after he is 30 when he gets married? Instead of me saying I’ll be flexible, people have to understand that the approach will definitely be different because the players are already playing at the highest level, I have to be different than they understand the mentality of each player.
In a few months, there will be an IPL auction. Although a small auction, it will be your first. Have you started planning your auction yet?
Yes, I was up there.
You worked with Shreyas Iyer and Abhishek Nayar (KKR assistant coach) in Mumbai. How helpful will that experience be?
That is clearly a big advantage. The relationship we’ve had over the years, we know each other well. As a player and a coach, we understand each other quite well. I not only have Shreyas Iyer, but also Abhishek and the support staff. There’s Omkar Salvi (KKR academy bowling coach) and Bharat Arun (KKR bowling coach). We all know each other quite well.

It is the biggest advantage to understand the entire culture of the team and the players. As for Shreyas, he is one of the best players I know. The way he started his cricket and the way he led KKR with his fearless approach and attitude are signs of a player who really wants to play well. We have a great combination and understanding.
It has been suggested that Shreyas has developed a weakness in short-ball countering. Is that what you’re looking for to arrange in the grid with him?
Obviously, certain hints will be given (to him) and what works for him is more important. Shreyas is an experienced player and we can talk to each other and find a solution. There can be not only one (solution), so it is about what works best for him.
How confident are you to take home another title with KKR next season. KKR last won the IPL Cup in 2014. Have you identified any areas to work in?
I have always believed in the process. Every coach wants to win titles and it’s not just me. I’m thinking the same pattern as well. This process will be more important to us as a team. I have completed my research and know how to approach those areas of improvement. We will definitely work on that.
I believe you will also continue to train Madhya Pradesh. So you will be busy all year long. How will you handle work pressure?
It was accepted by my franchise. So I don’t think any problems will arise due to that. More than the workload, it will help me in a different way as I will also be coaching the domestic players, which can help us get the players into KKR. Obviously, I don’t have to go anywhere else, I can continue to watch cricket in the country. So maybe we can find players for KKR there.

Yesterday, Ajinkya Rahane, who plays for KKR, was given the chance to revive his career when he was selected as captain of the West Zone team for the upcoming Dulpe Trophy. Your thoughts..
It’s good that he wasn’t left out. I am quite satisfied with it. It’s good that he has been given a chance at domestic cricket. By making him captain, they showed their faith in him. This will give him more confidence going forward.
There is nothing wrong with a cricketer returning to domestic cricket to rediscover his form. Obviously, Ajinkya is an experienced player, and finding a little motivation for him is problematic. I definitely feel he will come back and earn a spot in the Indian team.
You worked with Venkatesh Iyer in the Madhya Pradesh team and now he is here too. How do you plan to bring out the best from him?
We have to make sure to get the best out of each Individual, not just a specific player. But of course there are players who will play very important roles. He knows me well and he spent time with me at MP so we are in regular contact. So we’ll definitely try and figure out how to get the most out of him.
KKR has current Australian captain Pat Cummins in their ranks. How do you deal with someone like him?
It’s fun to work with the best players. And of course, with a lot of experience, I won’t be the only one to give advice. Obviously we will communicate with each other. A lot of input will come from these experienced players, which should work well for KKR and our team. So it’s more important that I handle anyone or everyone who can understand how I’m going to deal with it. But I think that’s just a simple way I would say it: Communicating regularly, understanding each other, and trying to come up with multiple solutions will work better for our team.
Have you met Shah Rukh?
I have yet to meet all the owners. Mr Jay Mehta, Juhiji and SRK- I look forward to seeing them soon.





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