Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has made welcome additions to the support staff of the Ranji Trophy team when they roped in two throw-down specialists and a masseur for the long and gruelling new season.
But for the first time the Ranji team will have throw-down specialists in Ram Prasad and Sunny. This is a new trend among the Indian teams. It all started with Team India when they recruited Raghavindraa DVGI, aka Raghu, as the first throw-down specialist. It proved to be a success story as most batsmen from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have taken throwdowns from this Karnataka boy.
The throw-down specialists are there to give relief to the team bowlers. Hyderabad skipper Ambati Rayudu said it is basically to give rest to the bowlers. “The bowlers get tired in the long season and it is no point working out extra hours at the nets. So these throw-down specialists can be a good alternative measure to give practice to the batsmen,’’ he said.
Prasad was a wicketkeeper-batsman and played for Osmania University for three years from 2012 to 2014 before turning into a coach. But it was former Ranji fast bowler Alfred Absolom’s camp Spotlight where Prasad became a throw-down specialist. “It was at this camp where there was a need of a throw-down specialist and it became very popular. During this time Amol Shinde saw him and asked me whether I would be interested to bowl to the Hyderabad team.’’
Prasad further added that it was Rayudu, a member of the Indian team, who fine-tuned his skills. “He taught me how to throw with seam up technique. It took hours of practice before I could perfect it. Today, I’m able throw accurately at the batsmen.’’
Sunny was a left-arm fast bowler and played for Jai Hanuman in the three-day league match. However, since two years, he too became a coach. He helped Services left-handed batsman Rahul Singh with his throw-down.
The left-right combination is turning to be valuable asset to the Hyderabad team. “The players are enjoying throw-downs. We vary our pace, bowl short-pitched deliveries. This has given necessary rest to the fast bowlers. Raghu has inspired us to take up this specialist job,’’ said Prasad.