It was a clinical performance by the Indian cricket team in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo on Sunday. First, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team bowled out Sri Lanka for just 50, with Mohammed Siraj picking 6/21 in just seven overs. Then India chased down the target in just 6.1 overs to clinch their eighth Asia Cup title. Ahead of the Cricket World Cup, this win is a big boost for the Indian cricket team, which has not an ICC title since 2013.
During the trophy celebration, several Indian cricket team players lifted the trophy. One of the first members to lift the trophy was the 20-year-old Tilak Varma. This has been a tradition in the Indian cricket to give the youngest or the newest player a chance to lift the trophy before others. Soon after, there was another man who lifted the trophy. He was neither a player, nor a coach or a physio with the squad.
However, he is a very important member of the Indian squad. His name is Raghu Raghavendra, a ‘throw-down specialist’. His job is to give throw-downs to the Indian batters at the nets with a slinger. He is not the only one as India reportedly employed two other throwdown specialists.
“A lot of credit has to go to these guys, who have given us practice regularly and their contribution has been unbelievable. You guys should remember their names and faces because, behind our success, a lot of effort has been put in by these guys,” Kohli had earlier said about the throw-down specialists.
Raghavendra, hails from and joined the BCCI from the National Cricket Academy. He was India’s first throw-down specialist. He has given throw-downs to Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni also.
After bundling out Sri Lanka for 50 on Sunday, Indian captain Rohit Sharma couldn’t hide his delight at the performance of his fast bowlers and said the variety they give to the team is extremely important. Pacer Mohammed Siraj bowled a wonderful spell (6 for 21) that laid the foundation for India’s 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final.
“I get a lot of satisfaction when I see fast bowlers perform like this. All the captains take a lot of pride in fast bowling (at their disposal), and I am no different. We have got a fantastic set of fast bowlers,” Rohit said at the post-match media conference.
“All of them have different skill sets and variations – one can bowl quick, one can swing the ball, one can get good bounce. When you get all of these aspects in one team, it is a feel-good factor,” added Rohit.
Rohit said Siraj was so high on adrenaline after an unbroken seven-over spell that yielded six wickets, and it required a word from the team trainer to stop the pacer from bowling.
“It was very pleasing to watch from the slips (how Siraj bowled). He got the ball to move a bit more than the other two. We were riding behind him (Siraj) when he was bowling that spell,” the skipper said.
“He bowled seven overs in that spell, and I got a message from the trainer that we have to stop him now. He was quite desperate to bowl,” said Rohit with a chuckle.
With PTI inputs
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