New Delhi: India's newly-appointed bowling coach Joe Dawes feels that the IPL would be a good learning experience for him to understand the country’s cricketers, its condition and culture in a better way. Speaking to PTI, Dawes, who replaced fellow Australian and former pacer Jason Gillespie as Kings XI Punjab’s bowling coach, said that the squad was aiming to reaching the knock-out stage of IPL 5.
“Through [the] IPL, I would get to understand the Indian players. I would be watching all the different Indian bowlers playing for each of their respective franchises. Praveen [Kumar] is a part of the Kings XI [Punjab]. So, all this exposure would be of great help to me,” he said. “It will give me a look into all the venues around the country that I have not been to so far. IPL will help me understand Indian cricketers better.”
The Queenslander briefly spent time with the Indian team during the Asia Cup in Mirpur, where they failed to qualify for the final. He was also seen bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets on the day before the veteran batsman scored his 100th international century. For Dawes, assisting Tendulkar “in any way” is huge. “It was great fun. To be involved with the Indian cricket team is a great honour and it's a great privilege bowling to Tendulkar. He even offered few tips to me. He had a good nets session that day and next day he hit the 100th hundred,” he said. “It's great to be assisting him in any way I can. He is a fantastic cricketer. And as a coach, to be able to mix with someone like him is a great honour and privilege.”
Talking about KXIP's chances this IPL season, Dawes said: “Last year, one win eluded them from getting into semi-finals. It's good that they are improving and skipper [Adam] Gilchrist and Colonel [Arvinder Singh, COO, KXIP] have added some players to the squad. We are hoping to make the play-off stages this time and give the opponents a tough time.”
KXIP will meet Rajasthan Royals in their first match at the Sawai ManSingh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday. The 2008 semi-finalists registered a fifth-place finish last season, an improved showing from the 2010 season when they had ended at the bottom of the points table with only four wins. When asked about KXIP's bowling attack, which looks short of experience in the absence of big names, Dawes said: “With Praveen, Ryan Harris, Stuart Broad and Azhar Mahmood, we have some good bowlers with international cricket. There are also Harmeet [Singh] and [Parvinder] Awana, so we have a decent bowling attack.”
Dawes has worked as a plainclothes policeman for more than eight years and said he would be maintaining a strict discipline in the side. “Any coach expects from his bowlers to maintain a good line and length and keep the wides and no balls to minimum,” he said. “I have been no different to that. I want my bowlers to have clear minds and concentrate on planning so to be in best position to execute their skills. I am confident that the bowlers will do the job for the team.”