“The art of spinning lies in a good arm-wrist position and a good release-spin technique,” says Mr Venkatapathy Raju, a former India left-arm spinner, who is here at the Kinrara Oval to train 8 spinners in the Malaysia National Cricket Men’s team.
It’s a balmy morning and the national cricket team is already hard at ‘work’ on the field, although amidst the shouts and roars of the players, it does sound like a lot of fun. Heading the training session this morning are several coaches, who are also getting a refreshing grip on spinning techniques from Raju.
“Every player is different but the basic technique is the same. Once a player understands his skills and strengths, the player can evolve his spin technique to his own winning style,” Raju says further.
Venkatapathy Raju played for India, debuting in 1990 against New Zealand in 1990 and his last test game was against Australia in 2001. Nicknamed Muscles for his very strong bowling arm, Raju is a finger-spinner, capitalizing on his own developed techniques that took India into victory in 1990 and 1991. Retiring from first-class cricket in 2004, Raju is now touring Asia as a guest coach, and Malaysia is very privileged to have him fine-tune and polish the national team’s bowling skills.
“Most Asian players are small-built compared to Western players, so they must know their own strength in wicket-taking and controlling the game. It’s not just throwing a ball, there is strategy and thinking behind every bowl.”
Malaysia’s national cricket teams will play against Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia in the upcoming 29th SEA Games 2017 in August.