The Indian cricket team have been hitting the nets regularly over the last week to prepare themselves for their first match of the 2019 ICC World Cup against South Africa in Southampton on Wednesday.
One man working tirelessly behind the scenes with the team in these practice sessions is throw-down specialist DGVI Raghavindraa, popularly known are Raghu in the team.
Since 2011, Raghu has been part of Team India’s backroom staff, helping the batsmen prepare against pace-bowling with his throw-downs at every single nets or training session.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan paid tribute to the contribution of Raghu for the success of the Indian team over the last few years, on the sidelines of the training session at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
“Raghu is a legend. He been with the Indian side for a while now. He’s very sharp, I would say he is the most energetic person in the team. We would all like to thank him, without him our batting would not have improved so much. He throws at nearly 150kph tirelessly,” Dhawan told the ICC, ahead of the first game against South Africa on Wednesday.
'He's a legend eh!' 😀 Shikhar Dhawan, in a chat with @PathakRidhima, lavishes praise on India's throwdown specialist Raghu. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NmDccfj3tP— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 5, 2019
'He's a legend eh!' 😀 Shikhar Dhawan, in a chat with @PathakRidhima, lavishes praise on India's throwdown specialist Raghu. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NmDccfj3tP
Sweating it out in the nets. 🏏 pic.twitter.com/3uEYecnjUo— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 4, 2019
Sweating it out in the nets. 🏏 pic.twitter.com/3uEYecnjUo
Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar was the first one to spot Raghu’s potential. On Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid’s recommendation, Raghu got on the flight to Australia with the Indian team in December 2011 as an assistant and he hasn’t looked back since then.
Apart from the throw-downs, Raghu also manages a lot of the logistics for the team, sorts out the complimentary tickets which the players receive before every international match as well as gets the training gear in order before the practice sessions.
“Not just him, we also have Sanjay bhai (Bangar) now. Both of them start from the beginning of the nets and continue till the end. It’s quite a hard job.
“I have seen a lot of other coaches come to him and ask him how he does it and try to learn from him. We all are very grateful for him,” Dhawan added.