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Sports Interview
Orissa has huge pool of bowling talent; may produce another Test fast bowler soon
By   Published on: 27-Oct-2011 11:16:31
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Orissa cricket team has shown good performance in last season. It entered in to the elite group in the Ranji Trophy cricket.

One man's hard work could easily be reflected in the recent success of the Orissa cricket. He is Bowling coach Sourajit Mohapatra, who started his first class cricket at the age of 17 and took 100 wickets with a hat-trick for Orissa.

His hard work and contribution to Orissa cricket as a coach can not be ignored.

In an Exclusive interview with's Gulrej Ahmed Orissa Cricket Team's bowling coach , Sourajit Mohapatra spelled out his initiatives and OCA's vision to make Orissa a bowling power house in the eastern region.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

Gulrej: Congratulation for making hat-trick as Bowling Coach, Orissa Cricket Team.

Sourajit: Thank you very much.

Gulrej: Appointing a special bowling coach for Orissa cricket team. How will it be helpful to the team?

Sourajit: I was appointed as the first bowling coach in 2005-06. Cricket is going scientific and competitive day by day. Today in Ranji Trophy cricket we have four days matches, one-dayers and 20-20. Similarly in the under-19 level we have four day matches and one-dayers.

Number of bowlers required for all those matches is increasing day-by-day. That is why a team effort is being nurtured to keep bowlers fit by appointing special coaches, as you know we have Venkatesh Prasad as the bowling coach for the national team. It helps a team in many ways.

Gulrej: Could you please give some example, how it helped us so far?

Sourajit: Coming to the helpfulness of having a bowling coach, the state's performance in the last season speaks itself. We have been able to enter in to the elite group. In under-19 also we have played in the semifinals and in under-15 category we are the zone champion. What else can one expect from a bowling coach and a team. Our hard work and team effort is paying off.

Gulrej: What are the main problems we have in our Bowling department?

Sourajit: I am the coach and am there to solve the problems not to highlight those. I am working on all areas.

Gulrej: It is said that we have a weak bowling attack in comparison to other good team in Ranji trophy. Is it so?

Sourajit: See, we have Debasis Mohanty, who is a former test bowler in our team and spearheading our bowling attack. Apart from him, we have very good bowlers like Niranjan Behera, Alok sahu, Sourav Sehagal and Sanjay Sathpathy who can run through any batting line-up in the country. Infact it is our bowlers who have won matches for us in a number of occassions. So I think it is wrong to say that we have a weak bowling attack.

Gulrej: It is also said that we don't have adequate facilities to produce good bowlers. What do you want to say about it?

Sourajit: I dont think so. We have a well equipped gym, physical trainers, physio, psychiatrist, good pitches, and overall a secretary with a good foresight along with me.

We had also conducted a special bowling camp for all categories of players who were not in the squads, but have enough talent to fire in the big race. We have focussed on the skill and mental strength of those players. So we have all facilities to make orissa a bowling power house.

Gulrej: What will be your strategies to build up a strong bowling line-up for the team?

Sourajit: I always try to put the square peg in the square hole and the round peg in the round hole as I have done till date and have succeeded.

Gulrej: Could you put some lights on the raw bowling talent in Orissa?

Sourajit: We have very good bowling talent in the state, only thing we have to do is nurse them at proper time and proper stage and give them opportunity to prosper.

Gulrej: Why Orissa is unable to produce any Test fast bowler after Debashis Mohanty? Where the problem lies?

Sourajit: Why India has not produced another Kapil or Sachin yet? We should not compare with anybody.

We have very good quality fast bowlers in under 19 and under 15 squad. If everything goes well we can produce couple of fast bowlers, who can represent India in Test Matches.

If they work hard we can see them in international arena.

Gulrej: Could you please name a few?

Sourajit: Anand Sahu and Alok Mongaraj are among those talented fast bowlers, who have potential to make a name in Test squad in the days to come.

Gulrej: Could few fast bowling tracks serve our purpose of producing Test level fast bowlers?

Sourajit: We already have Test level fast bowlers in our squad. An efficient bowler is one, who can run through the opposition in a placid wicket or any adverse surface. So it all depends upon the talent than any favourable wicket.

Gulrej: What according to you is the main strength of Orissa bowling attack? Whether spin or fast?

Sourajit: We have a balanced attack. Neither we depend on fast nor on spin attack. We have good fast bowlers as well as spin bowlers who could run through the opposition at anytime.

In many instances our fast bowlers triggered collapse in the opposition batting line-up and some other cases our spin created havoc in the opposition camp.

At last I can say that both our spin and fast bowlers won matches for us. Its again a team that is playing and its all team effort than individual effort and identity. Its ORISSA TEAM after all.

Gulrej: What according to you should be our strategy to find raw bowling talents in school and college level?

Sourajit: We already have inter-school, inter-club and inter-district for different levels and talents are getting good opportunity to prove their worth and thereby find a place.

Gulrej: It is said that youngster in Orissa are more interested in batting than bowling. Is it so? What are the steps should be taken to attract youngster towards bowling?

Sourajit: Its not the exact situation. A player is born with his inborn instinct and quality and we are nurturing it.

Gulrej: Thanks you very much for talking to us and all the best for the coming season.

Sourajit: Thank you. Wish to see 'Odishatoday' at greater heights.

Orissa has huge pool of bowling talent; may produce another Test fast bowler soon

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