Home Cricket News IPL 2024: Ashutosh Sharma Blames Former Coach For Performance Dip

IPL 2024: Ashutosh Sharma Blames Former Coach For Performance Dip

IPL 2024: Ashutosh Sharma Blames Former Coach For Performance Dip
Ashutosh Sharma

Ashutosh Sharma, whose impressive performance of 31 runs off 17 balls led Punjab Kings to a notable victory in a high-stakes match against Gujarat Titans, opened up about a tumultuous period in his cricket journey spanning from 2020 to 2022. Reflecting on his toughest phase, he disclosed how uncertain he felt about his career trajectory, just a day after his standout performance.

During this challenging period, Ashutosh found himself at odds with Chandrakant Pandit, a highly esteemed domestic coach, without explicitly naming him. Despite not directly mentioning Pandit, it was evident that Ashutosh was alluding to him.

Ashutosh revealed: “There was a time when I wasn’t even allowed to get a feel of the cricket ground.”

Having experienced what he described as a “my way or the highway” coaching style, Ashutosh voiced his discontent, following in the footsteps of former MP pacer Gourav Yadav and former KKR all-rounder David Wiese.

Ashutosh added: “I would go to the gym and retire to my hotel room. I was sinking into depression and no one told me what my fault was. A new coach had joined Madhya Pradesh and he had strong likes and dislikes and despite scoring 90 odd in 45 balls in a trial match, I was dropped from the team.”

Fortunately, a lifeline emerged when he received a job offer from Railways, which allowed him to regain his footing. His exceptional batting performance, including equalling Yuvraj Singh’s record for the fastest T20 fifty in just 11 balls, during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy caught the attention of Punjab Kings, ultimately leading to an auction bid for him as the team’s batting coach.

However, amidst the ups and downs, one person who remained a constant source of support and inspiration for Ashutosh was his childhood coach, Amay Khurasiya, a former India left-hander. Khurasiya’s unwavering belief in Ashutosh, dating back to his early days at the MPCA Academy at the age of 12, provided invaluable encouragement, especially during Ashutosh’s mental health struggles.

Reflecting on his career’s downturn following Pandit’s rejection, Khurasiya shared insights into his coaching philosophy, emphasizing the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Khurasiya said: “You have to empower the kid. Every kid will come from a different socio-economic background. They will have different behavioural pattern. As a coach it my duty to find a connect with the boy rather expect him to connect with me instantly. If his attitude is a problem, it is my duty to bring him around and lead him towards that.”

“You need to do extensive work on psychological aspect of the child. How you want to align the boy’s cricketing philosophy with yours is not the boy’s problem. It is easy to disregard, disrespect and alienate the boy from system. But if you have the power help, try to help.”

“If he (the coach) is thinking that a boy isn’t going to make mistakes, he is wrong. Boys will make mistakes. The coaches have a tendency to lean towards brilliance. For coaches, it is important to work on EQ (emotional quotient) rather than BQ (brilliancy quotient).”

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