Coaching after retirement. Shah Rukh Khan-Juhi Chawla’s Trinibago Knight Riders have won the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League under his tutelage. Brendon McCallum has reached Abu Dhabi with the traces of that success. Kolkata Knight Riders are going to start IPL campaign under his coaching in UAE.
McCallum was famous for his aggressive batting. He used to blow any bowler in the world in the gallery. He played one of the most devastating innings in the history of IPL in 2008. His stormy 158-run innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the first IPL gave a new definition to aggressive batting.
Thinking about that innings, are you still proud? Has been playing aggressive cricket all his life. Will KKR inculcate cricketers in the mantra of aggression? McCallum smiled at the question.
He said, ‘The first thing I heard after becoming a coach was, would you go to the crease with a bat and hit a six! But there is no such thing. My style of play was aggressive. But as a coach, I have to understand what is the place of strength and comfort of every cricketer. Everyone has to bring out the best. There is a lot to think about what will be the final XI, who will have what role. ‘
McCallum also said ‘Aggressive players have to keep a balance with the classical cricketers in the team. So that the opposing team can be thrown into misery. The cricketers are also convinced of each other. I want to see the boys confident off the field as well. So that they can play their best cricket on the field. I want to be united with the whole team. My team has a wonderful mix of experience and youth. ‘
McCallum, who has 14,676 runs in international cricket, is excited about Shubman Gill. Says, ‘There are promising young people like Shubman Gill. He has the ability to shine on the big stage. As a coach I am still learning.
But I’m not telling cricketers to play this way or that way. I want to be flexible. ’The KKR coach added, ‘getting Morgan up for auction is a awesome win for us’.
‘Morgan will be able to help Dinesh Karthik lead. World Cup winning captain Morgan. Andre Russell’s ability to hit sixes is incredible. I think he hit 56 sixes in the last IPL. Our middle order is so strong. We can become terrible. And if necessary, we can send Andre Russell to the top of the batting order. ‘