The cricketing world is abuzz with anticipation as England Lions prepare to lock horns with India A in a series of warm-up matches leading up to the much-awaited five-match Test series between the senior squads of England and India.
Amidst the fervour and anticipation, the England Cricket Board (ECB) recently announced the appointment of a seasoned Indian cricketer and a prominent figure in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad for the role of batting consultant in England Lions’ coaching staff.
The warm-up schedule: A prelude to the intense battle
Notably, the upcoming schedule for England Lions includes a two-day warm-up game against India, scheduled to commence on January 12, followed by three four-day matches. As the team readies itself for these crucial encounters, a distinguished coaching panel has been assembled to guide and mentor the players.
Coaching ensemble: A talented set at the helm
Leading the coaching team is Neil Killeen, appointed as the head coach, with the support of Richard Dawson and Carl Hopkinson in the form of assistant coaches. Accompanying them in a mentoring role is the former English cricketer Graeme Swann. However, it is the surprising appointment of India’s own as the batting consultant that has caught the attention of cricket enthusiasts around the world.
An RCB star joins England Lions’ coaching staff
An experienced India campaigner and currently part of the RCB squad in the IPL, Tamil Nadu-born batter Dinesh Karthik has been appointed as the batting consultant for the England Lions squad.
With 26 Test matches, 94 one-day internationals, and 26 T20 internationals under his belt, Karthik brings a wealth of experience to the table and is set to share his insights and knowledge with the England Lions during his nine-day stint, commencing from January 12. Following Karthik, the legendary English cricketer Ian Bell is slated to take over the batting consultant role on January 18.
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Karthik’s transition from the cricket field to the commentary box and now coach has been nothing short of phenomenal. Having been part of Sky Sports’ commentary panel for the World Test Championship Final in 2023 and the intense Ashes series last year, he brings a unique perspective that extends beyond the boundaries of the playing field.
Director Mo Bobat expresses excitement
Expressing his excitement about having Karthik on board, Mo Bobat, England Men’s Performance Director, highlighted the potential benefits of Karthik’s experience, especially in navigating the challenges of Test cricket in India.
“It’s fantastic to have Dinesh Karthik with us for a part of our prep period and leading into the first Test. I’m sure the lads will love spending time with him and benefiting from his experience of what it takes to be successful at Test level in India,” said Bobat.