Amol who? Meet the Proteas’ batting guru for the Tests agains India

Assam captain Amol Muzumdar reacts after one of his player misfielded during the last day of Ranji trophy match against Mumbi at MCA ground at Bandra Kurla Complex on Saturday (Photo by Santosh Harhare/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Team director Enoch Nkwe had said previously that the national side wanted a local batting mentor for Indian conditions.

Proteas team management on Monday announced that Amol Muzumdar has been roped in as a temporary batting coach for the Test series against India starting next month.

The 44-year-old from Mumbai won’t be too familiar to most local cricket fans, but he comes with a decent coaching and cricket pedigree.

Here’s a quick guide to who he is.

Why him?

Interim team director, Enoch Nkwe, and interim director of cricket, Corrie van Zyl, had both said previously that they were looking at identifying an Indian coach with intimate knowledge of the country’s conditions to help mentor the South African batsmen.

Was he a professional player?

Muzumdar was indeed a very accomplished batsman. He ended his first-class career with 11 167 runs at a fine average of 48. His highest score of 260 was made as 19-year-old debutant for Mumbai. Muzumdar was vice-captain of his national under-19 team and played in the India ‘A’ team alongside greats such as Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. But he wasn’t afforded a look-in at national level despite clearly having the stats to back up such a selection.

What are his coaching qualifications?

He’s a very well-known coach in Indian circles and has obtained high performance coaching certificates from the BCCI, Cricket Australia as well as in England through both Lancashire and Yorkshire counties.  Muzumdar was previously the batting coach of the Rajasthan Royals at the IPL, India’s under-19 and under-23 coach at the National Cricket Academy and the batting mentor for the Netherlands.

Does he have any experience mentoring South African players?

He actually does, yes. As Van Zyl noted: “Amol is a perfect fit for us. He brings an intimate knowledge of Indian playing conditions and the challenges our batsmen are likely to face. He also assisted us at the spin bowling camp we held recently in India and thus has already built up a good working relationship with Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma and Zubayr Hamza.”

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