I am proud of my 14 year old nephew Manav. He's all that I want to see in a young cricketer. Solid defense, minimal head movement, soft hands, high elbow, measured back lift and immense patience to stay put on the crease for long hours.
But, Manav doesn't like the cricketer that he is.
Before Manav joined a cricket club, years before he started playing in the local cricket leagues of Delhi, even before he started training under a professional coach- It was I, that was his coach/mentor. And since my cricketing heroes were Sunil Gavaskar, to begin with, and later Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, it was only natural that Manav's initiation into the sport was 'copybook' to say the least. My coaching manual read- 'cut and pull were taboo, drives and flicks were the only ways of scoring runs. Swinging at the ball with a horizontal bat is what Baseball players did, not cricketers. And hitting the ball over your opponents head may be a beautiful lob in tennis, but in cricket it was nothing but a mishit. And so, after my orthodox training regime for a few years, my young nephew grew into a fine young talent and I couldn't help but pat myself on the back for building a strong foundation, one that give birth to a future international cricketer.