Ahead of the eleventh season of the IPL which gets underway from April 7, Heath Streak sounds excited about his role with Kolkata Knight Riders. Streak was recently roped in as the bowling coach of the franchise forthe reason.
Speaking exclusively to Sportstar from Harare on Tuesday morning, Streak, who is also the chief coach of Zimbabwe, spoke at length on a range of issues in contemporary cricket.
On being asked about his new role with KKR, Streak replied "Obviously, I am very honoured to be joining such a reputable brand like KKR. It has some strong history, so I am very excited [to be a part of it]. Some great names of IPL have come out from KKR, so looking forward to coming on board and hopefully continuing to keep KKR going as the world-class brand it has been".
On the two young U19 Indian bowlers whom KKR roped in at the auctions, Streak spoke very highly of their promise and potential. "It’s very exciting to watch Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi and of course Shubman Gill during the U-19 World Cup. So, it is very exciting to be working with India’s future talents. They really look technically sound, so for me, it is about giving them good tactical support and helping them out. Playing at the U-19 World Cup is very different from playing in the IPL against highly-experienced players. They have got the skills and resources to be able to do that; it’s just helping them make smart decisions, especially under pressure. That’s what it is all about — playing in the big league."
Prior to joining KKR as the bowling coach, Streak was the bowling coach of Gujarat Lions whom Dinesh Karthik represented in the 2016 - 2017 IPL. On his reunion with Karthik who will lead KKR this season, Streak said " DK is a lovely guy and he’s got a very astute cricket brain and I am looking forward to working with him. He’s had rich vein of form in the two years with Gujarat Lions and I am sure he will continue to be the same for KKR. He is a very open-minded guy, and is open to listening. The best thing is he loves the game, loves talking about it and he was a good friend in the two years we had spent at Gujarat Lions. I am looking forward to working with him."
Heath Streak previously worked as the bowling coach of his own nation Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in the past. Working in the IPL is a completely different phenomenon regarding which the former Zimbabwean skipper said that the shortness of the format demands quick moves which is demanding as a coach.
"It is very challenging. In T20, a lot happens in such a short time, and there are so many more games and so many people around. You only have a handful of opposition to look at, but while playing in IPL, you have got all the other teams that you need to constantly analyze and watch what they are doing; see who the players are and what the batters are up to. It is challenging but it is exciting. It is fun to be able to do that and especially when your plans work" concluded Heath Streak.