What's cricket without mind games? Ask Kiran More and he will have a lot to share. The former Indian Test stumper spoke about the mental side of cricket and much more in an exclusive Toyota University Cricket Championship training camp for the Mumbai University boys at Bandra on Tuesday. The former Indian vice-captain even brought back memories of his controversial on-field 'clash' with the former stormy petrel of Pakistan cricket, Javed Miandad!
Citing Rahul Dravid as an example, the former national chief selector told the Mumbai boys, nicknamed the Western Wolves, the game has changed and one must keep pace with it, adding: "You need to play more with the mind these days."
More was good at playing mind games. Apart from the fact that the Baroda star played 49 Test matches and 94 one-day internationals, the gutsy little wicket-keeper was famous for his chirp appealing that disturbed the concentration of batsmen.
In a Benson & Hedges World Cup match on March 4, 1992 in Sydney, More 'clashed' with Miandad, who was fighting to save a match for Pakistan. It was the first time the arch-rivals were meeting in a World Cup match and Miandad was trying his best to pull Pakistan out of the woods. More, as has been his wont, kept encouraging his bowlers vociferously.
Angered at his ploy to disturb him, Miandad moved away from his crease, turned towards the Indian wicketkeeper and did three perfect monkey jumps, holding the bat in both hands. It was a crude yet hilarious imitation of More's manner of appealing.
In an interview to rediff.com, More had said: "The situation was tense because it was an India-Pakistan match. Everything was at a feverish pitch at that point of time. The two sides were under terrific pressure. In the heat of the moment, I said something to Javedbhai and he said something to me in return. We had some arguments. I made a sort of jump. He imitated me. I thought the umpires and Mohammad Azharuddin (India's captain) handled the situation very well."
The Mumbai boys will surely pick the right advice from More.
More demonstrated wicketkeeping techniques and said how "balance was key." On batting in the T20 format, More said: "The basics are important. Survival is also key. Look for the gaps." He encouraged players to try the reverse sweep.
In a format of the game where bowlers are often put to the sword, More stressed the need for line and length and said bowling no-balls was a cardinal sin.
Mumbai University will be one of the hot favourites for the TUCC and More's tips should come handy.