Dubai: Former Indian all-rounder Robin Singh, who is among the most sought-after coaches in the world of Twenty20 franchises, feels that it is Virat Kohli’s appetite to be the best is that what is making him break records.
Speaking to Gulf News after launching the Robin Singh (RS) Sports Academy in Dubai, Singh said: “Kohli has the appetite to be the best. You need to have the appetite to be the best in the sport and Kohli wants to be the best. To me, if you have that appetite, then you are on the way to be the best.”
Singh is the batting coach of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was Indian team’s fielding coach from 2007 to 2009. His reputation as coach got him invites from almost all top leagues around the world and he has coached Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League, Khulna Titans in the Bangladesh Premier League and Uva Next in Sri Lanka’s T20 competition. He has also been appointed as coach of the Bloem City Blazers for the inaugural edition of South Africa’s T20 Global League in November.
“It was my dream to set up an academy in UAE. I am not just giving my name for this academy but I will be based here because I want to enhance the cricket skills in boys and girls here. Initially, we will be associating with schools and even have a tie-up with Dubai Cricket Council until we set up our own ground and centre of excellence,” said Robin, who carries with him the experience of coaching associate countries like Hong Kong and United States of America.
When asked what are the traits that Robin had seen in greats like Sachin Tendulkar or Kohli that he would like to pass on to his students here as a coach, Singh said: “It is their total commitment that made them the best. There have been many instances when Sachin would sit and discuss on what he want to do and how to play a particular delivery. He spends hours to get it right and don’t go over to the next step without correcting it. These are guys who have worked hard to get in it in their head and overcome it. They will keep on reassessing themselves to always remain at the top. This is something which other people may not do.”
Should players attempt playing unorthodox shots like Virender Sehwag? “In the past too, there were lot of cricketers who used to play unorthodox cricket. Krishnamachari Srikkanth was an example who played a lot of shots over the top. Those days, people used to say he was different but actually it was his style but it has become a common thing now. If you are capable of hitting the ball out of the ground, it does not matter [how you play] at end of the day. I am not going to change people’s style but there are certain requirements that are necessary and that is being able to adapt to situations.”
One of the fittest cricketers during his playing days when fitness wasn’t considered a priority, Robin said: “Why I focused on fitness was because for me being unfit and playing a sport was not something I want ever to be associated with. When you are playing a sport the first thing should be to be physically fit to perform to your role.”
When asked about how rewarding it has been to part of three-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians, Singh said: “With Mumbai Indians, even coaches are challenged because we face lot of challenges with many international players from across the globe and hence has to challenge yourself to push yourself to limit. That has been a huge help for me from a working perspective. We have been brought up in an Indian environment, but this was a multicultural environment.”