Herschelle Gibbs
Herschelle Gibbs, the head coach of the Rajputs team in the T10 league. Image Credit: K.R. Nayar/Gulf News

Dubai: Rajputs, the new team in the oncoming T10 League, has South African great Herschelle Gibbs as their coach. Gibbs’ reputation as an aggressive batsman would have been apt for this format — but he will be at the dugout — guiding his players on how to tear apart bowlers like he did during his playing days.

“It’s not just about teeing off from ball one. There is a lot of, as I say, method in the madness. It is about the preparation, having the right mindset and obviously the skill level too is of utmost importance,” Gibbs said in an exclusive interview with Gulf News, about his batsmen’s approach in T10 League.

We understand fans from the subcontinent love fours and sixes being hit. This format is right up their alley.

- Hreschelle Gibbs | Rajputs coach

When asked whether he has the right kind of players in the squad, Gibbs said: “I think the draw has been very good to us. There have been no issues with our selection and it is just about putting the puzzle together and going out there and performing. We have a very good experienced captain in Brendon McCullum which, obviously helps in pressure situation. For the all the pressure of 10 overs, to have a man like him at the top, it can ruffle all the other teams.”

When asked to define the aggression he wants to witness in his batsmen, Gibbs went on to explain: “It should be controlled aggression. It is about executing well. You know it is all technical and not just trying to hit the ball as high as you can. Frankly you don’t have to hit the ball very hard. The timing of the ball is what makes some batsmen look like doing an easy job.”

Gibbs has even analysed on how a bowler should be in the T10 league. “As a bowler he has to separate the emotion of bowling. Bowlers obviously cannot hide as they know they are going to be hit but they should not have that sort of mentality while bowling. “

Gibbs believes that all franchise leagues, including T10, are meant to entertain at the end of the day. “It is the spectators that makes it so popular. We understand that fans from the subcontinent love fours and sixes being hit. This format is right up their alley and as long as the entertainment on offer is good enough, it will remain popular. The skills that will be on display is good and hence this format is going to be around for very long time,” he said.

Asked whom did he idolise for their aggressive style, Gibbs said: “I have always admired Viv Richards and Peter Kirsten. Though Kirsten was not aggressive, he was technically very good. Kirsten had turned too old by time we (South Africa) got back into world sport after lifting of sanction.

Gibbs rated Wasim Akram highly as among his best bowlers. “I was privileged enough to play against some of the best bowlers in the game like Wasim, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. They all had variety and so did Shoaib Akhtar who was the quickest I have faced. It was lovely to get runs against those kinds of bowlers as they were the best in the business,” added Gibbs.