Chennai: Every time he fielded a question, Michael Bevan paused. The former Australian all-rounder’s responses were measured and honest. “I always find Indians supremely talented. I also find their learning not quite advanced when they move to the senior level,” said Bevan, who is here as the coach of Madurai Super Giants in the TNPL.
Bevan said Indian cricketers have to turn their attention on quality training rather than quantity. “It happens in Australia too. During my playing days, we tended to go through the motions, not thinking about how we were going to improve efficiently,” added the 46-year-old.
As the talk veered towards the inevitable topic of ‘finishing’, the Australian started accelerating. “I was the original finisher, wasn’t I? I didn’t give it to myself,” said Bevan who holds the record for the best ODI batting average - 53.58 - for a retired player.
Bevan currently shares the record for the most number of unbeaten innings in ODIs (67) with M.S. Dhoni. “Not just as a finisher, Dhoni also impresses me as a leader. The guy who took over from me, Mike Hussey, was perhaps Bevan 2.0. He was amazing and had a good grasp of how to finish a match. In modern cricket, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have redefined the role of a finisher. They come in early, give a good start and then finish off in style. Those two guys are phenomenal,” he added.
A two-time World Cup winner, Bevan confessed that he didn’t really understand his own mindset during his playing days. “Honestly, I did what I did. I didn’t understand why I did well and poorly. One of the reasons why I became a coach was to find why I did well. The one thing I did well was making decisions,” he said....