MRF academy to send Patel and Rao Down Under

Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:Mumbai speedster Munaf Patel and Raghavendra Rao of Karnataka, from among the six National Cricket Academy (NCA) bowlers honing their skills at the MRF pace academy in Chennai, would fly to Canberra, Australia, for a three-day training programme to further develop themselves.

The two most promising NCA wards would undergo training and various other most advanced tests, including bio-mechanical, which would help them peak to higher levels within an year, legendary Australian speedster Dennis Lillee and MRF academy director T A Shekar said in Chennai announcing their decision to send the duo to Australia.

David John, renowned bio-mechanic expert, who assessed the trainees and also Zaheer Khan at the academy, described Patel as the most-promising bowler delivering at a speed of 140 kmph and said they had made some suggestions to him so that with in a year or so he would touch 150 kmph.

"This prediction is based on physical condition and present fitness levels," John added.

"It will be exciting to see him come through to be classified as one of the quickest bowlers in the world. He has to synchronise his natural talent and flexibility with taking his front arm up till he feels the pain on the ribs and then the proof will be in the pudding to see him bowl even much faster than 150 kmph," John said of Patel.

As for Rao, these three men sharing their knowledge in shaping up these wards to be international bowlers, felt that he was the tallest bowler and equally talented like Patel. The MRF academy has decided to send them with the view that sooner or later they would stake claim for a berth in the national team.

John, who identified the 'mixed-action' as the right cause for injuries to bowlers in every cricket playing country, certified that 90 per cent of the wards presently at the MRF academy had perfect and correct action.

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