Beyond Head Coach Rahul Dravid, the Indian cricket team’s support staff for the final includes individuals with diverse backgrounds, contributing to the team’s success. Here’s a closer look at some key members:
Paras Mhambrey bowling Bowling Coach
A modern-day coach, Mhambrey, at 51, has been a trusted ally of Rahul Dravid since their India U-19 days. With coaching experience at various levels, he emphasizes data-driven coaching, implementing workload management policies, and ensuring a seamless transition for the bowling attack.
Vikram Rathour, Batting Coach
Known as the schedule-maker, Rathour has been with the team since the previous World Cup. As a former selector and coach on the domestic circuit, he advocates aggressive batting and conducts personalized sessions. Rathour believes in giving batsmen the freedom to play their shots, backing players like Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer.
T Dilip, Fielding Coach
A former math teacher, Dilip’s unconventional journey includes transitioning from tennis-ball cricket to coaching. Introduced the ‘best fielder’s medal,’ Dilip is credited with maintaining fielding standards and transforming KL Rahul into a proficient wicketkeeper. Dilip combines coaching with unique methods, including video analysis and special coaching gear.
Soham Desai, Strength and Conditioning Coach
An avid mountaineer, Desai’s cricket journey began with the Gujarat Ranji side. His role involves enhancing fitness standards, and he became the lead S&C coach after the 2021 T20 World Cup. Desai’s experience includes working at the NCA and a private fitness studio, aligning with Shankar Basu’s coaching principles.
S Rajnikanth, Rehab Master
Players turn to Rajnikanth during rehab, seeking his expertise in regaining full fitness. His relaxed training programs contributed to the recovery of players like Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Shreyas Iyer. Rajnikanth monitors rehab programs and was brought on board to oversee key players’ fitness for the World Cup.
Hari Prasad Mohan, Video and Data Analyst
A former left-arm pacer turned IT engineer, Hari became the team’s eagle eye, analyzing opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. With meticulous attention to detail, he provides valuable insights to players and coaches, combining his cricketing knowledge with IT expertise.
Rishikesh Upadhyaya, Logistics Manager
With an eight-year tenure as Team India’s logistics manager, Upadhyaya ensures seamless arrangements, from travel tickets to player families’ needs. A school friend of former BCCI president Anurag Thakur, Upadhyaya manages everything from practice facilities to the players’ stay, earning the nickname “DJ-in-Chief” for his role in providing music for the dressing room.
- Arun Kanade: Relieving aches, Kanade, with over eight years with the Indian cricket team, shares a strong rapport with senior players. His primary focus is on ensuring players’ muscles, especially bowlers’, are relaxed before games.
- Rajeev Kumar: Known as the “Muscle Dr,” Kumar assists players in loosening up after matches, particularly the pacers. Popular among players, Kumar’s work is crucial in maintaining the team’s physical well-being.
- Anand Subramaniam: With over 10 years of experience, Subramaniam contributes to social media content, interviews, and press releases. He plays a crucial role in connecting fans with the team’s activities.
- Moulin Parikh: A former sports journalist, Parikh oversees press conferences and media interactions during tours, ensuring smooth coordination with the host broadcaster.
- Dr Rizwan Khan: A sports medicine expert, Khan’s experience includes stints with IPL teams. He joined the team post-IPL 2023, contributing to the players’ fitness and well-being.
Amit Siddeshwar – Liaison Officer
With 15 years in the BCCI’s operations team, Siddeshwar ensures all aspects, from practice facilities to food and hotel stays, are well-organized. His responsibilities extend to setting up IPL fan parks and providing players with everything they need.
- Kamlesh Jain: A key figure in keeping players in shape, Jain spent a decade with Kolkata Knight Riders before joining the Indian team. His expertise played a vital role in ensuring injured players returned for the World Cup.
- Yogesh Parmar: With a focus on bowlers’ fitness, Parmar, associated with the NCA and Mumbai Indians, works closely with the bowling coach and monitors workload, ensuring bowlers are in optimal condition.
Security and Integrity
- Raghavendra: (Aka Raghu): Senior training assistant and throwdown specialist, Raghu has been part of the Indian support staff since 2011. Known for his impact on improving the team’s performance against fast bowling.
- Nuwan Seneviratne: A former school bus driver turned key member of the support staff, Seneviratne’s expertise with left-arm quicks has been instrumental in addressing India’s challenges against such bowlers.
- Dayananda Garani: Civic police volunteer and throwdown specialist, Garani, son of a farmer from West Bengal, caught the eye during the Australia tour in 2020/21 and became an integral part of the support staff.