India’s newly-appointed head coach Anil Kumble has re-introduced one of the concepts of former coach John Wright’s concept. It is called as the Buddy Programme, where one player is assigned a partner, where one batsman is paired with a bowler. During Wright’s tenure, vvs Laxman was paired with Zaheer Khan. The duo not only became good friends, but it is known that Laxman helped Zaheer a lot with his batting, which continued years after Wright’s departure as well. Kumble too has introduced a similar policy where a batsman is paired with a bowler. By doing so, the players can each other out in their department of expertise.

“It’s about the senior guys communicating with the junior guys,” Stuart Binny said. “Today we’ve paired up – each guy’s paired with another guy; it’s called a ‘buddy programme’. So it’s me and Rohit [Sharma] paired up together. Ro has played a lot of one-day cricket and Test cricket, and for me to share thoughts with him, that’s the way forward, I think. If I can help Rohit by 2%, then maybe he can help me with 30% – that’s what we’re looking to do today. It’s about helping each other through situations,” said Binny according to

Binny also went on to state the reason for such a programme. “It’s about me and Rohit communicating about our net sessions, about areas that I bowl [for example]. In the past, many guys held back because you didn’t want to say something to upset another guy, but we’ve been pushed in a direction to communicate what we want, especially with our games. There’s a lot you can learn from someone else, even by telling him that, I think this is the way forward. Communication is the key, I think. That’s what we’re trying to breed.”

Amit Mishra, who is paired with Cheteshwar Pujara also sees a lot of positives.  He said, “We’ve divided in such a way that batsmen will help bowlers and bowlers will help batsmen, so that whenever we need to play six or seven batsmen, the batsmen can chip in with the ball, bowl seven-eight overs for us,” Mishra said. “My buddy is Pujara – he bowls a bit of legspin; he can help me with my batting, and I can help with his legspin, so that whenever we might need it, he can bowl seven-eight overs for the team and help us.”