IPL 2018: Rajiv Kumar appointed as the new fielding coach for CSK

IPL 2018: Rajiv Kumar appointed as the new fielding coach for CSK

Kumar has a decent rapport with CSK skipper MS Dhoni.

CSK players - Rajiv Kumar
CSK players ahead of a headshot session. (Photo Source: Twitter)

As the two-time champions and the six-time finalists of the Indian Premier League makes their return to the tournament, they look to be in a jovial mood and in great shape. Chennai Super Kings has successfully bought back a chunk of members of their original team for this year’s IPL. That includes captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who would lead the team once again, as well other key players like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo.

However, the team management had to recruit some new members too, and among them, the newly appointed fielding coach Rajiv Kumar is one. Kumar, who takes over the job previously held by Australian Steve Rixon, is a former cricketer and captain of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Great rapport with MS Dhoni

The main reason behind Kumar’s recruitment is his rapport with the skipper. Back in 2004/05, when a young Mahendra Singh Dhoni was playing for the newly formed Jharkhand team, Rajiv Kumar was one of his teammates and occasionally, his captain too. Dhoni and his the-then skipper apparently shared a great camaraderie, which obviously worked as a great factor in him landing this job.

“Dhoni has a great rapport with him and knows him since his playing days. With Rixon not there, we felt the need for an extra hand during the pre-season training camp and during the tournament. So, we went with Rajiv,” said CSK’s new CEO Kasi Vishwanathan. But that is not the only reason.

Rajiv Kumar has previously coached the under-19 team as well as the senior team of Jharkhand in the domestic circuit. He also has the experience of coaching India Blue in the Deodhar Trophy. So it is evident that he would know a great deal about the technical know-how of fielding and also have an eye for the local talent.

“He brings to the table certain specific skills as fielding coach. He has good coaching experience, he bonds well with the players and he has sound knowledge about local talents,” Kasi said to the Times of India.

Rajiv Kumar has already joined the team a couple of days ago and was seen doing fielding drills with the Men in Yellow during the practice sessions at Chepauk. He would be sharing the dugout with the likes of Stephen Fleming, Michael Hussey, and Lakshmipathy Balaji.