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Lakshmi Narayanan analytically scripting success for his teams

Lakshmi Narayanan
Gujarat Lions performance analyst Lakshmi Narayanan with the opener Brendon McCullum. (Photo Source: Sportskeeda)

The hard work modern-day cricketers put in on the field to keep themselves ahead is top notch but that is not all. Equal or even more effort is employed by the members of the support staff who though not recognized play a crucial role for the team. Lakshmi Narayanan, the current performance analyst of Gujarat Lions is one such individual who has previously worked with the Chennai Super Kings for the first eight editions and various Indian teams at junior levels.

A performance analyst digs into the data, crunches them together, compiles a strategic report and facilitates the implementation.

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First I used to be a video analyst which was a normal one. Everyone can get the videos of the players. But for a performance analyst, I need to collect a lot of data and map it with videos.” Lakshmi Narayanan told CricTracker in an exclusive chat.

Having been in this field for over a decade, Lakshmi has seen a lot of technological advancements. “Yes, there has been a lot of upgrades to the software we used to have in the initial period. Now it has become easy to maintain data with such software.

Speaking about how he first discovered the job, Lakshmi says, “I used to be a mathematics student. I used to play league cricket in Tamil Nadu. Later I took up this job as I wanted to make contributions in cricket. I later worked with Tamil Nadu state team and Indian emerging and U19 teams.

While Suresh Raina stands out as the only player to play playoffs in each edition of the IPL in the nine seasons, behind the screens, Lakshmi Narayanan was the only support staff member to maintain the same record.

Talking about role during the IPL auctions he says that they have to consider a lot of data regarding players and roles they want to fill in their squad.

We make a list of players who are available and fit for the squad. Like how many powerplay, middle overs and death overs bowlers we have and who all we have to take in the auction. Similarly, we consider batsmen on their capacity of capitalising the powerplay and all other aspects.

The data of his analysis contains a lot of factors which can decide the playing XI and also helps in planning match strategies. “During team meetings, we decide strategies based on the data. Like example: How did a batsman fare in the powerplay, how did a bowler perform in death overs or how a player does against a 140 kmph bowler or how against a 130 kmph bowler and similarly things.”

To back up the data, I show videos to the players and coaches in our team. Later we discuss planning for our matches like how much we should score in different periods of the innings and observing the same during the game,” he said.

While Lakshmi worked with a lot of big players in his career so far, he says that everyone is same for him and enjoyed working with each of them.

It is very tough for me to pick one. I have similar bonding each and every player. Be it at international level, domestic level or junior level, I help them in bringing out their best through my analysis.

Lakshmi Narayanan’s career timeline:

India Under 19 – World Cup winning in 2008

Indian emerging team – 2009-2010

Tamil Nadu – Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 title (2007/08), Vijay Hazare trophy title (2008/09, 2009/10)

Chennai Super Kings – 2 IPL and 2 CLT20 titles

Gujarat Lions – 2016 table toppers

Chennai Super Gilies – Runner-up TNPL 2016

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