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CSG's TNPL 2024 campaign: New coach, solid core, exciting draftees

Managing a champion side is not an easy job, considering the weight of expectations that it brings. But Avinash says the responsibility and pressure to deliver is something that he is enjoying.

CSGs TNPL 2024 campaign: New coach, solid core, exciting draftees
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(L-R) Baba Aparajith: N Jagadeesan

CHENNAI: He is new, but only in the position. Having been part of Chepauk Super Gillies Super Gillies's backroom staff since its inception, there are few others who understand the team dynamics as much as Avinash, who is making his debut as the head coach of the most successful franchise in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).

Managing a champion side is not an easy job, considering the weight of expectations that it brings. But Avinash says the responsibility and pressure to deliver is something that he is enjoying.

“Being a head coach is a big responsibility but, with that said, I’m also enjoying it. I love the way things are happening, love the way players are shaping up.

“I’d definitely have to thank the management, B Sivanthi Adityan, for trusting in me with the team,” Avinash told DT Next before heading to Salem for the inaugural match on Friday.

As CSG didn’t have the best of seasons last time, finishing fifth, the franchise is leaving no stone unturned. The players assembled in the city weeks before the new season, training hard and preparing for the first match and the remaining six games to come.

Bolstering its squad, CSG has also roped in the highest wicket-taker of the 2022 season, Abhishek Tanwar, while the hero of the 2019 title-winning squad, Periyasamy G, comes back to the team.

“We’ve put the previous season behind us. We always believe that preparation is key, and we’re coming back with more positivity, trying to execute our plans and play good cricket,” he said.

Sai Kishore, Sai Sudharsan, and Manav Parakh were all young talents when they entered the CSG system. Now established as fine cricketers, they exemplify CSG's reputation for nurturing promising youngsters and grooming them into top-tier players.

Continuing this tradition, the Super Gillies has signed 20-year-old C Andre Siddarth, who was recently named the best batter in the men’s under-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy and the most promising cricketer in the men’s under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). “I was very happy. I have been training at the CSG camp recently, and the amount of exposure and learning that I received has been invaluable,” said Siddarth.

“Andre Siddarth was a name we’re looking out for, his cricket looked very matured for his age and we needed a batter,” said Avinash, explaining the rationale behind Siddarth making the cut.

Marking his TNPL debut, Siddarth feels working under coach Avinash has been easy since he has known him since his under-19 days.

CSG would be hoping for N Jagadeesan to continue his brilliant form from the Ranji Trophy, where he made it into the record books as the highest individual scorer for the state. "Our prime aim is to win the championship, but on a personal note, I believe one should also prepare on how to react to situations and ensure readiness to watch and play the ball. It sounds simple, but that’s the most difficult part," said Jagadeesan regarding his expectations for the upcoming season.

Avinash also brings a lot of colour to the training session. He wants to be one of those coaches that his players can come over and talk to, and express themselves. “I’m okay to put my arms around my players’ shoulders and talk to them. I want my players to be happy and well. They should be able to express themselves,” said Avinash.

Avinash wants to take it one step at a time, but at the back of his head, all that he wishes for is to do what CSG does best: win matches and bag the championship. Avinash has been actively involved in the training session and has completed a thorough profiling of each player’s strengths and weaknesses. He is looking forward to the new season and bringing to the table a fresh form of cricket in CSG colours.

Jayantho Sengupta
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