Former Mumbai batsman Amol Muzumdar has been appointed as the interim batting coach of the South African cricket team. His assignment will specifically pertain to the Test leg of South Africa’s tour of India. He will replace Dale Benkenstein, who departed after South Africa’s disastrous World Cup campaign. Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed this development on Monday. Muzumdar has received high-performance coaching certificates from both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA).
The Mumbai stalwart made his first-class debut against Haryana in the Ranji Trophy way back in 1994. Muzumdar was a prolific run-getter on the domestic circuit raking up 11,167 runs at an average of 48.13. Besides this, he scored 3,286 runs in List A cricket. Despite being the second-highest run-getter in the history of Ranji trophy, he was not able to play a single game for the national side. After retiring from cricket in September 2014, he forayed into coaching teams at multiple levels, including India’s Under 19 and Under 23 sides at the National Cricket Academy. Furthermore, he served as the batting coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side, Rajasthan Royals as well as the Netherlands.
Corrie Van Zyl, the Acting Director of Cricket, CSA commented that Muzumdar was a perfect fit for them as he brought to the fore an intimate knowledge of Indian playing conditions and the challenges that the South African batsmen were likely to face. He mentioned the fact that the Mumbai stalwart had recently assisted the team at the spin bowling camp held in India and had developed a good rapport with players like Aiden Makram, Tenda Bavuma, and Zubayr Hamza. Muzumdar revealed that he was approached by the CSA last week and had accepted the challenge of taking up this role. He further added that being associated with an international side was a huge honour.
SA will play three T20 internationals as well as three Test matches against India from September 15. While Francois Du Plessis will captain the Test side, Quinton De Kock will take up the reins of captaincy in the T20 format. Dale Steyn was not considered for selection despite his availability in the shorter formats of the game. Hashim Amla’s sudden retirement has also compounded problems for the visiting side. On their last tour of India in 2015, SA won the ODI and T20 series. However, they were badly trounced 0-3 in the Tests.