India XI Punjab preview: Patiala’s Munish Bali appointed as on-field coach for New Zealand tour

ByShalini GuptaChandīgarh

Former Punjab cricket coach Munish Bali has been appointed as the field coach of the Indian cricket team which will take part in the upcoming limited New Zealand tour. He will join the support team led by VVS Laxman, who will replace Rahul Dravid, as the latter rested for the tour after the T20 World Cup held recently in Australia. India will play the first of the three-game T20I series in New Zealand on November 18. India will play three T20s and as many ODIs. Since Patiala, Bali has led Punjab U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 sides to numerous title victories over the past decade. Besides that, he has also worked with the India U-19 team and the women’s team. Bali has worked extensively at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru over the past year as a teacher.

A Tier III coach and State Bank of India employee, Bali had served as assistant coach of the 2008 World Cup-winning India U-19 team and then assistant coach of India’s women’s cricket team in 2011 and 2012. .

Bali, Hrishikesh Kanitkar (batting coach) and Sairaj Bahutule (bowling coach) will be among the support staff in New Zealand. All three coaches are based at the National Cricket Academy, run by Laxman.

The Indian squad are set to travel to New Zealand for a two-way white ball series featuring three T20Is and three One-Day Internationals. With Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul rested, Hardik Pandya will take charge of the team in the shorter format and Shikhar Dhawan will lead the ODIs. Bali was also part of India’s squad in Ireland and briefly in England earlier this year before playing the home series against South Africa. He coached the Punjab senior men’s team for two seasons before Surendra Bhave succeeded him. In 2018, he was appointed as the field coach of Andhra Pradesh senior men’s team.

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