For those not aware, Trent Woodhill is a renowned name in the Australian coaching circuit. He has worked closely former Australia captain and vice-captain Steve Smith and David Warner during their early days and was the Batting Talent Development and Fielding coach for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for five seasons. Also Read - Cricket Australia Confirms Full Series Against India, Announces Summer Schedule For 2020-21 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
During his time at RCB, Woodhill had the opportunity to work with the team’s captain Virat Kohli and saw him at his IPL peak in 2016, when the RCB skipper scored a staggering 973 runs at a stunning average of 81.08 with four hundreds and seven half-centuries. Also Read - Wicketkeepers Need to be Given More Consistent Run in Indian Cricket Team: Parthiv Patel
For Woodhill, it was some of the best batting that he saw. Also Read - I Would Have Loved to Play Against Virat Kohli, Right Guy to Lead Indian Cricket Forward: Ian Botham
“He’s one of the best players in the world because he’s adaptable,” Woodhill said of Kohli. “The same with Williamson and Smith. You could pick one of the 3 and you’re in front. Virat has introduced power to finesse and what was noticeable about his 2016 season was his ability to not only place the ball but put it out of the ground when needed. I loved my time with Virat, it was a lot of fun.”
Besides Kohli, Woodhill is also impressed with whatever he’s seen on KL Rahul, especially the nitty-gritties of his batting, while comparing him with some big names.
“Rahul is class and reminds me a lot of Rohit Sharma and Damien Martyn before them, going back further to Gordon Greenidge. They hit the ball so late and their swing is so pure that they generate so much power through a late weight transfer through an unimpeded back swing and follow through,” he said.
Considered a new-age thinker, Woodhill reckons unorthodoxy and unconventional approaches are the way forward for cricket, given unprecedented popularity of T20 cricket and some of the innovative shots the batsmen are devising. Steve Smith is a strong example of a batsman with an unconventional technique performing at the highest level, with Woodhill believing T20 cricket will evolve on its own as more batsmen come embrace the flexibility of the format.
“It’s the way forward in sport in general. A good technique can only be called that if it repeats under pressure. People get confused by what they would rather look at or what they understand rather than what works for each individual,” Woodhill said.
And perhaps it’s the same reason as to why Smith’s technique would have been lauded had he been an Indian cricketer.
“I think per capita there’s less coaches in India (this is changing) so it allows players to develop unhinged rather than being herded into one direction. Don’t get me wrong, players need coaches/mentors/support but the wrong type of coaching can do more damage than good if they’re trying to change the player’s biomechanics of something they don’t understand.”
Woodhill reckons among all the batsmen in the world, David Warner excites him the most when it comes to T20 cricket and what he’s achieved in all these years, especially for his IPL franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“David Warner has dominated the last three IPLs he has played. He sums up conditions better than anybody. AB does things that only Glenn Maxwell comes close to being able to do and I’m glued to TV when Rohit Sharma bats. Bairstow and Buttler are shining at the moment too and of course the big 3 (Smith, Kohli and Williamson) are match winners at the format. Based on the last IPL, I’m saying Warner,” the coach said.