New Delhi: India`s newly-appointed bowling coach Joe Dawes feels that the Indian Premier League would be a good learning experience for him to understand the Indian cricketers, conditions and culture in a better way.
"Absolutely...through IPL, I would get to understand the Indian players. I would be watching all the different Indian bowlers playing for each of their respective franchises. Praveen is part of the KIngs XI team. So, all this exposure would be of great help to me," Dawes said during an interview.
"It will give me a look into all the venues around the country that I have not been to so far. IPL will help me understand Indian cricketers better," said Dawes, who is also Kings XI Punjab`s bowling coach in the IPL.
Dawes replaced fellow Australian and former pacer Jason Gillespie, who moved to Yorkshire as head coach, to become the Punjab outfit`s bowling coach.
The Queenslander briefly spent time with the Indian team during the Asia Cup in Mirpur, where India failed to qualify for the finals. Dawes was seen bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets on a day of optional training at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium during the Asia Cup and the 41-year-old said it was a "great privilege" for him bowling to the senior India batsman.
"It was great fun. To be involved with the Indian cricket team is a great honour and it`s a great privilege bowling to Sachin Tendulkar. He even offered few tips to me. He had a good nets session that day and next day he hit the 100th hundred."
For Dawes, assisting Sachin "in any way" is a privilege.
"It`s great to be assisting him in any way I can. He is a fantastic cricketer. And as a coach, to be able to mix with someone like Sachin is great honour and privilege," he said.
Talking about Kings XI Punjab`s chances this IPL season, Dawes said, "Last year, one win eluded them from getting into semi-finals. It`s good that they are improving and skipper (Adam) Gilchrist and Colonel (Arvinder Singh, COO, KXIP) have added some players to the squad. We are hoping to make the play-off stages this time and give the opponents a tough time."
KXIP will meet the inaugural edition champions Rajasthan Royals in their lung opener at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday. Punjab, the 2008 semi-finalists, registered a fifth-place finish last season, an improved showing from the 2010 season when they had ended at the bottom of the points table with only four wins.
Asked about KXIP`s bowling attack, which looks short of experience, in the absence of big names, Dawes said, "With Praveen, Ryan Harris, Stuart Broad and Azhar Mahmood, we have some good bowlers with international cricket. There are also Harmeet (Singh) and (Parvinder) Awana, so we have a decent bowling attack."
Dawes has worked as a plainclothes policeman for more than eight years and said he would be maintaining a strict discipline in the side. "Any coach expect from his bowlers to maintain a good line and length and keep the wides and no balls to minimum...I have been no different to that. I want my bowlers to have clear minds and concentrate on planning so to be in best position to execute their skills."
"I am confident that the bowlers will do the job for the Kings XI," he added.