Having played in the first Indian Premier League season under legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne -- now team coach, Mohammad Kaif is confident that the Australian will bring out the best from the current squad. One of the most charismatic Indian batsman who now takes on a coaching role, feels that the Australian great's presence will motivate and boost the youngsters during the campaign.
"Shane Warne has magical abilities; he knows the pulse of players and can bring out the best from a batsman, bowler, fielder or a wicketkeeper," Kaif, who once emerged as the most expensive player for Rajasthan Royals (RR) during its first season in 2008, said.
Kaif also said that Rajasthan will remain in the top four teams in IPL this season.
Kaif, who was here under Star Sports Expert Team for a Game Plan in your City show for VIVO IPL, interacted with hundreds of school students on the occasion.
The former Team India batsman said that Rajasthan has been yielding great talents in cricket time and again, however, the state needs a mentor, someone who can guide the youngsters to walk ahead on their career steadily.
He had all good words for the emerging talents from state including Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who gave a stunning performance during Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, Khaleel Ahmed, 20-year old player who was sold for Rs 3 crore in the IPL auction to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Salman Khan, who played Under-19 in Team India, and many more such players.
"Rajasthan needs to have someone who can handhold these talents, show right guidance and prove to be a right mentor. When I played under-19 in UP, there were a number of players who came up to polish my talent. Similarly, Rajasthan too needs to have a local hero, who can be an inspiration for youngsters, he said.
When asked on the current trends of IPL where a player gains enormous laurels in one session, and disappears in the next session, he said IPL has changed the contours of games.
This game needs different skill-sets, those who perform earn name and fame, while the under performers vanish, he said quoting the example of Tymal Mills from England who was sold for Rs 12 crore last year but found no buyers in this session.
According to him, IPL is all the more happening game which never has a dull moment. The players need to learn new skills and keep the basics of the game intact.
Rajasthan was the winner of the first season and then there has been a drought session.
Elaborating on this question, Kaif said that Rajasthan has the best team at the moment. During the first season, there were players who were not known by anyone, and this team, picked up, is the best mix of experience and young brigade and hence make a balanced side.
After two years, the team will be hungry to give their best and it might repeat the success of the first year, he added.
(With IANS Inputs)