Reeve, Maharashtra in ‘be positive’ mode

Opener Chirag Khurana recalls an unusual conversation he had with Dermot Reeve, soon after he had taken over as Maharashtra coach. It was tea during a practice game. Khurana had just sent down a few uneventful overs of part-time off spin. "Dermot told me to visualise bowling the best spell of my life, turning the ball like never before and beating batsman," says Khurana. "I just did it for the heck of it and it actually came through." Khurana dismissed two batsmen during the final session, both caught in the slips.

It's this sort of positive thinking that Reeve hopes to instill in his players. "I want my players to strike up positive conversations with me and other people, glean positive points from these conversations and use them to better their game," he says.

Reeve is familiar with the Maharashtra players, having viewed them closely during his stint as coach of the Raigad Royals in the Maharashtra Premier League. "I've worked with most of the boys in the MPL and it was great to come back and see them all fitter and stronger," he says. "The team has been progressing over the past three years and I think we can go all the way."

Last season, Maharashtra topped their Plate group and reached the Ranji quarterfinals. Winning the tournament this time, Reeve says, isn't really far-fetched.

"If I don't have the goal of winning the Ranji Trophy, I am not thinking like a leader. I need to radiate the belief that this team has what it takes," he says. "People laughed at me when I was at Warwickshire and said I wanted to win everything. One season later we almost did that." In 1994, captained by Reeve and coached by Bob Woolmer, Warwickshire won three out of the four major English domestic titles.

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