Graeme Welch will today emerge from quarantine in Chennai to begin his stint working with England's bowlers in their tussles with India across three formats over the next six weeks.
Bears bowling coach Welch has spent five days in quarantine in his hotel room ahead of joining up with the England camp before they travel to Ahmedabad for the third Test, the day-nighter which starts on February 24.
He will support the bowlers through the last two Tests and then the five T20s (March 12-20) and two ODIs (March 23 and 26).
His involvement underlines the high regard in which Welch is held by the England camp, which whom he worked previously during last year’s home series with Pakistan.
“It is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I really enjoyed being with the England guys last year and am looking forward to working with them again as they take on one of the best sides in the world over all three formats.Graeme Welch
“First and foremost, it will be nice to be out in the fresh air! Five days in the hotel room was hard going, as was the eight hours grinding through congestion on a coach from Bangalore which preceded it, but that is the way the world is for now. It will just be great to get outside again and working with the lads. I know how lucky I am to be out here doing this at a time when people back home are dealing with lockdown.
“At least all the time in quarantine gave me extra time to prepare. I have been studying the way India play and the way their batsmen play. I had a lot of stuff that I could study so that I spent the time usefully.”
Welch, who has worked in India before at the MRF Foundation in Chennai and on a training trip with Derbyshire, has joined an England camp with plenty of faces familiar from Edgbaston; players Chris Woakes, Dom Sibley and Ollt Stone and spin-bowling coach Jeetan Patel.
“It will be good to see the guys and to do some work with Olly and Woakesey in the bowling group,” he said. “My role is more with the younger bowlers like Stoney, Overton and Robinson. Jimmy Anderson has taken 600 Test wicket and Stuart Broad has taken 500 so for them it’s more just a question of just being there if they need anything.”