Who Is Saurabh Walkar? NZ new Analyst Roped for World Cup 2023

Saurabh Walkar has recently joined the New Zealand senior cricket team ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023. The Kiwis will be banking on Walkar’s skills to potentially seal another final berth at his tournament and go one better to claim the title if possible.

Saurabh Walkar has had an interesting career, rising from domestic cricket circuits in India, IPL cricket, and onto the UK’s Hundred League. Walkar’s new NZ role adds another chapter to the exciting trajectory of his career, bringing his skillset to the ODI World Cup.  

Who is Saurabh Walkar?

Brief background

Saurabh Walkar rose to prominence as a cricket performance analyst. He has a background in engineering before switching careers to follow his passion for sport analysis in the mid-2000s. Walkar pursued a career in sports biomechanics around 2007 in Chennai and progressed to become a member of the Mumbai Team.

His internship at Mumbai was under veteran performance sports analyst Venkatesh Gurumurthy.

Time at Mumbai

Saurabh Walkar has a knack for spotting details, and it was only a matter of time before the talent landed him a lucrative appointment. He got a permanent position at Mumbai shortly after and went on to operate as a Mumbai performance analyst for 8 years.

Saurabh Walkar’s expertise was a major driver towards Mumbai’s successes over the years, especially during the Ranji Trophy campaigns.

Movement to IPL cricket

Becoming a prominent figure in performance analysis only meant one thing for Saurabh – progress onto popular leagues. Saurabh got into the IPL and worked with the Rajasthan Royals, one of India’s top franchises.

His skills were also in demand elsewhere later on as he went on to become part of the Afghanistan team at the T20 World Cup held in the UAE in 2021. Walkar moved on from his previous roles to work as a member of the Manchester Originals under Joss Buttler, bringing his immense skillset to the UK’s Hundred League.

Why Did New Zealand Cricket Hire Saurabh Walkar?

Saurabh Walkar’s appointment highlights the desire of New Zealand cricket to attain greater achievements in the ODI World Cup 2023. The New Zealand senior cricket team has been lacking in form of late, limiting their performances to sub-par displays in recent months. 

Walkar’s appointment provides a wealth of experience and targeted preparations towards the cricket spectacle scheduled for October 5, 2023.

New Zealand is on schedule to face 2019 ODI ICC World Cup champions, England. Hiring Saurabh Walkar at such a critical time could be the Kiwi’s solution to springing a surprise on their first match day. Walkar’s experience could prove pivotal as both teams prepare to face off in Ahmedabad.

When Will Walkar Officially Start in His New Role?

Walkar’s first test with the New Zealand team will come when the Kiwis face England for a T20I series on August 30, 2023. The game is scheduled to happen at Chester-le-Street and will likely serve as a warm-up for the big ODI showdown.

How is the New Zealand Team Preparing with Walkar for ICC ODI World Cup 2023?

Walkar hopes to ease the Kiwis adaptation to India’s cricket pitches ahead of their scheduled games. India has a ton of spin-friendly grounds, and these pitches could pose challenges for Kiwi pace bowlers during games.

One of Walkar’s major roles is to assess these cricket grounds and prepare squad members to perform at their best on match days.

What Does Saurabh Walkar Have to Say about New Zealand’s Preparation and His Progress?

Walkar showed his excitement about the progress of New Zealand’s plans ahead of their first game against England. He also highlighted the pitch challenges his new team are scheduled to play around throughout their time in India:

Indian pitches will play an important role, so I will be focusing on that aspect. These wickets will play formulating strategies. It’s a big opportunity for me to be a part of the NZ team,

He also talked about New Zealand’s desire to learn more about India’s gameplay and how hw plans to help:

I have started my preparation on all teams, especially India. They [NZ] are expecting special inputs from me. I had worked with Rohit [Sharma], Surya [Yadav], Shardul [Thakur] and other players during Mumbai senior team. I will also prepare myself for the biggest tournament and assist NZ head coach

Walkar also thanked prominent figures throughout his career for his recent progress to the international cricket scene:

I have worked with all the players including Sachin Tendulkar and different coaches in different teams.approach which I learnt from Chandu Sir and Omkar Salvi on specific plans and bowling strategy…[they helped] me immensely,

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