Hyderabad: Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun is a delighted man after India’s historic 2-1 victory in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under. Without key bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India summoned young talents Washington Sundar and T Natarajan along with Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur for the final Test in Brisbane and they did their role to perfection in scripting a memorable win.
Speaking on his arrival from Australia, Arun said it was coach Ravi Shastri’s idea to retain the bowlers who played in shorter format. “Touring Australia itself is a great challenge. It was a great move from coach Ravi Shastri to hold back these white-ball bowlers. They were supposed to go back after the limited over tournament. We thought if something happened to any bowler, we cannot call new ones because of the tough quarantine rule. So we thought we would keep them there itself as net bowlers and that helped us.”
Speaking about Hyderabad’s Siraj, he said, “Siraj has got a knock of taking wickets. He has got a lot of wickets in the domestic season. He has been outstanding with India A team. Thakur also got a lot of wickets.”
He revealed captain Virat Kohli and Shastri’s theory of playing five bowlers was the reason for India’s success.
“We have formed this five-bowler theory three years ago. We mostly play five bowlers as it demands a lot from four bowlers to dismiss the opposition twice. Kohli and Shastri are firm on the idea. The guiding principles are fearlessness and honesty. In pursuit of excellence we are not scared of losses. During the last Test (in Brisbane), there were discussions on playing an extra batsmen but we thought it would be negative thinking. We know Sundar, the way he was batting in nets, can contribute with the bat as well so we went with five bowlers theory,” he revealed.
“Even after Adelaide, we need to learn to cope with it. Ravi said ‘I don’t even mind losing 4-0. But the brand of cricket we play should never be compromised’. Have we lost in Australia that would not deter our style of play. But this victory showed the attitude of the boys. They were asked to go and express. The way Pant and Sundar played, not forgetting the bravado Pujara showed on that day – he was like a warrior taking a lot of blows. They took the fight into Aussies. They were not thinking about drawing the Test and that takes courage. That is fearlessness.”
He also lauded the young bowlers and said it gives him a lot of satisfaction to see strong bench strength. “We have been planning for a large pool of bowling unit for the last three years. It is heartening to know they came to the party when they got an opportunity. This tour would give them necessary confidence to do well. They understand what it demands to be successful. If you look at the track record of Ishant, Bumrah and Shami, Umesh Yadav have done, the bottom line is to be consistent in executing skills and with intent.”
He also said giving equal importance to everyone during the net session kept the group in playing condition for the final Test. “Most of the net sessions were planned well. Sundar, though he was part of the net bowling unit, he used to bat for half an hour in nets every day. All of them were asked to train in all areas. The attention was given to all. And in the end, it paid off.”
He rated Ravindra Jadeja as the most complete all-rounder and his development as a player was a big bonus for the team. “Jadeja’s rise as an all-round is a huge bonus for the country. The way he is batting, he is the most complete all-rounder.” He also expected the England series to be tough and India are prepared for the challenge.
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