Johannesburg: India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun expressed satisfaction with the performances by Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the ODI series so far and at the same time conceded that the door is still open for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the 2019 World Cup.
Arun highlighted the fact that both Chahal and Kuldeep have done well because of the fact that they do not rely on pitches or conditions.
“They are extremely positive. They are not afraid to flight the ball. They are not afraid to impart extra spin to gain something, and they are not dependent on the wicket,” he said, ahead of the fourth against South Africa.
“They get a lot out of the air. They have enough skills to beat batsmen in the air and they back their instinct.”
India have outplayed South Africa completely in the ODI series so far and one of the main reasons for their success has been the wrist-spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep, who have helped the visitors take an unbeatable 3-0 lead.
“The two spinners have been outstanding in the ODIs. They have got lot of talent and lot of abilities. They have troubled the best batsmen in the business back home.
“We were extremely confident that they would come here to South Africa and make inroads into their batting,” Arun added.
Chahal and Kuldeep entered the picture in the Sri Lanka tour and the duo have gone on to impress with their performances. In the 17 matches they have played since then, quite interestingly, they have picked 32 wickets apiece.
But Arun added that the World Cup spots are still open.
“We had a good pool of bowlers and given the volume of cricket we are playing, we needed to keep rotating these bowlers and keep them fresh for every format.
“These two bowlers showed a lot of promise. We thought that in these conditions, wrist spinners would do lot more than finger spinners, and they have come to the party here,” he said.
Arun further said that the team management wanted to test the talent in the pool and that Ashwin and Jadeja can still make it to the 2019 World Cup team.
“We wanted to look at all the existing talent in the pool and then we wanted to decide who we wanted for the ultimate goal of the World Cup.
“It’s not that Ashwin and Jadeja are out of the race. They could still be (included) into the team,” said Arun.
While it’s all positive and bright in the Indian camp, South Africa face a do-or-die situation when they take on the visitors in Johannesburg on Saturday.
India held an optional practice session on Friday with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Kudeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami being a part of it.
South Africa haven’t lost an ODI series at home since losing 2-1 to Pakistan in 2013 and also, they haven’t lost a, ‘Pink Day’, a day to create awareness for breast cancer.
“It’s huge. If I am right, no other team has come to South Africa and won a one-day series. To us, we are on the brink of it. If we do it, it will be really huge. There is always a first time and we hope this is it,” Arun said.
“When we came to South Africa, we said this is going to be our home for the next two and a half months. We are going to identify with the culture and be a part of this country.”
Talking about the Pink Day, he said, “We do support the cause. Tomorrow it’s a great cause, and from our point of view we will go and play our best cricket and provide the right entertainment for the crowd.”
While commenting about the Test series in the last month, Arun was extremely happy with the way the bowlers performed, taking all 60 wickets in the three-match series.
“My job as coach is to give enough feedback to the bowlers to understand themselves better. If they do understand themselves better they know their strengths and shortcomings.
“That will help them to go out and perform to the best of their abilities. We said we understood the South African wickets and the lengths that we need to bowl,” he said.
The Indian pacers were thoroughly impressive in the series and they drew praise from many.
“My job is to give them the right feedback so that they use it to the best. I cannot ask for anything better.
“I think these bowlers have really understood their roles, understood the conditions well and I can only say that they have performed exceptionally well.”
Arun also added the fact that Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers in the Test series and also spoke about the how the team management helped the youngster gear up for the three-match series.
“Wherever he has been given chances, he has done really well. In the limited overs he did well enough for us to understand that he could be a handful in Tests as well.
“We had made a conscious decision that we will play Bumrah right in South Africa. We deliberately kept him out of the Test matches against Sri Lanka (at home).
“He was at the NCA working on his fitness and strength, because we knew the workload in South Africa is going to be high. So we prepared him accordingly,” said Arun.