New Delhi: India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, who has already been impressive in creating a group of talented fast bowlers has now begun his work of preparing the back-up pacers keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind.
The pace bowling core in limited overs’ cricket at the moment seems to be centred on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Arun with head coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli, would aim at having atleast three back-up pacers in the squad.
“Yes, the Sri Lanka T20 Tri-series will give us ample opportunity to test the bench strength of our pace bowling unit. We have two world class operators in Bhuvi and Bumrah but we have also created a good pool. The pacers (Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat) who are going to Sri Lanka will be looking forward to grabbing the opportunity,” said Arun, in an interaction with PTI.
He further added, “Since we have a long season ahead, we have to be ready for any injury or fitness issues. Shardul Thakur has come up nicely and done well in South Africa also. Even Shami and Umesh are very much in contention as they will be playing the Deodhar Trophy (for India A and B respectively).”
Arun, who is also a former coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has seen many current pace bowlers grow, from close quarters which makes his feel that Jaydev Unadkat, who has been successful in T20Is would be handy in ODI cricket too and would provide a left-arm pace bowling option.
“Since I am not a selector, I wouldn’t comment whether he should be in the ODI scheme of things but as a coach, my job is to believe that each and every bowler at this level possess the quality and temperament to be successful.
“Adaptability is the key and it differs from player to player. If Jaydev can adapt well, then there is no reason why he can’t play ODIs for India,” added Arun.
The former Indian pacer, never really had any doubts about the growth and development of Bumrah from a T20 bowler to doing well in Test cricket.
“We always knew that Jasprit had potential. He is versatile and can cause trouble for any batsman both with new and old ball,” he said.
Arun is all the more satisfied with the fact that they have finally been able to put in place a talented group of fast bowlers who are very much capable of taking 20 wickets in a five-day game.
“Bhuvi is now bowling close to 140 kmph and can swing the ball both ways. Shami has this ability to produce a devastating spell out of nowhere and Ishant with his height can create disconcerting bounce. Also Ishant is a workhorse,” said Arun.
He also revealed that he had advised his pacers to not bowl driveable lengths to the South African batsmen in their recently concluded tour.
“Ravi told one day: ‘Boys all your driving licenses should be kept at home. He said that treat South African conditions as your home conditions. For example, Ishant is from Delhi and when he is playing in Kolkata, it is not exactly his home but he treats it as his home.
“Similarly, Ravi told the boys that think Cape Town or Johannesburg as your home conditions and you will see a change in mindset. And Virat’s leadership was exceptional. Any praise is less for him,” he added further.
West Indies great Michael Holding recently made a comment that Bumrah’s unorthodox action wouldn’t be of much effect in England where the ball ideally kisses the surface.
But Arun differed from that point of view adding that there’s always room for improvement.
“I don’t think that it is fair to judge any bowler without even checking him out in particular conditions. There are areas where we can work but how can one conclude that Bumrah can’t be successful in England, when he has not even played a Test there.
“Cricket is also like boxing. If you are going to not get into ring due to fear of getting hurt, then you will never be able to hit. This team doesn’t fear losing, they only think about winning,” he said.
He was also pleased with the way the bowlers have stood up to find the solutions themselves when they as coaching unit have only provided them with the necessary inputs.
“You know the secret of this team’s success. The bowlers themselves find solution. We as a coaching unit, only give inputs but they have to know how to use those inputs. It’s a process of self discovery and they have learnt it,” concluded Arun.