Taking over as India's bowling coach after the disastrous tour of Australia, Joe Dawes had his task cut out.
For him, the message from the BCCI top brass is clear - to manage India's scarce fast bowling resources and keep them fit.
His predecessor, South African Eric Simons, drew flak for India's toothless bowling Down Under and, before that, in England. There was no magical revival in the Indian bowlers' fortunes during Dawes' first assignment - Asia Cup.
"Since I joined in February, I won't be able to comment on what happened before. But yes, I think we failed to execute our plans during the Asia Cup," said Dawes, who is also Kings XI Punjab's bowling coach in the IPL. Despite defending 289 runs against Bangladesh, the bowlers failed to create any pressure. Against Pakistan, they bled 329 runs before the Virat Kohli came to the rescue."These days, there is very little margin of error. A plan works on some days and doesn't on others. It was in Bangladesh that I had my first chance to interact with the team, and I think some of the plans could have been executed better," the Australian said.
Rest and rotation
The excessive cricket being played at all levels has started taking its toll on bowlers worldwide. While Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of this year's IPL following ankle surgery, Stuart Broad is a doubtful starter for KXIP due to a calf injury.
Dawes said it's imperative bowlers are rested at proper intervals: "One needs to have an off-season to work on one's weaknesses. These days, a team needs to have bench strength to get through a season. That is precisely my role in the Indian team as well as Kings XI - to have a pack of fast bowlers fit and ready to be rotated."
Dawes said T20, compared to the longer formats of the game, is more of a mental game for a bowler, needing him to be quick on his feet, unlike Tests which are all about stamina and patience.
"You can't think of getting through your overs - that way, you are setting yourself up to be hit. You have to review your strategy after every ball.
Variations like slow bouncers and wide yorkers come in handy."
Dawes, who will now have nearly two months with Praveen Kumar, said he would like to see the medium pacer grow a bit stronger: "He is a smart bowler who knows what he is doing. But I would like to see him improve his consistency and strength."