India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun(Getty Images)
India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun(Getty Images)

'We don't fear losing': Bharat Arun

That the visitors still emerged as the better side is the strongest possible proof that India’s bowling reserve is exceptionally talented and deep. Shepherding this rotating cast of bowlers through injuries and debuts was India bowling coach Bharat Arun.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:46 PM IST

From the first Test in Adelaide to the fourth in Brisbane, not one Indian bowler featured in all the matches of the recent 2-1 series triumph in Australia. A string of injuries meant the bowling arsenal always had a fresh face.

Four bowlers made debuts against a line-up that boasted the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne. That the visitors still emerged as the better side is the strongest possible proof that India’s bowling reserve is exceptionally talented and deep.

Shepherding this rotating cast of bowlers through injuries and debuts was India bowling coach Bharat Arun.

“We have been planning this for the last three years. We needed excellent bench strength. At the international level, you need a pool of bowlers so that everybody stays fresh. This tour will give them (the debutants) necessary confidence,” Arun said in a virtual media interaction on Friday.

After the remarkable performances from rookie bowlers like Mohammed Siraj on the tour, the idea of who makes the cut as “first-choice” for the pace unit may change. India’s next assignment is a four-Test series against England at home starting February. Later in the year they will travel to England for a five-match series.

“They will all be rotated and we will make sure that the best XI is in the park on a given day,” Arun said. “It’s a very healthy trend, an embarrassment of riches. (Mohammed) Shami, Umesh (Yadav), Ishant (Sharma) have a lot of cricket in them. But for us to rotate bowlers, it’s important that each one is fit and raring to go, to be able to bowl 140 kmph. This tour has taken a lot out of these boys due to the spate of injuries. But now, when we have seven fast bowlers willing to play for the country, especially with the number of Tests that are lined up, that will be extremely handy.”

Five bowlers

This is Arun’s second stint with the Indian team as bowling coach; since 2017, he has been one of the architects of India going with a five-bowler attack, a big change from a team that’s usually more comfortable playing an extra batsman. The final match at Brisbane, arguably India’s greatest Test win, is a case in point—even with the entire first-choice bowling attack out with injuries, India went with a five-bowler attack by elevating two net bowlers—Washinton Sundar and T Natarajan—into the team and handed them their debuts.

“We decided to go with five bowlers three years ago,” Arun said. “On most occasions abroad, we play five bowlers because to bowl out a team abroad with just four bowlers is a lot to ask for. Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have been extremely firm to use five bowlers. Sometimes, you may lose matches but guiding principle of his team is ‘be fearless’. We don’t fear losing. Sport is about failures. How you bounce back makes you a better sportsperson.

“Even during the last Test match (in Brisbane) we thought of playing an extra batsman but then we thought that it will be a negative move and all of us backed the idea that five bowlers will work for us,” he added. “Also, the way Washington Sundar was batting in the nets, we knew he is a good left-handed option.

A plan for the Aussies

In 2014, Arun first joined the team when Shastri was appointed the Team Director for eight months. Since the last three years, the former Tamil Nadu cricketer has played a more regular role. In this period, India reached the 2019 World Cup semi-finals and also won their maiden Test series in Australia in 2018-19.

“As a head coach, Ravi has been outstanding. He gives you the freedom to express yourself. We have our arguments, we have our showdowns. We totally disagree on things but at the end of the day when we decide on something, we stick to it,” Arun said.

It was during one such session in July that the duo hatched a masterful plan to clamp down on the Australian batting, a plan that was put to great use during the tour.

“He (Shastri) called me and said we need to take the offside out of the Australians. We felt that most of the runs that Smith and Labuschagne scored were from cuts, pulls and on the offside. We took a cue from the New Zealand attack. When they bowled to Smith, they just attacked his bodyline and he felt very uncomfortable,” Arun said. “We decided that we will attack more on the straighter lines and have an on-side field. It becomes very difficult for the batsman to consistently clear the on-side field. When we discussed it with Virat, he bought the theory. We used the same thing in Adelaide and then Ajinkya (Rahane) was magnificent from Melbourne.”

Having a large pool of bowlers for the full tour helped the rookies settle, said Arun.

“After the ODI series, most of the bowlers were due to return but Ravi insisted otherwise. That meant the new guys had enough hours of game in them. Everyone including Kartik Tyagi (a 20-year-old with one first-class experience) was given equal attention. Everyday guys like Sundar used to have half hour batting sessions. The result of that was evident in the last game,” Arun said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
England Skipper Joe Root during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/ECB Twitter))
England Skipper Joe Root during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/ECB Twitter))

‘Please talk about Broad's 8 for 15, What kind of a wicket was that’: Ojha

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:56 AM IST
  • Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook have criticised the pitch in the third Test.
Close
Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.(Getty Images)
Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.(Getty Images)

They 'are the real batsmen': Gavaskar on tackling spin

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:56 AM IST
  • A case in point is his last innings in Test cricket when he scored a gritty 96 in the second innings on a vicious turner in Bengaluru. His efforts went in vain as India lost the match and the series to Pakistan.
Close
India's Washington Sundar and Virat Kohli celebrate the dismissal of England's James Anderson during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (ANI Photo/BCCI Twitter)
India's Washington Sundar and Virat Kohli celebrate the dismissal of England's James Anderson during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (ANI Photo/BCCI Twitter)

India lead WTC standings but still could miss the final against NZ, here's how

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:26 AM IST
  • Ind vs Eng: England got knocked out of contention for WTC final in June with their 10-wicket triumph in the day-night third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Close
India's Axar Patel and Virat Kohli celebrate the dismissal during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/Virat Kohli Twitter))
India's Axar Patel and Virat Kohli celebrate the dismissal during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.((ANI Photo/Virat Kohli Twitter))

'A lot of people were relieved when Jaddu got injured': Kohli on Axar's impact

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:56 AM IST
  • India vs England, 3rd Test: He was awarded the man of the match award for his spectacular performance against England in his home ground.
Close
Indian Captain Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring a half-century during the 3rd day of second cricket test match between India and England, at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.(PTI)
Indian Captain Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring a half-century during the 3rd day of second cricket test match between India and England, at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.(PTI)

Need to stand up & take notice: Kohli lauds 'modern-day legend' of Test cricket

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:56 AM IST
  • “I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
Close
**EDS: SCREENSHOT FROM VIDEO POSTED BY @BCCI ON THURSDAY, FEB. 25, 2021** Ahmedabad: Indian bowler R Ashwin reacts on completing 400 test wickets, on the second day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets. (PTI Photo) (PTI02_25_2021_000226A)(PTI)
**EDS: SCREENSHOT FROM VIDEO POSTED BY @BCCI ON THURSDAY, FEB. 25, 2021** Ahmedabad: Indian bowler R Ashwin reacts on completing 400 test wickets, on the second day of the 3rd cricket test match between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets. (PTI Photo) (PTI02_25_2021_000226A)(PTI)

Ravichandran Ashwin: 400, and firing on all cylinders

By Abhishek Paul, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:34 AM IST
  • This is a man who has been the fastest in the world to reach 200, 250 and 350 Test wickets, and yet derided for being someone who thrives only on home conditions.
Close
File image of former England bowler Graeme Swann.(AP Photo)
File image of former England bowler Graeme Swann.(AP Photo)

India don't complain about playing on green decks: Swann on pitch criticism

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:33 AM IST
  • Ind vs Eng: The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day.
Close
India's Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli appeal for the wicket of England's Bastman during day one of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/ECB Twitter)
India's Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli appeal for the wicket of England's Bastman during day one of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/ECB Twitter)

England's 81 all-out is their lowest Test total ever against India

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:09 AM IST
  • Ind vs Eng: England had registered their previous lowest-total against India back in 1971 at the Oval. BS Chandrashekhar scalped 6 wickets to restrict Ray Illingworth-led England for 101 in the second innings.
Close
India beat England in the third Test by 10 wickets(BCCI)
India beat England in the third Test by 10 wickets(BCCI)

India vs England: England go from dust to dust in two days against India

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:09 AM IST
On a crumbling and dusty pitch in the day-night Test, where the pink orb looked like it had transformed into a magical object with a life of its own, anything looked possible. And it was.
Close
England's Joe Root bowls during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match against England in Ahmedabad(ECB / Twitter)
England's Joe Root bowls during the 2nd day of the 3rd Test Match against England in Ahmedabad(ECB / Twitter)

‘It's for ICC to decide whether Motera pitch is fit for purpose, not players’

UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:47 AM IST
Root said that the ICC should consider the suitability of the pitch for the longest format of the game.
Close
India beat England in the day-night Test by 10 wickets(PTI)
India beat England in the day-night Test by 10 wickets(PTI)

Kohli eclipses Dhoni's captaincy record with 22nd Test win on home soil

UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:03 PM IST
Kohli now has 22 victories at home in 29 Tests as the captain of Team India which is one better than Dhoni, who had 21 wins in 30 Tests.
Close
Avi Barot
Avi Barot

Saurashtra, Chandigarh secure three wins on the trot in Vijay Hazare

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:52 PM IST
At the Jadavpur University second campus ground, Saurashtra handed Bengal a massive 149-run defeat after another pathetic batting display by the home side, who are all but out of contention after slipping to fifth place in the six-team standings.
Close
File image of a cricket bat and ball.(Getty Images)
File image of a cricket bat and ball.(Getty Images)

Uttarakhand, Assam register hat-trick of wins in in Vijay Hazare

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:46 PM IST
Assam also joined Uttarakhand on 12 points, outplaying Nagaland by 84 runs in another match.
Close
Indian captain Virat Kohli(Twitter)
Indian captain Virat Kohli(Twitter)

Virat Kohli slams 'below-par' batting of both sides after India win in 2 days

UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:33 AM IST
Virat Kohli said it was bizarre that so many wickets fell to deliveries which did not turn that much. The India captain in fact said the wicket in Ahmedabad was pretty good to bat on and lack of concentration from India and England batsmen brought about their downfall.
Close
PSL match: File photo(Twitter)
PSL match: File photo(Twitter)

Cricket crowds in Karachi increased to 50% for PSL games

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:09 PM IST
The decision meant that around 19,000 fans could go to the National Stadium to see the country’s premier Twenty20 cricket league.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP