Dubai, Nov 7 (IANS) India bowling coach Bharat Arun believes that the highest point of his tenure with the Indian team was creating the kind of bowlers the team has right now. He added that the highest points for him with the Indian team abroad were winning successive Tests in Australia followed by nearly winning the series. The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup marks Arun’s last assignment as bowling coach.
“I think it’s been a great journey for me, especially it’s been an outstanding journey that has ups and downs. But I think the team is in a much better position than it was when we started. And (I am) pretty happy about it. The highest point of the career would be the kind of bowling that we have. We set about winning a lot of Test matches overseas. That is what we strived hard to achieve as a team and we went about achieving that,” said Arun in the pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s match against Namibia.
“I think the highest points could be the two back-to-back wins in Australia and also us more or less winning the series in England. Of course, there’s one more Test to go. But I think the performance of the team during this English series was outstanding,” added Arun.
Talking about how India formed an admirable bowling attack and depth in the stocks for the future, Arun remarked, “Actually, it took us a little while. It is a combination of the strength and conditioning, the physiotherapy, and the bowling department coming together in order to create this kind of a bowling unit. India can always boast of really good fast bowlers. But then with the workload management in place, that ensured that the fast bowlers remain extremely fresh at any given point of time. So, we could even rotate.”
“Going forward, India’s talent is exciting with the likes of Mohammad Siraj and Prasidh Krishna coming in. There is a lot of fast bowling exciting talent in the country. With the workload management in place, which I am sure is going to move forward, I think we would be a force to reckon with in the near future.”
Arun was affirmative about India having a pool of fast bowlers who can be picked for teams in different formats amid the bio-bubble scenario in the cricket world. “Absolutely. Not only the volume of cricket that our country is playing but also remaining in the bubble and playing. I can guarantee you that it is not very easy to be in the bubble and keep playing throughout the year. They do need sufficient breaks because I think the mental health is going to be very, very important going forward.”
“This is going to be the norm for at least the next one or two years. So, it is important that we have in our country a very good pool of fast bowlers. There is enough talent in our country so we can afford to field different teams for different formats. That way, it’s also about understanding the different talent that is available. Also, it keeps our bowlers mentally and physically very, very fresh.”
Arun credits the decision of going on the field with five bowlers as the most positive thing for the Indian team to do well, especially in Test cricket. “To begin with, Ravi and Virat got together and they wanted to put up a team that could win in all conditions. Everybody knows that we have one of the best spin attacks in the world. It was about creating another force that would complement our bowling, that could suit all conditions. All of us came together and said, ‘We need to create. We have enough fast bowlers but we need to create a lot more discipline in their attack and also to make sure that they remain fresh throughout. That was the only chance of winning’. They took a very bold step of playing five bowlers at any given point of time.”
“I think that was the most positive move that happened and helped us to win three major series abroad. Two were back-to-back in Australia and one, we came close to winning the series and it hangs in balance for just the one Test match that remains. I think it’s a combined effort of everybody put together that has created this very force and I think this legacy will carry on.”
“We went in mostly with four bowlers and someone who can bowl. But right now, we are going in with five regular bowlers in any given team that we have. I think that was our first fearless step because we said that the batting group needs to step up and take added responsibility if we needed to win matches abroad and take 20 wickets all the time. So, that went into us playing this combination of at least five bowlers in every match. To us now, the wicketkeeper being a very good batsman also helps the cause,” concluded Arun.