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Posted at: Oct 9, 2019, 8:05 AM; last updated: Oct 9, 2019, 8:48 AM (IST)

India’s all-terrain strike force

Heading into 2nd Test, bowling coach Arun says Indian bowlers can adapt to any condition
India’s all-terrain strike force
Mohammed Shami celebrates the dismissal of South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Day 5 of the first Test. file

Pune, October 8

The current Indian bowling attack has been lethal for a considerable period of time and coach Bharat Arun is happy that his wards have nullified the pitch factor with their skill set and consistency.

Mohammed Shami’s superb second innings effort in the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam on a low and slow track, which was supposed to aid spinners, has been the talk of the town as much as Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven-wicket haul when conditions were more conducive for batting.

“We don’t ask for the kind of wickets that we get. For us to be the No. 1 team in the world, any conditions that come your way, you have to accept it as home conditions,” Arun, who has done an impressive job with the bowling unit, said.

The mantra is on developing the skills rather than becoming a slave of the conditions, said Arun. “When we go abroad, we hardly look at the wicket. We say that we are going to look at it as home conditions as wicket is same for both the teams. We are going to work on our bowling rather than look at the wicket,” the former India seamer said.

While he is happy that his pacers have performed even on the flattest of tracks, Arun finds it difficult to accept it when people criticise the Subcontinental tracks that offer turn. “When we get seaming tracks abroad, we get to hear that ‘Oh, the Indians should learn to play on seaming track’. Seaming tracks are considered to be good tracks, but if there is a track that assists spin, you say ‘Oh, how can you spin the ball on Day 1’. When the ball seams, you accept it but when the ball turns you don’t accept it,” said Arun.

Adapt to conditions

However, as the top side in world cricket, Arun said conditions are secondary in their endeavour to remain the best in the business. “If you want to be No. 1 team in the world, you can’t be looking at wickets. You’ve got to look at the bowling, adapt your bowling instantaneously for success,” he added.

Arun provided Shami’s example to say that pure skills and technical knowledge can seal it in challenging conditions. “In the last game, even though the wicket was abrasive, the ball did not reverse that much, what normally happens on Indian wickets,” he said. “You then adjust your line and length when the ball is not reversing.”

“The wicket on which we played the last game tended to keep a bit low and we realised it has to be more stump line and not outside the off-stump. Shami got four out of his five wickets bowled, so the line changed. Now, the quicker a bowler becomes aware of what is happening, chances of success increase,” said Arun.

Freedom to chose spells

The freedom given by skipper Virat Kohli to the pacers on how much they want to bowl has also been a key to success, opined Arun. “Different bowlers are dealt with differently. Bumrah and Shami come in short bursts but Ishant bowls a longer spell — about seven overs,” he said.

“Shami has in fact said in one of his interviews that captain lets them do what they want. He (Kohli) gives freedom to choose whether they want to bowl a short spell or a long spell. Bowlers are aware how they could be a lot more effective and they convey this to the captain,” said Arun. — PTI

Rohit bats for trees in Mumbai’s Colony

New Delhi: Rohit Sharma said nothing was worth cutting down trees for in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony as that part of the city is “slightly greener” and there’s a “slight difference in temperature” because of Aarey colony. “Even if there is more to the story, nothing is worth cutting down something so vital. Part of Mumbai being slightly greener and slight difference in the temperature is mainly because of Aarey colony. How can we take that away, not to mention the thousands of animals who will displace,” Sharma tweeted.

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