The Indian cricket team is in a “much better place” compared to the time he came on board and there is enough talent to handle the transition of pacers and have different bowlers across three formats, feels outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun.
Arun, head coach Ravi Shastri and fielding coach R Sridhar will end their tenure with India’s campaign in the T20 World Cup.
Arun, largely credited for developing a crack fast bowling unit comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, feels that the amount of cricket scheduled in these times would require proper “workload management” and bowlers with different skill-sets.
“Absolutely,” Arun agreed when asked if there was a possibility of different bowlers turning up for three separate formats.
“It is not only the volume cricket that India is playing but also to remain in the bubble and playing is not easy, I can guarantee.
They do need sufficient breaks as the mental health is going to be very, very important going forward,” he added.
“It’s going to be the norm for at least 1-2 years.
So it’s important to have a very good pool of fast bowlers so we can afford to field different teams for different formats.
“It will not only help in understanding different talents that are available but it keeps our bowlers mentally and physically fresh,” Arun tried to put things in perspective.
Having joined the the team in 2014 and worked six years (with one year break during Anil Kumble’s tenure) till this T20 World Cup, the former India Test medium pacer termed his time with the national team as a wonderful experience.
“It’s been an outstanding journey full of ups and downs.
The team is in a much better position than what it was when we started.
The highest point would be the kind of bowling that we have.
“Winning a lot of Test overseas something we strived hard to achieve as a team,” Arun stated.
It was easy for Arun to talk about the high points during his tenure.
“The back-to-back wins in Australia and also more or less winning the series in England — of course there’s one more Test to go.
But I think the performance was outstanding during the English series.
Arun feels there is enough talent in India to be able to handle the transition phase when the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami are phased out in a year or two.
“India always can boast of really good bowlers, but the workload management ensured they remained extremely fresh at any given point of time so we could even rotate.
He named Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna as the torch bearers of next crop of fast bowlers.
“Going forward, we have some exciting talents with the likes of Mohammad Siraj, Prasidh Krishna coming in.
With the workload management in place, I’m sure it’s going to go forward and would be force to reckon with in near future.
The biggest challenge since he came back in 2017 was to prepare a Test team that could win in all conditions.
“Ravi and Virat got together and wanted to put a team which could win in all conditions.
We had a balanced side.
We had one of the best spin attacks in the world so it was about creating another force that could complement our bowling that could suit in all conditions.
All of us came together,” he said.
Five fast bowlers in any Test match was the team’s mantra which worked more often than not.
“Also the captain and the team management took a bold step to always play five bowlers at any given time.
I think that was the most positive move that helped us to win three major series abroad.
“Back to back wins in Australia and the England series which we came very close to winning and now hangs in balance with one Test remaining.
It’s a combined effort that created this force and I think this legacy can carry on,” he concluded.