India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun has revealed that batting coach Vikram Rathour made sure even the bowlers got a chance to bat during net sessions in Australia. Arun said that Washington Sundar, initially only picked for the tour as a net bowler, used to bat every day for half an hour.
Not only did Sundar create multiple records on his Test debut, but also played a crucial role in India retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Sundar was included in the playing XI for the Brisbane Test after a back injury to R Ashwin.
After picking up a three-wicket haul with the ball, Sundar went on to score maiden Test fifty. He was in the middle when India were in a rather tricky situation after losing the first five wickets on just 161.
Along with Shardul Thakur — playing only his second Test — Sundar added a 121-run stand for the seventh wicket – the highest seventh-wicket stand by India in a Test match in Brisbane.
“Our planning of the net sessions has been outstanding. Washington Sundar though he was a net bowler he used to bat every day for half an hour. The batting coach made sure all had enough practice. They worked like any other player on tour and spent extra hours. Even Kartik Tyagi who was the net bowler was given equal importance and in the end, it paid off,” Arun told ANI.
The bowling coach also heaped praise on Shardul’s performance with the bat, saying that the team management was aware of the pacer’s ability to bat. The Palghar-born picked seven wickets at The Gabba and also scored a vital 67-run knock in the first innings.
“We always knew Shardul can bat because when he had batted in a few of the One-Day games he had come with the cameo innings on many occasions. We were aware that Shardul is capable of batting,” Arun further said.
“Every session in the nets, Shardul would get half an hour to bat during the Test series. Vikram would be working with all the reserves and we had those slingers with us who did an exceptional job, feeding these bowlers balls to play with and that really helped us,” he added.