Bharat Arun: On the ball

After a long stint at the National Cricket Academy, Bharat Arun had a rewarding time with the Indian team as its bowling coach. He shares, among other things, his experience of working with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.

"All pace bowlers are different... You need to ensure that they retain their style."   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Bharat Arun's commitment to his job shines through in his approach. He spends time with the boys, listens to them and offers suggestions without ever appearing to be abrasive.

"You first look for a spark, whether the youngster in question has the ability, you then work on him."

Despite guiding Hyderabad these days, Arun continues to care for Tamil Nadu cricket. "Tamil Nadu has a promising pace attack now, but it is still inexperienced. You have two bowlers K. Vignesh and T. Natarajan bowling around 135 (kmph)."

After a long stint at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), he had a rewarding time with the Indian team as its bowling coach – he worked extensively with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

He said, "One of the challenges was to get Bhuvneshwar improve his pace without losing his swing and control. We got him to bowl at 135 plus kmph without him forgoing his accuracy and movement. Bumrah was a different bowler with a unique action, we got him to be effective without him losing his originality."

Arun said, "All pace bowlers are different. Most of them use the short lever for load-up but some, like Bumrah, use the long lever. It then becomes difficult for the batsmen to pick their action. You need to ensure that they retain their style."

He is doing just that with the Hyderabad paceman Mohammed Siraj, who was picked in the Rest of India team this season. "He has a quick-arm action, is slippery, and sharp. In fact, he can surprise the batsmen with his pace and has a quick bouncer."

Arun added, "Siraj has got 90 per cent of his victims in the Ranji Trophy this season either bowled or leg-before. He brings the ball back. Earlier, he was bowling middle and leg, and was being taken for runs on leg-side. We got him to bowl on the fourth stump and nip it back."

Arun believed left-arm seamer C. V. Milind too had the potential. "He too bowls at good speeds, takes the ball away from the right-hander or straightens it, has a good short ball."

Ravi Kiran completes the Hyderabad pace trio, among the most potent combinations in domestic cricket this season. "He is slower than the other two but gets good bounce with his high arm action and bowls from slightly wide of the crease. We had to get his release point right for him to bowl that testing off-stump line."

The man from Chennai is busy shaping cricketing careers all right. Arun is on the ball.

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