Arun: ‘Pacers need to be protected like race horses’

The Indian pacers, and the entire attack as a whole, has been impressive on all overseas tours this year and in the ongoing India vs Australia Test series they have made a great start with 20 wickets on a slower deck in Adelaide to give India a 1-0 lead.

In Australia now, the Indian pacers have made a great start with 20 wickets on a slower deck in Adelaide to give India a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.   -  Getty Images

Under Adelaide’s summer sun, the Indian bowlers were the most luminous. Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliant hundred set the tone for the first Test, but for a match to be won, 20 wickets had to be scalped. And diverse practitioners like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and R. Ashwin, combined to strike, restrain and overwhelm Australia.

India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun was a pleased man. As he faced the media in a make-shift room adjacent to the gym inside the WACA Stadium here on Wednesday, he was in an expansive mood. Wine and racehorses were used as examples while dealing with the attributes of maturity and value among his wards. Seriously, it was all about the good vibe.

Talking about the 31-run victory at Adelaide, Arun felt that the Indian attack ticked all the boxes: “The game-plan was about being consistent in the areas we need to bowl. The execution was perfect. I can’t ask for anything better.”

The next challenge is the second Test here from Friday, which will be held at the new Optus Stadium and not in the WACA, Perth’s traditional venue. Arun wasn’t perturbed by the new turf’s probable surprise element. “We haven't taken a look at the wicket. We have said (that) we would come here and look at it as our home conditions. We are prepared for any condition that may exist at the ground,” he said.

Read: Irfan Pathan decodes India pacers

There is talk that the Optus pitch could replicate the character of the 22 yards inside the WACA, renowned for pace and bounce. India’s bowling coach wouldn’t mind some assistance but was also conscious about the need to rein in excitement on sighting a pace-friendly surface: “You can be carried away by the extra pace and bounce, but you need to understand that on any responsive track what is really going to be successful is your consistency. And that is what we are going to work on with the bowlers.”

Arun found joy in his disciples performing as a unit: “The fast bowlers are doing a great job and it's not (about) just one or two, there's a bunch of bowlers who are doing well. The effort and consistency with which we are able to perform over a period of time, that's very encouraging. This is probably one of the best group of fast bowlers India has ever had.”

Ashwin too came in for profuse praise. “Spinners mature a lot with age. Maybe they are like wine. Ashwin has been really good and in the last match he gave us control, bowling close to 90 overs for 149 runs and six wickets. He allowed the fast bowlers to take turns as he could control from one end. That's the job he was interested in and he did exceptionally well,” Arun said.

Ishant Sharma has always come good on Australian tours.   -  AP

 

Michael Vaughan’s tweet about Virat Kohli giving up his business class seats for the fast bowlers, on the flight from Adelaide to Perth, has gone viral. Asked about the India captain’s gesture, Arun gushed: “Fast bowlers are a precious commodity and they need to be taken care of like you do with a racehorse and that's exactly what's happening.”

Also read: Langer hopes bowlers will come good in Perth

Probed about Ishant’s penchant for no-balls, Arun replied: “These sort of issues keep cropping up but again, it's a challenge for him and the coach to sort these things.”

Looking ahead at the imminent second Test, Arun believed that the Aussies will come hard at the Indians but he averred that ‘plans are in place’ to counter all challenges. And then he left to monitor the optional practice session of Kohli’s men.

'Injured' Rohit Sharma skips nets

It was a day of optional nets for the Indian team at the WACA. And among those who preferred to rest in their hotel rooms on Wednesday, were R. Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw. While Ashwin and Shami had to recover from their exertions in the first Test and Shaw has an injured ankle to contend with, Rohit’s absence led to some speculation. During the Adelaide Test, the Mumbaikar had strained his lower back. Interestingly Hanuma Vihari had a long batting session in the nets.

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