Cricket

A challenge to get the combination correct: Arun

Bharat Arun has the unenviable task of ensuring that morale among India’s bowlers remains high despite the merry-go-round for places.

Amit Mishra, who has returned figures of 18 for 165 from his last four Test matches, could not find a spot in the team for the second Test here. This after a stop-start career of 13 Test matches over seven years before being recalled this August.

Umesh Yadav, who was left out for Varun Aaron in Galle but featured in India’s next three Tests, lost out to the latter here again. Neither of the two, it would seem, can string a half-dozen consecutive appearances together.

“It’s a challenge for the team management as a whole,” Arun admitted here on Sunday. “We have to look at conditions which will suit the combination that we have. It is not often that they (conditions) can help give them a great run. But if not the bottom line is to keep them motivated and make them feel that they have a major role to play when the opportunity arises.”

Appreciative of pacers

The pitch in Mohali did not afford Yadav or Aaron — who sent down 20 overs between them — a huge opportunity to impress. Arun was appreciative of their work, though.

“Varun and Umesh bowled pretty well in the previous match,” he said. “Though they were not among the (major) wicket-takers, they bowled exceptionally well. They went at under 2.5 runs per over. Then, I thought the spinners had a major role to play. It was unfortunate (that they could not play a big part) but you have to fight your way up.”

India’s bowling coach has a lot to be happy about, though, given the success R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have had over South Africa.

“It’s all about creating awareness, making him aware of what he is doing,” Arun said of Ashwin. “It’s also about empowering a bowler. The challenge is to empower them so that they are able to feel what they are doing and they are able to repeat it consistently.”

The 52-year-old was pleased with Jadeja’s emphatic return, after being dropped. “I guess he had some time to reflect (on what was going wrong) when he was out of the team,” he said.

“He had time to think about work and where to improve. His performance in Ranji Trophy should have given him loads of confidence. Jadeja is one of your banker bowlers no matter what, whether Tests or ODIs.”

Backing Bhuvneshwar

Arun expressed the belief that Bhuvneshwar Kumar would soon rediscover his form.

The medium-pacer was impressive in England last August, when he featured in all five Tests, but has since played only one Test match.

“There are people who bowl 140-plus and still swing the ball,” he said.

“Bhuvi’s USP was swing. He has now definitely put more yards in his pace. But it’s only matter of time (that he makes a return). It’s not like he’s not swinging the ball. He needs to be consistent. With work, he will definitely come back.”

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 3:05:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/a-challenge-to-get-the-combination-correct-arun/article7880854.ece

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