Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun has asserted that even though R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are exceptional bowlers, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have done enough to deserve a fair chance at a World Cup berth. Arun also praised fearless Hardik Pandya's ability to learn from his mistakes.
There has been a lot of speculation since the Sri Lanka series about Ashwin and Jadeja's role in the team after the duo were dropped from the team. Their replacements Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been terrific since then with the former becoming only the third Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs. Arun believes that the spin partnership merits a "fair run" before the team can be zeroed in on a combination for the 2019 World Cup.
"Ashwin and Jadeja have been exceptional spinners, they have done a great job with both the white and red ball. They would definitely be a part of the old setup but it is the team management's view of giving everyone a fair run and it's only fair that we give Kuldeep and Chahal a fair run before we decide what kind of combinations we would like for the 2019 World Cup," Arun told India Today.
"Kuldeep is someone who is extremely talented but every team has enough videos with them to study every bowler and understand the bowlers better. So I think the challenge for every bowler is to evolve and to have variations that are difficult for batsmen to pick. What we discuss with Kuldeep is when you do get hit, there are lots of lessons to be learnt. Also, understand the batsmen better and at the end, constantly
But it's not just the spin department that has been flourishing over the last few years. In Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav, India have one of the best pace attacks in the world as well. Arun stressed on the need for the team to maintain a strong pool of bowlers in order to keep the consistent performances going.
"This Indian team is blessed with bowlers who are so versatile. The biggest challenge would be to make them perform time and again to maintain the level of consistency. For that I need to create a pool of players, all of whom can come in anytime and do their job," Arun added.
"It's quite a privilege to have bowlers who are so versatile, especially Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. They are extremely
"My job as a coach is to give them the right feedback so that they understand themselves better. Also to speak about their strengths so that they are able to use their skills effectively. And that's exactly what these two have done."
While Kohli is no doubt the face of Indian cricket, Hardik Pandya has become the next superstar to emerge from Indian shores. His performances have resulted in Kohli calling him "the most important takeaway from the Sri Lanka series". While it has been his batting pyrotechnics that
"Pandya is an extremely talented all-rounder and from Hardik's point of view, he is a very quick learner. What we are really working on with Hardik is if he can really bring in those 10 overs in ODIs. He's working a lot on his skills and he's not afraid to try, probably one of the most fearless cricketers you can have
"He is someone who constantly wants to improve and he is maturing fast. He is really happy to take up challenges and the biggest challenge he will have in terms of his bowling is to able to bowl his quota of 10 overs in ODIs."
Lastly, Arun also attributed the success of the team to Ravi Shastri, who took the reigns of the team amidst controversial circumstances. However, Shastri has managed to turn the fortunes of the team around since the Champions Trophy defeat to Pakistan and Arun pinpointed the happy atmosphere in the dressing room, which stems from the team's honesty, fearlessness and to the combination of Ravi Shastri and Kohli.
"The fact Ravi and I worked with the team for two years was extremely helpful. We know all the players, we have worked with them, we understand them and so, it made everything a lot easier.
"Ravi is someone who brings in a lot of positivity to the team. He is someone who gives the players a lot of confidence, he is a great motivator. It is a combination that has worked well, it is a happy dressing room. Honesty and fearlessness are the two factors that drive this team," Arun signied off.