India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun has admitted that he wishes Indian cricket could just develop all-rounders like Hardik Pandya but credited Shardul Thakur’s rise as an all-rounder. Alongside that, he also stressed the fact that rotation would be key, going into a long cricketing calendar.
Hardik Pandya had returned to bowling for the first time regularly in the T20I series against England at home. But since then, he has been restricted to just the batting, including in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians which forced the selectors to omit his name from the Test squad. In his absence, however, Shardul Thakur has taken up the mantle of being a capable all-rounder in the Indian colours.
In India’s memorable series win over Australia, in the all-important game at the Gabba, it was the Mumbaikar who proved to be the difference. He picked up seven wickets in the game and scored 67 runs in the first innings, which led to India’s win. India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun rued the fact, wishing he could develop all-rounders like Hardik Pandya, he credited Shardul for making a brilliant impression as an all-rounder.
"I wish you could just wish and develop bowlers like that. Hardik is an outstanding talent, but unfortunately, he had to undergo a back operation and then it's not very easy to come back after that," Arun said during the interaction facilitated by Ironwood Education Company.
"He bowled against England, I thought he did a really good job. But to sustain that, we need to manage him well and build on his strength. It is more of a selectors' job to find them and then we can develop those all-rounders. Shardul has proved he can be an all-rounder. What he did in Australia was fabulous.”
Despite Shardul’s rise, Bharat stressed the importance of developing a seam-bowling all-rounder for the future, with several top-sides having a seam-bowling all-rounder in their arsenal.
"So ideally, yes (we need to develop seam bowling all-rounder), there must be a few (in domestic cricket) because we are always on the circuit with the Indian team. We have not had an opportunity to look at the domestic all-rounders," he added.
Against England, India had no choice but to rest their star bowler Jasprit Bumrah in the second Test, owing to the number of games that he had and was going to play in this year, with the upcoming World T20. The Indian bowling coach also admitted that the management would be looking to rotate between six bowlers during the England series.
"Even we have a policy in place at the moment. We have rested players in between matches, and also some top players for a series and things like that. It is under place, even for us," Arun said.
"If you look at them (all six), you could put any three or four out of them in the park. They are good enough to do the job for us. So that is a very, very healthy trend for Indian cricket. And so the five Test matches that we're going to play after the World Test Championship, there's a definite cause of necessity for us to rotate all the bowlers so that they stay fresh," he explained.