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India can afford to field different teams for different formats, feels Bharat Arun

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Bharat Arun has been the bowling coach of the Indian team since 2017


India can afford to field different teams for different formats, feels Bharat Arun

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SportsCafe Desk


India bowling coach Bharat Arun feels that the team can afford to field different teams in every format of the game. Arun, who was contracted as the team's bowling caoch back in 2017, will end his tenure with India’s last T20 World Cup 2021 match against Namibia on Monday, November 8.

Under Bharat Arun's guidance, India's fast bowlers and the bowling department in general has been a force to reckon with, especially in overseas Tests. During the 2017-18 South Africa tour, they picked 60 wickets in three matches although the team lost the series by 2-1. The bowlers once again led the charge during the 2018 England tour and later that year in Australia, where they won the first ever Test series in the country.

India went into the 2020-21 Australia tour without the services of Ishant Sharma, who was injured, and by the final Test in Brisbane, the team was without the experienced Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. However, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar excelled as India secured a historic series win.

Arun looked back at his journey.

"There have been ups and downs but I think the team is in a much better position than when we started. Pretty happy about it," Arun said before India's last match at the T20 World Cup. 

"The highest point of the career would be the kind of bowling that we have - we set about winning a lot of Tests overseas. That is what we strived hard to achieve as a team and we went about achieving that.

"I think the highest point would be the two back-to-back wins in Australia and also us, more or less, winning the series in England. Of course, there's one more Test to go, but I think the performance of the team during this English series was outstanding."

The 58-year-old added that when he came into the team, he wanted to make sure that the bowlers remained disciplined and fresh throughout a series. 

"All of us came together and said we have enough fast bowlers, but we need to create a lot more discipline in their attack and also to make sure they remain fresh throughout. That is the only chance of us winning. And also the team management and captain took a very bold step of always playing five bowlers at any given point of time,” Arun explained. 

"Earlier we went in with only four bowlers and somebody who can also bowl. But right now we are going with five regular bowlers in any team that we have. So I think that is a first fearless step. Because we said that the batting group needs to step up, we need to take added responsibility if we need to win matches abroad, and we need to take 20 wickets all the time. So that went into us playing this combination of at least five bowlers in every match. The wicketkeeper being a very good batter also helps the cause."

Arun added that the players need breaks, as playing under the bio-bubble throughout the year is not an easy task. He also stated that India can afford to field different teams for different formats.

"Not only the volume of cricket that our country is playing but also remaining in the bubble and playing - I can guarantee that it's not easy to be in the bubble and keep playing throughout the year," he said. "They do need some breaks because I think even the mental health is going to be very important going forward. This is going to be the norm for us, at least for the next one year or two years. So it is important.

"In our country we have a very good pool of fast bowlers, there is enough talent in our country. So we can afford to field different teams for different formats. That way it's not only we understanding the different talent that is available, but it also keeps our bowlers mentally and physically very fresh."

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