Few months that he was dropped from the Indian squad worked well for left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja as he got time to reflect on his game and look at areas of improvement, feels national team’s bowling coach Bharat Arun.
Jadeja has complemented team’s spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin with both leading the wickets tally with 12 scalps each to their credit from three completed innings in the ongoing four-Test series.
“I guess he had some time to reflect as to which areas he needs to work on to improve. His performances in Ranji Trophy (more than 30 plus wickets for Saurashtra) should have given him loads of confidence,” Arun told mediapersons on a day when play was called off without a ball being bowled.
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“Also Jadeja is one of our ‘banker’ (bankable) bowlers. No matter what format you play, whether you play Tests or ODIs. He knows using his strengths to his advantage,” he added.
While Jadeja introspected about his game, the coach said that Bhuvneshwar Kumar “needs to swing the ball more” even though he is happy that he has added a couple of yards of pace.
“Pertaining to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, there are 140 plus bowlers, who can also swing the ball. Bhuvi’s USP was his swing. He has definitely put in a few more yards in terms of pace but it’s not that he is not swinging the ball but he needs to swing it a lot more consistently and that will come back with work,” Arun said about the UP pacer, who has now been sent back to domestic cricket to remain match fit.
Arun, who has been associated with National Cricket Academy for years, also observed that there is a good reserve pool of pacers in the country and they need to be guided properly.
“Right now it will be unfair to name any but we have a pretty healthy pool of bowlers. We need to monitor and guide them to attain their potential.”
A specific query was there on how Ashwin worked on his load-up (getting into delivery stride) and Arun attributes it to all about empowering the bowlers.
“It is all about creating awareness. Make him more aware about what he is doing. It’s about empowering the bowlers. For any player, the challenge is to empower them, so that they are able to repeat their skill consistently.”
Asked about the improvement in Ishant after some change in action, Arun insisted that it was more about the correct angles that the Delhi pacer was bowling that has lead to the success.
“To be honest, not much was done in terms of his (Ishant’s) action. It’s about making them aware about angles and what angles suits them best. Once they know, they perform the skills better and gain in confidence in what they do.”
The former India medium pacer also begged to differ when asked that preparing turners could hamper the growth of fast bowlers in India.
“I would like to disagree with that (notion of a turner). We have quality fast bowlers in India. We have four bowlers, who are bowling 140 plus at the moment on a consistent basis. We would like to play on wickets conducive to our team and strategies. It (Chinnaswamy) wasn’t a spinner friendly wicket (here) but a good wicket.”
India’s quickest bowlers Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are not getting sufficient game time on sub-continental conditions but Arun feels that it boils down to what the conditions are.
“I guess this is definitely a challenge for team management as a whole. We have to look at conditions to suit at the combination we have. The bottom line would be to keep them motivated when the opportunity does arise. If you look at Varun and Umesh, they bowled pretty well in last match (Mohali). They did exceptionally well. They went under 2.5 runs an over. In fact Varun bowled a three-over spell where he was reversing the ball.”
The former Tamil Nadu cricketer said that Indian team would “love to have quality left-arm fast bowlers as they add dimension to the side”.
With a day’s play being completely washed out, the onus will be on taking one session at a time and putting up a big first innings total.
“I guess, there’s a long way to go in this Test match. We would like to focus on taking it session by session in batting. We need to put up a very good total be in driver’s seat in the match and see how it goes from there on.”