World Cup: Wondering where is Arshdeep, says bowling coach Bharat Arun

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Not having a single left-arm seamer in the current lineup for the 2023 World Cup at home has surprised former bowler of the Indian team Bharat Arun.

“We tried bringing in left-arm fast bowlers during our time. We always wanted one. Arshdeep was promised a lot and I don’t know why he isn’t there in the squad. To me, he looked very, very impressive. He is capable of bowling yorkers and the late half can move the ball. He is an exciting fast bowler and I wonder where he is now,” Bharat Arun told a YouTube channel ‘Cricket Basu’.

Bharat Arun, who was a part of the masterplan to make a left-arm net bowler T. Natarajan play for India in the absence of mainstay bowlers in the 2020-21 Australian tour, also said that it was Ravi Shastri who should be credited.

“These bowlers were supposed to come back to India during Covid time and it was Ravi who stopped the move. It gave us the option to make them play.”

But former Indian pace bowler Bharat Arun didn’t underestimate the current pace attack under Jasprit Bumrah. In fact, he heaped praises on each and every one of them without getting into the comparisons between this World Cup bowling attack to the previous one.

“There was a mix of right and left-arm fast bowlers in India from past to present. But we were lucky that we have five or six bowlers who could bowl over 140 km/hr with a fair amount of experience. The rise and rise of Bumrah is made possible because of his ability to attack the stumps.

“I have known him from Under-19 days. He always wanted to play Test cricket and I got this to Ravi’s attention. Then, Ravi spoke to Virat and he also had a word with the selectors. A lot of people thought that he was a limited-overs bowler but he proved his worth in Test cricket because of his pace, deceptiveness and swing. He gave up junk food to bowl faster. Attention to detail is second to none. His success is because of his ability to hit the stumps. Bumrah wants to do it all the time,” Bharat Arun said.

Probably, that is the reason why the Indian team management advocated five bowlers in Test matches.

“It would be unfair to say that it was Virat Kohli’s idea to bring in five bowlers in Test matches. It was the team’s idea more so coming from Virat who was very aggressive. Virat and Ravi felt that if five batters and a good keeper can’t do it, the rest of them can’t do it. As much as you give it to batting, you have to give it to bowling as well. To get a team out twice in a Test match needs a lot of effort. Just asking four bowlers to do that is not fair. You may do that in one or two matches but to be able to do that over five Test matches consistently, you need five bowlers,” Arun said.

He went on to say: “It was Virat and Ravi’s dream to make India a top team in the world. You need to excel on whatever pitch you play and for that to happen we need an extremely strong fast bowling unit. We need fast bowlers who need to be extremely consistent and lasting over a period of time. Fast bowling is a strenuous activity so we need to rotate the bowlers. We were also blessed with top spinners in R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. All these factors coming together made India’s attack fearsome. I am confident that this could be continued in future years as well.”

And to remain a top team in the world, Bharat Arun emphasised on fitness, nurturing good fast bowling talent and rotating them well. And not to forget, the India team needs bowlers who can also bat!

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