Minutes after New Zealand secured their semifinal spot after the win over Afghanistan on Sunday, the Indian team cancelled its optional training. Everything seems futile at the moment. But with the turnaround time for the next series being just nine days, it’s time to look forward and learn from what has transpired in the last few years.
Outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun claimed that Indian cricket has reached a point where there is need for different sets of bowlers for different formats.
“It’s important to have a very good pool of fast bowlers so we can afford to field different teams for different formats. It will not only help in understanding different talents that are available but it will keep our bowlers mentally and physically fresh,” Arun said on Sunday.
Arun highlighted the perils of bubble life which is the main reason to have different sets of bowlers. “It is not just the volume of cricket India is playing but staying in the bubble and playing is not easy. They do need sufficient breaks as mental health is going to be very, very important going forward. It’s going to be the norm for at least 1-2 years,” Arun added.
Ready for transition
Having coached the team for six years, Arun believes Indian cricket has enough resources to see through a smoother transition than what he had to work with in 2014.
“The team is in a much better position than what it was in when we started. The highest point would be the kind of bowling that we have,” Arun claimed.
The biggest challenge was to get a system in place to sustain quality fast bowlers. “It took us a little while. It is a combination of strength and conditioning of physiotherapy and the bowling department all coming together in order to create this kind of a bowling unit. India can always boast of really good bowlers, and the workload management has ensured that they have remained extremely fresh at any given point of time to rotate,” he said.
Need a break after IPL
Arun also pointed at the need for a decent break after the IPL to keep players in better space for subsequent assignments. “Being on the road for six months is a huge ask. Players haven’t gone home and I think they had a short break after the last IPL got suspended. They have been in a bubble for six months and that takes a huge toll, so specific to your question, may be a short break between IPL and World Cup could have done a lot of good to these boys,” Arun reckoned.