The recently concluded India’s tour of South Africa will go down as one of the most successful series for the bowlers. The Indian bowling unit was right on the money and produced results when needed. Bowling coach Bharath Arun is a happy man, but he is in no mood to rest on the laurels.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun shifts his focus to bench-strength ahead of Tri-series

With the 2019 World Cup not too far away, Arun is focussed on creating a strong backup unit. When it comes to limited overs cricket, India sticks to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. The think tank will look to create a solid pool of players to keep things simple.

Jasprit Bumrah, Harmanpreet Kaur, Forbes India, 30 Under 30, Team India
Jasprit Bumrah has troubled South African batters in the ongoing six-match ODI series. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Opportunity to test bench strength: Arun

“Yes, the Sri Lanka T20 Tri-series will give us ample opportunity to test the bench strength of our pace bowling unit. We have two world-class operators in Bhuvi and Bumrah but we have also created a good pool. The pacers (Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat) who are going to Sri Lanka will be looking forward to grabbing the opportunity,” Arun told PTI.

Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat

“Since we have a long season ahead, we have to be ready for any injury or fitness issues. Shardul Thakur has come up nicely and done well in South Africa also. Even Shami and Umesh are very much in contention as they will be playing the Deodhar Trophy (for India A and B respectively),” Arun said during an exclusive interview.

When quizzed whether Jaydev Unadkat can make the cut in ODIs, having done well in T20Is, Arun opted to play it with a straight bat.

“Since I am not a selector, I wouldn’t comment whether he should be in the ODI scheme of things but as a coach, my job is to believe that each and every bowler at this level possess the quality and temperament to be successful.

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Sayantan Bhattacharjee

A student of the game. Averaged 35-plus in gully cricket.