Ind vs Aus: Fast bowler Shardul Thakur was India’s top scorer in the first innings of the fourth Test at The Gabba and his partnership with Washington Sundar went a long way in handing the visitors the edge in the series decider. Bowling coach Bharat Arun on Friday revealed that the team was aware of the pacer’s batting skills.
Shardul and Sundar scripted a 123-run stand for the seventh wicket after India was reduced to 186/6 in the first essay to bring the visitors right back in the game. Arun explained how batting coach Vikram Rathour made sure even the bowlers got a chance to bat in the nets which yielded rich dividends in the final Test of the series. “We always knew Shardul can bat because when he had batted in a few of the One-Day games he had come with the cameo innings on many occasions. We were aware that Shardul is capable of batting,” said Arun while replying to a query from ANI.
“Every session in the nets, Shardul would get half an hour to bat during the Test series. Vikram would be working with all the reserves and we had those slingers with us who did an exceptional job, feeding these bowlers balls to play with and that really helped us,” he added.
“Our planning of the net sessions has been outstanding. Washington Sundar though he was a net bowler he used to bat every day for half an hour. The batting coach made sure all had enough practice. They worked like any other player on tour and spent extra hours. Even Kartik Tyagi who was the net bowler was given equal importance and in the end, it paid off,” said Arun.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led side beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test at The Gabba on Tuesday to take the series 2-1. India’s historic win has also ensured they toppled Australia in the ICC Test Team Rankings to claim the second spot.
When India was still under strict lockdown and cricket had just resumed in the post-coronavirus era with the England-West Indies Test series in July, the Indian team management led by coach Ravi Shastri had already devised a plan to knock off Australia on their home soil in the Test series that was to be played in December-January. India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun on Friday revealed that he had received a call from Shastri way back in July to chalk out a plan to counter Australian batsmen’s strength on the off-side. “Ravi Shastri called me sometime in July and said we need to take the offside out of the Australians. We had our own analysis and we felt that most of the runs that Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne scored were because of cut, pull and on the offside,” Arun said in a virtual press conference on Friday.
“We took a cue from the New Zealand attack. When they bowled to Smith, they just attacked his body and he felt very uncomfortable,” he added.