India have been going through a pretty good phase in the ICC World Cup. They have been doing well both with the bat and ball. However, their bowling coach Bharat Arun said having the quality pacers like Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the squad was an ’embarrassment of riches’. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the first choice for India in the tournament alongside Jasprit Bumrah. Though he has been ruled out for a couple of games due to a hamstring injury, that gave Mohammed Shami a chance to play against Afghanistan where he picked up four wickets including a hat-trick.
“Bhuvneshwar’s injury is not of any great concern. It is just a niggle, which we didn’t want to take a chance,” Arun said in Manchester. “And it was also an opportunity for us to plug Shami into the games. But the fact he’s done exceptionally well goes well for us; it’s an embarrassment of riches. And we would take a call as per the conditions, but Bhuvi too has done exceptionally well. So I think it’s a pretty good headache to have.”
While speaking about Shami’s growth and fitness, the coach said, “Shami was in a totally different mindset (a year back). And we had to — the head coach, me, all of us had to sit down and speak to him and kind of draw a future map for him and had to convince him regarding that. And he was going through certain personal problems as well at that point in time.”
“So beyond all that, I think what has really got him into the situation that he is is his ability to play cricket and that’s exactly what we made him focus on. And I think the rest is there for everybody to see,” he further added.
He also shared about Hardik Pandya’s bowling, saying he is more confident than before and has improved a lot as well.
“Over a period time it was a big challenge for him to bowl those 10 overs, and he realised that to be able to bowl those 10 overs he needs to develop a certain armoury in my bowling,” Arun said. “And that’s what he’s worked on. He’s worked on his slow balls, his slower bouncers also, and also he’s worked on perfecting his bouncers. So all these put together have given him the confidence to go through those 10 overs.”
“They’re an outstanding side and they play real positive cricket. We are aware of the challenges that exist in this game. And I think our plans are pretty much in place and we are up for the challenge,” he said while asked about the game.
“They do have their strengths. And also it’s a big challenge for the bowlers especially when they come after you. But whenever batsmen come after you, if you’re willing to look at it deeply, there is a chance in it for the bowlers, and I think that’s what the bowlers would be looking to do,” he concluded.