India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun confident of a spirited fightback against England in fourth Test; provides example of team’s series victory in Australia despite being bowled out for 36 at Adelaide
India players celebrate the wicket of England’s Jonny Bairstow during the second Test at Lord’s recently. Pic/Getty Images
India's humiliating defeat at Headingley, Leeds has the five-Test series nicely poised for an epic ending.
If Virat Kohli’s men have to fulfil the dream of winning the first Test series in England since Rahul Dravid’s team did in 2007, they have to conquer The Oval where India last won 50 years ago in 1971. The caravan will then move to Old Trafford at Manchester (September 10 to 14) for the fifth and final Test where even a draw should suffice.
However, the poor form of the middle-order is a major concern for Team India going into today’s fourth Test. It was one of the reasons why India folded up for a paltry 78 in the first innings at Leeds, resulting in a defeat by an innings and 76 runs.
India had a batting collapse earlier this year too where they were bundled out for their all-time lowest Test score of 36 at the Adelaide Oval against Australia. Despite that, India managed to register their second consecutive series win Down Under.
Arun expects strong show
Bowling coach Bharat Arun has no doubts that Team India can bounce back once again after a big defeat. “We have been bowled out for 36 in the past and we have bounced back from that. We have our ways to bounce back and we have done it in the past, we can take the confidence from the past. I am sure you will see much more spirited performances in the coming two Tests,” Arun said on the eve of the match during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Arun ruled out any injury concerns for Team India, saying Prasidh Krishna’s inclusion to the squad for the fourth Test was just “precautionary.” “To be really honest, we are looking at the workload in this series, we should not look too far ahead. We should look at how we can play bowlers with fresh legs and it is being looked at purely on the basis of this series,” said Arun, who also revealed that Ravindra Jadeja is fully fit and the left-arm spinner had gone for precautionary scan at Leeds.
The Indian team management may rest Mohammed Shami or Jasprit Bumrah for the Oval Test and Shardul Thakur is likely to come back in the XI. England are boosted with the return of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood for the fourth Test.
India’s bowling looked at sea in the third Test, where England amassed 432 in the first innings in response to India’s 78. England skipper Joe Root notched up his third successive century with a masterly 121.
‘A different cup of tea’
Arun agreed that the Indian bowlers have allowed Root to get quick starts to his innings, but the bowling coach is confident of a better performance for the remaining two Tests. “I would also like to see how they [England bowlers] would bowl if they are defending a score of 78...it’s no excuse for the bowling. Yes, there is always room for improvement and it will be a different cup of tea in the next Test match,” said Arun.
‘England wary of off-spinner R Ashwin’
India bowling coach Bharat Arun said a decision to play ace off-spinner R Ashwin will be taken on the morning of the fourth Test.
“History at the Oval says that it [conditions] aids spin, but you also know how the Englishmen are wary of Ashwin’s abilities of what he could do if there is any assistance from the track. The best thing would be to decide after looking at the track tomorrow [Thursday] morning as anything could happen between now and tomorrow.”
And if conditions aid spin, Arun said both Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja could feature together.
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