India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun insisted that the ability of the bowling unit to learn from its mistakes in South Africa and England and execute the plans to perfection has put the team in a position to win their first Test Series in Australia.
On Sunday, the visitors forced the hosts to follow-on for the first time in 30 years after bowling them out for 300 and Australia would be happy that bad light ensured that no play was possible after just four overs were bowled in the second essay.
Answering a query on what has the team learnt from three major overseas tours this year, Bharat Arun said the defining factor in Australia was their ability to show patience while bowling to the tail.
“When we did start off, it was a great opportunity for us in South Africa and then in England. Though the scorelines in England suggest a very different view point, I thought we were very very close to winning in England. We did make mistakes there and we thought hard as to where we went wrong and we said that those are the very areas that we would focus as we go forward. You can’t be making the same mistakes again and again. Those two tours were a great experience for us and that has helped us immensely to come and do well in Australia.
“More than mistakes, I always said that we were more than eager to get the tail out. If you noticed, in England, we got the first half pretty easily. They were always 80-5, 90-5 and then we struggled with the second half. I thought the bowlers were too eager to finish off the tail. So we said let’s bowl to the tail just as we would to the top half. And I thought it came in handy here,” he added.
Apart from Pat Cummins and to an extent Nathan Lyon, none of Australia’s other lower order batsmen has managed to trouble India and that has also ensured that the visitors have conceded more that 300 runs only once in the series.
Bharat Arun said the simple game plan for Indian pacers was to not bowl to the strength of the Australian batsmen and their knowledge of the pitches Down Under helped them plan better.
“We had come to Australia previously and we knew how the wickets will be in Australia, very similar to the ones we got in South Africa. So, we drew upon all those experiences and we said that to be successful in Australia we need to take the cut and pull out of the Australian batsmen and then focus the attack on our strengths. So that’s exactly what we did.”
The 56-year-old insisted that the team was keen on winning the series 3-1 which is why they had decided to enforce the follow-on on Saturday itself after the hosts were reduced to 150 odd for 5.
“Yesterday when they were 150 odd for 5 at that stage we said that taking into account the weather forecast we said we will definitely enforce the follow on if we get a pretty sizeable lead.
“This is probably the best wicket we have played on from the batsmen’s point of view, so we were aware to win this game we need that many overs to bowl at. Also, the fact that the weather is a lot kinder that what it was in the first two-three days. It is a great opportunity for us to make it a 3-1 scoreline,” he added.
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