The nature of Test surfaces in India have been starkly different under Virat Kohli and his predecessor M.S. Dhoni. While Dhoni exploited the home advantage with tracks that assisted the spinners, Kohli, after following that tradition early on, has adopted a fair use policy. This has helped India’s pacers come into play in a big way.
Arun, India’s bowling coach, stressed that the pacers have the skillset to succeed in varied conditions.
“I think there is a chance for the pacers on any track provided they have the necessary skills. Our fast bowlers have done quite well abroad and in India. On Indian wickets, when the ball spins, it also becomes conducive for reverse swing, and all our bowlers are pretty good at reverse swing,” said Arun on Tuesday ahead of the second Test against South Africa starting here on Thursday.
While the Proteas pacers failed to restrict India, Ishant and Shami overshadowed Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander. Arun felt that plying their trade in domestic cricket had helped the host pacers reverse it better.
“Our bowlers are pretty skilful at reverse swing because when we play domestic cricket, the wickets are flat. Sometimes the outfield is also not great. For a bowler to be successful, one needs to learn to reverse the ball,” said Arun
“I think domestic cricket contributes a lot as you can see that most exponents of reverse swing come from the sub-continent because they need to adapt.”
Given the weather conditions in Pune, it would be interesting to see if the pacers would be forced to succeed against the odds, or get favourable conditions.