“Attitude” Key in Success of Fast Bowlers & Rohit Sharma: Kumble
Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble believes the “attitude” shown by the fast bowlers and opening batsman Rohit Sharma in the series against South Africa was the primary reason for their success.
While Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma picked up 26 wickets between them in the series, Sharma justified the decision to promote him to open the batting by scoring 529 runs at an average of 132.55 with three centuries, including a double hundred in the final Test at Ranchi.
“It is the attitude of these bowlers, it is the fitness levels of these bowlers and also don’t forget that the batsmen put up the runs on the board and that certainly helps the bowlers and the intent that these bowlers have showed irrespective of what the pitch is,” Kumble told CricketNext.
“I don’t think you need to look at the pitch and then start preparing for a game. I think that’s exactly what this team has done over the years, they have changed their attitude & not really bothered about what kind of surface you are bowling on or what kind of opposition you are bowling against.
“It is just the attitude that these fast bowlers have brought in to the team. I mean we saw that when Shami just ran in really hard in that second innings and even on a tough pitch where you knew that the bounce was not going to be that much, the pace off the surface wasn’t great in Ranchi but yet the kind of performance that these fast bowlers put up on show was fantastic.
“Number 1 should be the attitude, irrespective of what the conditions are, if your attitude is good and you want to do well for the team, then everything else takes a backseat. I think what has changed & what is really evident has been the attitude of these fast bowlers and it really augers well because in Indian conditions you don’t expect the fast bowlers to consistently win you Test matches & that’s exactly what these fast bowlers have done.”
There had been plenty of debate about the decision to promote Rohit Sharma to the top of the order in Test cricket after his success in the role in the limited overs formats. After he made a hundred in each innings in the first Test of the series at Vizag, Kumble insisted that Sharma can be a long-term occupant of the role.
The double hundred in Ranchi justified the former coach’s confidence as Sharma scored his runs at a strike rate of more than 80, allowing the bowlers plenty of time to bowl South Africa out twice.
“You need technique to survive as an opening batsman but that’s only a very small portion,” Kumble said. “What you require is the ability to go out there and perform. The attitude that you want to show, like we spoke about the fast bowlers, I mean irrespective of the conditions.
"The fast bowlers’ attitude was to pick wickets & that’s what you saw in Rohit Sharma, irrespective of the pitch, irrespective of his position, irrespective of the pressure that he was in his attitude to perform, his attitude to score runs, his positive frame of mind I think all of that came together & we saw that in the first Test and then of course in this last one where he scored a double hundred.
“Once he gets a hundred, we know what kind of destructive batsman that he is, we have seen that in the shorter format day in day out and that’s exactly what he did. You know the amount of time that was lost due to bad light and rain was insignificant because Rohit Sharma got his runs so quickly and that puts additional pressure on the opposition. It is just not about the quality of runs that you score, but the time that you take as well.”