Adaptability is key, No. 1 team should be able to play on any wicket, says bowling coach
Pune: Ahead of the second Test against South Africa, India's bowling coach Bharat Arun on Tuesday said that if a team wants to be number one in the game, they must adapt themselves according to the wicket.
"To be a good number one team in the world, any conditions that come your way, you got to accept and say these are home conditions," Arun told reporters.
"If you want to be the number team in the world, you got to look at the wickets and adapt your bowling instantaneously to be successful," he added.
The bowling coach said that all the pacers in the team have the ability to reverse the ball on wickets which offer it, a reason for their success in Test cricket.
India rode on Mohammed Shami's brilliant spell in the second innings of the first Test on a docile pitch in Visakhapatnam when he claimed a five-wicket haul to help the hosts beat South Africa by 203 runs.
"South Africa batted exceptionally well in the first innings. In the second innings, there was assistance to Shami's kind of bowling. And then he came up with a magnificent spell," Arun told reporters two days ahead of the second rubber here.
Chasing a 395-run target, the Proteas lost early wickets and were on the verge of losing the match by a margin of over 250 runs. Dane Piedt (56) and debutant Senuran Muthusamy (49 not out) though stitched together a 91-run stand for the ninth wicket and extended India's stay on the field. Muthusamy latter joined hands with Kagiso Rabada to add another 30 runs for the last wicket. But their effort was not enough to force a draw and they lost the match to be 0-1 in the three-match series.
"Also if you look at how Dane Piedt kept ninth wicket stand and last wicket too... it shows their resistance. "It was a magnificent spell by Shami that put us back in the game. Otherwise given the conditions, it would have been very difficult. We were aware we needed to work really hard to get the result. On that wicket it needs lot of patience," Arun said.
Asked about turning tracks testing the skill of the quicker bowlers, the Indian bowling coach heaped praise on his bowlers and domestic cricket for allowing them to learn the art.
"Our bowlers are skillful at reverse swing as when they play domestic cricket, wickets generally are flat. The outfield is also not at times great. For a bowler to be successful, he needs to learn how to reverse the ball and that's where our domestic cricket contributes a lot."
Elaborating on why India's bowling battery is so successful, Arun said: "There is definitely a chance for the pacers on any track provided they have the necessary skills, and our fast bowlers have done extremely well over the last couple of years, abroad and at home.
"Indian wickets most of the times assist spin and that's when they become more conducive for reverse swing. "All our bowlers are pretty good at reverse swing and that's why we are so successful." Arun also said that the team management never dictates the kind of wickets to be prepared as their aim is to be successful on any given track.
"We don't ask for the kind of wickets we get. For us to be a number one team in the world, we've got to accept and play on any wicket that's on offer. Even when we go abroad, we hardly look at the wicket. On the final day of the first Test, pacer Mohammad Shami scalped five wickets enabling India to register a victory before the tea interval.
"It was a purely magnificent spell by Shami that put us back in the game. Otherwise, I think given the conditions it would have been very very difficult," said Arun.
South Africa scored 431 in the first innings in response to India's 502 runs. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock both smashed a century. However, in the second innings, they were bundled out for 191 runs.
"I thought South Africans batted exceptionally well in the first, but in the second innings they were little hesitant to Shami's kind of bowling," said Arun.