Johannesburg: Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun today said the door is not closed on R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup, despite the emergence of a red-hot wrist spin duo in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Arun acknowledged that newcomers Kuldeep and Chahal have done exceptionally well because wrist spinners do not rely overtly on pitches and conditions.
“They are extremely positive. They are not afraid to flight the ball. They are not afraid to impart extra spin to gain something, and they are not dependent on the wicket,” Arun said on the eve of the fourth ODI against South Africa.
“They get a lot out of the air. They have enough skills to beat batsmen in the air and them back their instinct.”
India has taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the six-match series, with Kuldeep and Chahal contributing handsomely.
“The two spinners have been outstanding in the ODIs. They have got a lot of talent and lot of abilities. They have troubled the best batsmen in the business back home.
“We were extremely confident that they would come here to South Africa and make inroads into their batting.”
They were first introduced to ODIs on the tour of Sri Lanka. Since then the duo has gone on to play 17 matches each and coincidentally they have also picked up 32 wickets apiece.
Yet, the coach said that the World Cup spots are still open.
“We had a good pool of bowlers and given the volume of cricket we are playing, we needed to keep rotating these bowlers and keep them fresh for every format.
“These two bowlers showed a lot of promise. We thought that in these conditions, wrist spinners would do a lot more than finger spinners, and they have come to the party here.”
The bowling coach further added, “We wanted to look at all the existing talent in the pool and then we wanted to decide who we wanted for the ultimate goal of the World Cup.
“It’s not that Ashwin and Jadeja are out of the race. They could still be (included) into the team,” he added.
While that will come as good news for India’s top-ranked spinners, there will be no respite for South Africa who is facing a must-win game tomorrow.
Speaking about the Pink Day, he said, “We do support the cause. Tomorrow it’s a great cause, and from our point of view we will go and play our best cricket and provide the right entertainment for the crowd,” he added.
Talking about the Test series gone by, the bowling coach expressed extreme satisfaction with the way Indian bowlers took 60 out of 60 wickets.
“My job as a coach is to give enough feedback to the bowlers to understand themselves better. If they do understand themselves better they know their strengths and shortcomings.
“That will help them to go out and perform to the best of their abilities. We said we understood the South African wickets and the lengths that we need to bowl.”
He highlighted that Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the Indian attack during the Test series. He shed light on how the team management prepared him for Tests against South Africa.