Indian cricket team‘s bowling coach Bharat Arun earlier today opened up on how India had started conceiving plans on how to get the better of Australia from as early as in July.
Arun, during a press conference on Friday, gave an insight on how India used a leg-side field to catch the Australians off-guard in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The plans clearly worked wonders, as India prevented the Australia batsmen from having a significant impact and the visitors won the four-match Test series 2-1.
“Ravi Shastri called me sometime in July and when we were discussing the Australia tour, he said we need to take the offside out of the Australians. He said that ‘I want you to make a plan where we can eliminate their offside’. We thought about it and decided that we will attack more on the straighter lines and have an on side field.”
Bharat Arun spoke about how he and Ravi Shastri took inspiration from the plans used by New Zealand in 2019 to formulate their own tactics. Steve Smith was especially troubled by the leg-side field set by the Kiwis during the Chappell-Hadlee trophy 12 months ago. And India used a similar tactic and bowled straight to him to make him uncomfortable.
“We took cue from the New Zealand attack. When they bowled to Smith, they just attacked on his body line and he felt very uncomfortable. We felt that most of the runs that Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne scored were because of cut, pull and on the offside. That worked for us and the thought process started sometime in July and then, when we discussed with Virat, he bought the theory. We used the same thing in Adelaide and then Ajinkya was magnificent from Melbourne. The bowlers adjusted to that beautifully.”
As a result, Smith wasn’t able to make as much impact, and could only make one hundred over the course of the series. Marnus Labuschagne was also limited to just one hundred, and wouldn’t have ended the series top-scorer had India not dropped him on numerous occasions.