India vs West Indies: Bowling coach Bharat Arun praises young Khaleel Ahmed, says he is excited by fast bowling stocks

"We have a very good fast bowling quartet. And also, the bench strength is very exciting," Arun said ahead of the fifth and final one-dayer against the Windies.

Press Trust of India, Oct 31, 2018 18:19:14 IST

Thiruvananthapuram: India's bowling coach Bharat Arun on Wednesday said that the team's fast bowling strength has never been more "exciting" with new find Khaleel Ahmed being the latest addition to the stocks.

"We have a very good fast bowling quartet. And also, the bench strength is very exciting," Arun said ahead of the fifth and final one-dayer against the Windies.

Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneswar Kumar along with Khaleel make up the pace battery currently in operation against the Windies. Arun praised Khaleel, calling the 20-year-old a bright prospect.

File image of Khaleel Ahmed. AP

Khaleel Ahmed looks a very exciting prospect, said India's bowling coach Bharat Arun. AP

"Khaleel looks a very exciting prospect. He is sharp and has the skills to do well in international cricket. He is a very exciting prospect," he told reporters.

Khaleel took 3 for 13 in the fourth ODI in Mumbai to trigger the West Indies' collapse in pursuit of a mammoth 378 for victory.

Arun, without naming specific players, said the bench strength in Indian fast bowling is making it easier for the team management to rotate bowlers and balance their workload.

"When we started off, the onus was not only on creating a force to reckon with pace bowling unit for the Indian team, also we needed very good bench strength. To sustain fast bowling over a long period of time, you need to rotate these bowlers. The team management had to monitor the workload," he explained.

"When we played against South Africa, I think it was the first time in the history of Indian cricket we went into a match without a single spinner. We happened to win that Test match as well. This augurs really well for Indian cricket," he added referring to the tour earlier this year.

The bowling coach also defended the under-fire Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying he is one of the legends of Indian cricket and would come good.

"He is one of the legends of Indian cricket. His striking ability is for everyone to see. He has done it many a times before. He is extremely experienced and I'm sure given the opportunities, he will come good," Arun added.

Asked if performance would be given precedence over the 'Yo-Yo' fitness test in the light of Ambati Rayudu's show in the ODI series against West Indies, he said it was mandatory to prove fitness.

Rayudu missed out on the England tour after failing the Yo-Yo test, made a comeback in the ongoing series and has done well so far, including a hundred in the previous match.

"Fitness, with the kind of schedule that we have, is an important part of our focus. And the mark that we have kept for people to pass is not every tough. And anyone who is there in the team has to pass the fitness test," he said.

The Indian team had an optional training session ahead of Thursday's fixture with only a handful of players taking part.

Young southpaw Rishabh Pant delighted the small group of fans who gathered to watch the session with some big hitting.

The others who practiced were Rayudu, K L Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav. The Windies, on the other hand, opted not to train.

Updated Date: Oct 31, 2018 18:19:14 IST


Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 5 8 0 11
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254