India bowling coach Bharat Arun on Sunday heaped praise on wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, saying the chinaman is a much-improved bowler than what he was during the tour of England.
Yadav picked 5-99 in his maiden Test Down Under as Australia were bowled out for 300 runs in their first innings and finished at 6-0 after the follow-on was enforced, "Kuldeep is a very skill full bowler as he has proved it. He has had a very successful stint in ODIs, and probably he is the number one bowler in the one-day format. He is unique in the sense that very few chinaman bowlers around the world at the moment. Also, he brings googly to the fore," said Arun after a rain-hit day four.
"And what makes him even more special is his ability to use the crease. He can bowl from over and round the wicket, and he can bowl closer to the wicket and also from wide of the crease. That gives him a lot of variety. And I think there is a lot to come from that young kid."
Arun said Kuldeep's performance in the ongoing Test could not have come at a better time.
"He didn’t have a great outing in England when he played, but this Test match would give him a lot of confidence. And considering a spinner and his age, I think he has got a lot of cricket left in him," he said.
Talking about the decision to go in with two spinners, he said, "Earlier we had played a practice game at Sydney and also the T20 match. So we were quite aware of the conditions that existed and also we felt that if at all we need to play two spinners that would be at Sydney."
India had not enforced the follow in Melbourne, and they chose to do it here for various reason. Arun explained the decision in terms of freshness of bowlers and number of overs remaining in the game.
"Yesterday, when Australia were 150-odd for five, and also taking into account the weather forecast, we said that we would definitely enforce the follow-on if we get them out pretty sizeably.
"This is probably one of the best wickets we have played on from the batsman's point of view. So, we were aware that to win this game we need that many overs to bowl at. Also the fact that weather was a lot kinder than what it was in the first three days and also the fact it’s a great opportunity for us to make it 3-1 scoreline."
With Australia having to fight on day five for a draw, the bowlers have virtually assured a series’ win for India, and Arun credited an all-round attack for the same.
"We do have a lot of respect for their fast-bowling attack and I think they are probably one of the best in the world. But we were more focused on what we could do, and we have also come to Australia previously so we knew how the wickets would be in Australia – very similar to the ones we got in South Africa.
"We drew upon all those experiences and said that to be successful in Australia, we need to make sure that we took the cut and pull out of the Australian batsmen, and then focus on our strengths. That’s exactly what we did.
"I don’t think we are motivated just because we are on the winning side. The onus of this team particularly is always putting the team in front," he said.
The bowling coach also spoke about the Indian attack’s progress through the 2018-19 overseas cycle.
"When we started off, it was a great opportunity for us in South Africa, and then in England. Though the scoreline in England suggests a totally different viewpoint, I thought we were very close to winning in England. We did make mistakes there, and we thought hard as to where we went wrong.
"We said that those are the very areas where we would focus as we go forward. You can’t be making the same mistakes again and again. I thought those two tours were great experience for us and that has helped us immensely to come and well in Australia.
"As for the tailenders, I would say we were too eager to get them out. So we said ‘let’s bowl to the tail just as we would to the top half’. Those were the mistakes we made and I thought they came in handy here," he signed off.