Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul in a file photo.
Opener KL Rahul is an “outstanding talent” who needs to be “persisted with” but fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who gets frequently dropped after one failure is an “unfortunate” player, according to Indian bowling coach Bharath Arun.
Despite 14 failures in 16 Test knocks, Rahul may get another chance in the second Test against the West Indies, looking at Australia Tests while Umesh will have to make way when Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma make a comeback.
“It’s really unfortunate that Umesh didn’t get to play a lot in South Africa and in England. The reason being, bowlers who played, performed exceptionally well,” said Arun referring to one Test each in South Africa and England.
This was after a series of fine performances on unresponsive Indian tracks.
“We look at Umesh as somebody who is quick. We also have a system where we rotate the bowlers so that they remain fresh and Umesh is a part of that (policy). We are extremely confident about what Umesh can bring to the table.”
However, when asked about Rahul’s string of low scores, the coach dropped a hint that he is being seen as a long-term investment.
“Technical weakness as what you perceive I do not know but Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Bangar had a good chat with him.
“As a coach, I feel Rahul is an outstanding player with tremendous potential, who should be persisted with. (in Rahul) we have a super batsman in the future for us,” said Arun steering clear if Mayank Agarwal would make his Test debut.
He made it clear that the team is not thinking on lines of experimentation.
“It’s not the question of experimenting but the position we are in, we would like to consolidate. We would like to put the best team on the park and I believe anyone in the 16 can play.”
Praising Prithvi Shaw’s temperament, Arun said the best part is unearthing a new talent in every game.
“Every Test match that we play, we have been able to throw up new players. Like Prithvi Shaw in the last Test match. More than the runs that he got, he was able to show composure for a guy playing his first Test match, these are things that we look at.”
There was considerable interest about local boy Mohammed Siraj’s chances of a Test debut but Arun remained non-committal.
However, he termed Siraj as “quick learner” whom he has nurtured since his time as Hyderabad Ranji coach.
“He is a very very quick learner and during my stint with Hyderabad, I found him picking up things quickly. With experience and recent performances for A team showed how quick a learner Siraj is,” he said.
Meanwhile, skipper Virat Kohli didn’t attend the session as it was optional.