Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 26, 2014

Focussed Shami, and Aaron's broken radar

Karthik Krishnaswamy in Fatullah
Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup clash between Bangladesh and India
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The collision

Having opened Shamsur Rahman up with a back-of-a-length delivery that straightened and bounced, Mohammed Shami's eyes were fixed on the ball looping up off the leading edge. So glued were his eyes to the ball that Shami didn't notice Ambati Rayudu running in from cover to claim the same catch. The two collided, but Shami's focus had been so unwavering he came out of it clutching the ball triumphantly. Both bowler and fielder were unhurt.

The yorkers

India have seldom used Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the death. Two days before this match, though, he had been spotted diligently aiming yorkers at a dummy batsman in an open net. All of that practice showed when he came on for the 47th and 49th overs of Bangladesh's innings and fired eight out of those 12 balls into the blockhole.

The forehand swat

Anamul Haque had already jumped down the track and smacked Varun Aaron for a six. Seeing him leave his crease once more, Aaron banged the ball in short. It rose shoulder high and on an off-stump line, but Anamul didn't care, and went through with the shot, swatting the ball hard and high over the deep midwicket boundary.

The beamer

Aaron wasn't having a good day. He was going at over nine an over, and Mushfiqur Rahim had smashed two fours and a six off his last four legal deliveries. His radar had been all over the place. But now, Aaron's waywardness went beyond merely line and length. The ball slipped out of his fingers, and struck Mushfiqur Rahim on the chest, on the full. Aaron had already bowled one waist-high full-toss at Anamul. The second meant he could play no more part with the ball.

The yorkers (part two)

In his fourth over, Rubel Hossain uprooted Shikhar Dhawan's leg stump with a superbly directed yorker. Unfortunately for the bowler, this was a free hit. Rubel's efforts would get their reward in due course, however, even if it was too late in India's innings to make any difference to the result. In his final over, Rubel bowled his second unplayable yorker of the day, a ball good enough to bowl Virat Kohli out for 136.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Petey on | February 27, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    I disagree on the topic of just bowl fast. Well, he hit almost 149km/hr on constant basis in this match and other matches as well. Yet he has leaked the run without taking wickets. I believe international players are equipped with handling speed, but not the speed with controlled line and length or some trickery to that speed. In Varun Aaron we do have a genuine fast bowler. What he needs is a guidance in the determining line and lengths to bowl otherwise he will fall and fade away faster than his dream rise into international level. Perhaps hire a genuine fast bowler with similar style but with a good record from the past (and from other countries) as bowling coach to teach him a trick or two. I would hate to see him fade away really.

  • POSTED BY on | February 27, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    i do agree that varun should not drop his pace.. the more hep plays the better he becomes so let him bowl the way he does.. the only issue will be his variation .. he needs to learn that and also the art of surprise.. he need to learn these two.. fast bowlers use these as their main weapon and if he include these two to his armory... he will be devastating...

  • POSTED BY thaikkathameed on | February 27, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Varun should not reduce his pace. He should bowl the fastest he can. Line and length will come naturally later on, but please do not advise him to reduce his pace and spoil his career. He is a genuine fast bowler. The bowling coach should advise him accordingly. Asking him to control his line and length is curtailing natural ability. Please don't make Varun another Munaf, Ishant and Umesh. Let him continue with his natural way surely he will improve with experience.

  • POSTED BY challagalla on | February 27, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Bangladesh is no longer an underdog. A few more tests against the big teams and they are fine. They had their moments in this ODI too and came close in my opinion. The kind of start they had they should have put on a 300 plus score. They will learn fast and it is a mistake by any team to underestimate them.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Here we go again! We keep lamenting the lack of pace bowlers and keep watching in awe as our neighbors keep producing Imran, Akram, Younis, Shoaib, Irfan, Gul almost every year; and when a genuine pacer does come along our captains and coaches keep them on a short leash. Yes, line and length are important but what is more important is that we give him a little space to develop and a longer span. He might not be very accurate but he has got which no other Indian bowler has... raw pace. Let's not expect him to tun into a Shoaib or Irfan overnight, but we need to give him confidence and take good care of him.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    I think for the first time, we have seen two bowlers in India who have the ability to bowl over 140 thruout the day. Umesh and Aaron. Please please take care of them, the captain, coach and selectors should give the confidence to these guys, and tell them to just express themselves in every game. Even if they are off target sometimes, they are conceding what a regular slow low medium pacer is conceding.

    As wasim said earlier, the first thing to look out is pace, rest of the things can be learned and groomed into a player, we have men with pace, we need to give them confidence, guidence, so that they become better and better by the time we go for 2015 WC. Else as it is there is very little hope of India in 2015 WC.

    Batsmen will not be able to score 350 or 400, and the only way we will restrict if these guys with pace gain confidence, experience and learn all the time till the start of WC. please invest in them, and then we will enjoy for few years looking at indian bowling.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 26, 2014, 21:12 GMT

    @Kunal chillaxed Das: If a Fast Bowler or for that matter any Bowler forgets his Line, Length & Direction then he is useless to any team however fast he Bowls! However I do agree that the Indian Captain needs to provide guidance to pace bowlers like Aaron & Yadev- both over 145 KPH - to achieve these qualities which makes a Fast Bowler into a wicket taker. It is tough for WK Dhoni to do so but Kohli should have fielded at Mid off to instruct & guide Aaron VS. BD, today. Every Team Captain keeps tabs on his bowlers- especially the wayward ones! I was surprised that Kohli failed to do so. The best way to achieve positive results from Aaron & Yadev (+ few other Fast bowlers) is to send them to a Coaching camp for 3 months under an expert to achieve desired Line, Length & Direction on a consistent basis. India needs genuine pace Bowlers with Wicket taking capability with intelligent well directed bowling. Aaron, Yadev & Ishant are failing in these attributes which is hurting India.

  • POSTED BY mk49_van on | February 26, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    Pathetic. India finally produces a genuine quick and he gets smacked around by Bangladesh - a team that always brings up the very back of rear. LOL.

  • POSTED BY i_amVIVA on | February 26, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Bravo BCB. Well, it's BCB 1 - Team BD 0; BCB can rejoice now keeping key players away, a game well played by politician BCB. However, BD wasn't a push over by any means.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    At first , we complain that India doesn't produce fast bowlers. And then when someone comes in who is genuinely fast , we ask them to concentrate on line & length & he ends up being neither. It's high time that we learn to nurture young fast bowlers carefully. Even Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson got better with age & experience. Let's give the poor bloke some breathing space. He has gone for over 9 R.P.O against Bangladesh so what ? Even when Aaron wasn't in the playing XI we ended up conceding 300plus scores in SA & against Australia back in october thanks to whom ? Yes, those bowlers only who concentrate on line & length. So,even if Aaron isn't doing anything better job than those bowlers he is also not doing any bad. We've already lost Ishant, Munag & Umesh due to this "concentrate on line & length". I hope Aaron doesn't follow suit & we end up losing him also.

  • POSTED BY Petey on | February 27, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    I disagree on the topic of just bowl fast. Well, he hit almost 149km/hr on constant basis in this match and other matches as well. Yet he has leaked the run without taking wickets. I believe international players are equipped with handling speed, but not the speed with controlled line and length or some trickery to that speed. In Varun Aaron we do have a genuine fast bowler. What he needs is a guidance in the determining line and lengths to bowl otherwise he will fall and fade away faster than his dream rise into international level. Perhaps hire a genuine fast bowler with similar style but with a good record from the past (and from other countries) as bowling coach to teach him a trick or two. I would hate to see him fade away really.

  • POSTED BY on | February 27, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    i do agree that varun should not drop his pace.. the more hep plays the better he becomes so let him bowl the way he does.. the only issue will be his variation .. he needs to learn that and also the art of surprise.. he need to learn these two.. fast bowlers use these as their main weapon and if he include these two to his armory... he will be devastating...

  • POSTED BY thaikkathameed on | February 27, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Varun should not reduce his pace. He should bowl the fastest he can. Line and length will come naturally later on, but please do not advise him to reduce his pace and spoil his career. He is a genuine fast bowler. The bowling coach should advise him accordingly. Asking him to control his line and length is curtailing natural ability. Please don't make Varun another Munaf, Ishant and Umesh. Let him continue with his natural way surely he will improve with experience.

  • POSTED BY challagalla on | February 27, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Bangladesh is no longer an underdog. A few more tests against the big teams and they are fine. They had their moments in this ODI too and came close in my opinion. The kind of start they had they should have put on a 300 plus score. They will learn fast and it is a mistake by any team to underestimate them.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Here we go again! We keep lamenting the lack of pace bowlers and keep watching in awe as our neighbors keep producing Imran, Akram, Younis, Shoaib, Irfan, Gul almost every year; and when a genuine pacer does come along our captains and coaches keep them on a short leash. Yes, line and length are important but what is more important is that we give him a little space to develop and a longer span. He might not be very accurate but he has got which no other Indian bowler has... raw pace. Let's not expect him to tun into a Shoaib or Irfan overnight, but we need to give him confidence and take good care of him.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    I think for the first time, we have seen two bowlers in India who have the ability to bowl over 140 thruout the day. Umesh and Aaron. Please please take care of them, the captain, coach and selectors should give the confidence to these guys, and tell them to just express themselves in every game. Even if they are off target sometimes, they are conceding what a regular slow low medium pacer is conceding.

    As wasim said earlier, the first thing to look out is pace, rest of the things can be learned and groomed into a player, we have men with pace, we need to give them confidence, guidence, so that they become better and better by the time we go for 2015 WC. Else as it is there is very little hope of India in 2015 WC.

    Batsmen will not be able to score 350 or 400, and the only way we will restrict if these guys with pace gain confidence, experience and learn all the time till the start of WC. please invest in them, and then we will enjoy for few years looking at indian bowling.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 26, 2014, 21:12 GMT

    @Kunal chillaxed Das: If a Fast Bowler or for that matter any Bowler forgets his Line, Length & Direction then he is useless to any team however fast he Bowls! However I do agree that the Indian Captain needs to provide guidance to pace bowlers like Aaron & Yadev- both over 145 KPH - to achieve these qualities which makes a Fast Bowler into a wicket taker. It is tough for WK Dhoni to do so but Kohli should have fielded at Mid off to instruct & guide Aaron VS. BD, today. Every Team Captain keeps tabs on his bowlers- especially the wayward ones! I was surprised that Kohli failed to do so. The best way to achieve positive results from Aaron & Yadev (+ few other Fast bowlers) is to send them to a Coaching camp for 3 months under an expert to achieve desired Line, Length & Direction on a consistent basis. India needs genuine pace Bowlers with Wicket taking capability with intelligent well directed bowling. Aaron, Yadev & Ishant are failing in these attributes which is hurting India.

  • POSTED BY mk49_van on | February 26, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    Pathetic. India finally produces a genuine quick and he gets smacked around by Bangladesh - a team that always brings up the very back of rear. LOL.

  • POSTED BY i_amVIVA on | February 26, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Bravo BCB. Well, it's BCB 1 - Team BD 0; BCB can rejoice now keeping key players away, a game well played by politician BCB. However, BD wasn't a push over by any means.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    At first , we complain that India doesn't produce fast bowlers. And then when someone comes in who is genuinely fast , we ask them to concentrate on line & length & he ends up being neither. It's high time that we learn to nurture young fast bowlers carefully. Even Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson got better with age & experience. Let's give the poor bloke some breathing space. He has gone for over 9 R.P.O against Bangladesh so what ? Even when Aaron wasn't in the playing XI we ended up conceding 300plus scores in SA & against Australia back in october thanks to whom ? Yes, those bowlers only who concentrate on line & length. So,even if Aaron isn't doing anything better job than those bowlers he is also not doing any bad. We've already lost Ishant, Munag & Umesh due to this "concentrate on line & length". I hope Aaron doesn't follow suit & we end up losing him also.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    I've had enough of this. Varun Aaron should do what he does best & that is to run in & bowl fast. Forget about line & length. Even focussing on line & length has cost Ishant Sharma to concede more than 8 R.P.O in 4 of the last 8 matches that he played. Aaron can't be any worse , can he ? So, let this poor guy do what he does best. He's an extremely rare talent coz he isnt just a fast-medium bowler but genuinely right arm fast. We've already lost Munaf , Ishant , Umesh by asking them to concentrate on line & length. This shouldn't happen with Aaron. A fast bowler needs to be carefully nurtured. If Dhoni/Kohli handles him well , even India can boast of having a genuine fast bowler in their ranks from now on. With experience we would get better & would have much better control over his line & length but for the time being let him bowl fast. With or without Aaron we end up chasing over 300 most of the times , So don't think allowing Aaron to bowl fast would have too much effect.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Aron should keep on bowling with same pace, though he should try to control the line and length, but not at the cost of pace. Wasim Akram always says- Being a fast bowler means being a fast bowler. Every thing else will come eventually

  • POSTED BY raghav355 on | February 26, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Brothers! We need to groom this genuine quick! He might not be so useful on dead subcontinental wickets but can prove to be more than a handful when India plays abroad! We should give him a longer rope!

  • POSTED BY Vijay_P_S on | February 26, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    It is still early days for Aaron in international cricket. He needs proper guidance to develop his skills. It would be a shame to waste a talent like that. We need a GOOD bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY FarSight on | February 26, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    I am an old man. I have been following cricket all my life. I don't know of an Indian team ever chosen on cricketing merit.

  • POSTED BY GrindAR on | February 26, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    not sure why he was frustrated... he just needed the change of bowling end, around the wicket changes... numbers do not suggest his potential... he need a fine tune... probably send him to Venkatesh Prasad to work on his mental strength which was not there in this match... BD is no longer an underdog... esp in shorter formats... they have skillful player to turn the match on its head... they just need to believe in themselves...

  • POSTED BY Cricket_BornForIt on | February 26, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    If a bowler goes for 10 runs per over against a weaker team like Bangladesh, he is no good and I feel same for Aaron. Pace without direction is useless. Boycott would say even my mom can hit him for six :)

  • POSTED BY Temuzin on | February 26, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    I think Varun tries to bowl faster is the problem. In that effort he loses his line and length. Bowling coach should work with him to reduce pace by couple of miles and work on line and length. He should get at least 10 games on trot to work on this. Today was just a bad day for him.

  • POSTED BY Ha8rick on | February 26, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    Varon Aaron should only stick to Ranji.

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  • POSTED BY Ha8rick on | February 26, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    Varon Aaron should only stick to Ranji.

  • POSTED BY Temuzin on | February 26, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    I think Varun tries to bowl faster is the problem. In that effort he loses his line and length. Bowling coach should work with him to reduce pace by couple of miles and work on line and length. He should get at least 10 games on trot to work on this. Today was just a bad day for him.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_BornForIt on | February 26, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    If a bowler goes for 10 runs per over against a weaker team like Bangladesh, he is no good and I feel same for Aaron. Pace without direction is useless. Boycott would say even my mom can hit him for six :)

  • POSTED BY GrindAR on | February 26, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    not sure why he was frustrated... he just needed the change of bowling end, around the wicket changes... numbers do not suggest his potential... he need a fine tune... probably send him to Venkatesh Prasad to work on his mental strength which was not there in this match... BD is no longer an underdog... esp in shorter formats... they have skillful player to turn the match on its head... they just need to believe in themselves...

  • POSTED BY FarSight on | February 26, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    I am an old man. I have been following cricket all my life. I don't know of an Indian team ever chosen on cricketing merit.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_P_S on | February 26, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    It is still early days for Aaron in international cricket. He needs proper guidance to develop his skills. It would be a shame to waste a talent like that. We need a GOOD bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY raghav355 on | February 26, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Brothers! We need to groom this genuine quick! He might not be so useful on dead subcontinental wickets but can prove to be more than a handful when India plays abroad! We should give him a longer rope!

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Aron should keep on bowling with same pace, though he should try to control the line and length, but not at the cost of pace. Wasim Akram always says- Being a fast bowler means being a fast bowler. Every thing else will come eventually

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    I've had enough of this. Varun Aaron should do what he does best & that is to run in & bowl fast. Forget about line & length. Even focussing on line & length has cost Ishant Sharma to concede more than 8 R.P.O in 4 of the last 8 matches that he played. Aaron can't be any worse , can he ? So, let this poor guy do what he does best. He's an extremely rare talent coz he isnt just a fast-medium bowler but genuinely right arm fast. We've already lost Munaf , Ishant , Umesh by asking them to concentrate on line & length. This shouldn't happen with Aaron. A fast bowler needs to be carefully nurtured. If Dhoni/Kohli handles him well , even India can boast of having a genuine fast bowler in their ranks from now on. With experience we would get better & would have much better control over his line & length but for the time being let him bowl fast. With or without Aaron we end up chasing over 300 most of the times , So don't think allowing Aaron to bowl fast would have too much effect.

  • POSTED BY on | February 26, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    At first , we complain that India doesn't produce fast bowlers. And then when someone comes in who is genuinely fast , we ask them to concentrate on line & length & he ends up being neither. It's high time that we learn to nurture young fast bowlers carefully. Even Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson got better with age & experience. Let's give the poor bloke some breathing space. He has gone for over 9 R.P.O against Bangladesh so what ? Even when Aaron wasn't in the playing XI we ended up conceding 300plus scores in SA & against Australia back in october thanks to whom ? Yes, those bowlers only who concentrate on line & length. So,even if Aaron isn't doing anything better job than those bowlers he is also not doing any bad. We've already lost Ishant, Munag & Umesh due to this "concentrate on line & length". I hope Aaron doesn't follow suit & we end up losing him also.