England v India, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day August 8, 2014

Aaron quickens India pulse

It is too early to know whether Varun Aaron can bowl with consistent pace but his impact at Old Trafford has been heartening for India fans
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Dravid: Bhuvneshwar hardly bowls a bad ball

Rarely does MS Dhoni collect a ball with fingers pointing skywards and the ball thudding into his gloves. Even on this pitch, the quickest this set of India players might have played on, he barely felt the thud. Not from one end, though. Varun Aaron, playing his first Test in two-and-a-half years, only his seventh first-class match since his last Test, having recovered from five stress fractures over his short career, repeatedly kept thudding into those camouflage gloves when not drawing a hurried response from the batsman.

It is too early to say anything substantial about Aaron - he has yet to come back for a proper second spell on the day, he has not been the most accurate, this is inherently a quick pitch, and he is not 95mph either - but there is pace, and that should excite India.

Raw pace sometimes get underrated. Sometimes you can get away with lack of accuracy if you have that raw pace. All three of his wickets have come through pace, and more satisfactorily two of those have come with the full ball after he had pushed the batsmen back. Watching a batsmen bowled through the gate after having been troubled with a bouncer previous ball is something Indian fans don't usually get to celebrate. Aaron did that to Moeen Ali after extending, in consent with his captain, his over by one spell.

Aaron's role in the team is to bowl short and sharp spells, but India don't have the luxury of sustained pressure from the other end, so as to give Aaron - like Michael Clarke does Mitchell Johnson - four-over spells religiously. "There is no role as such," Aaron said, asked if he had the liberty to go flat out in short bursts. "Obviously there is a clear message that I have to bowl quick whenever I bowl. I have bowled a six-over spell too, so bowling five or six overs is not a problem. It depends on the situation also. But yeah, shorter spells are always better."

Aaron had bowled flat out on the second morning, for four overs almost consistently over 85mph. Dhoni walked up to him before the next, and asked him if he could bowl another. Both felt they were on to something. Moeen was on strike. He has had problems with the short ball. Aaron said Moeen being on strike didn't play any part in the decision, but he wanted to bowl that extra over.

The first ball was a bouncer at the throat, at around 88mph, and hit Moeen's glove even as he was halfway into the shot. The next ball was a peach, pitched up, swinging in late, past the inside edge of a high backlift, thudding into the pad, and then into the stumps. He would have had Moeen plumb lbw had he not hit the stumps.

Aaron was pretty satisfied with that dismissal without being smug about it. "In the previous match also, he had a problem against the short ball," Aaron said. "And even at Lord's. So I was obviously watching from the sidelines, and knew if I got a couple of good bouncers in, he might be in trouble. Good bouncer set-up followed by a good full ball is a good option."

A year and a half ago, bowling quick again was just a dream for Aaron. He was getting operated in London to relieve him of a fifth stress fracture. "When I got operated, one of my targets back then was to come on this tour," Aaron said. "I am really glad I am here, I am finally playing, and I have had a decent match so far."

There was no question he would hold back, though. "If I held myself back, I wouldn't be bowling quick at all," Aaron said. "I have had five stress fractures. If I am not holding myself back now, I don't see a reason to ever hold myself back."

There will soon be a longer day in the field, followed by a Test with a three-day break. That will provide a more accurate assessment of if Aaron can sustain his pace, and what he can do with it.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on August 10, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    @Alex400: I am amazed that you are doubting Aaron's capabilities based on his height even though he is in 140- 150 KPH range!. He is around 5'-8" which is by no means short. Larwood was in a similar height range- may be an inch taller, but he terrorised Bradman & the Aussies with his pace. Ramakant Desai of India during late 50's & early 60's was only 5'-4" with a chest 28" & arms like spindles! Keith Miller the Aussie fast bowler called his bumper lethal. Desai was quicker than Ishant Sharma at 6'-5". Amar Singh one of the best Indian pace bowler along with Nissar was about 5'-8". Gilchrist of WI -5'8"- was one of the quickest bowlers, faster than Hall @ 6'-4". Malinga of SL is comparable in height with Aaron. So height helps but is not an exclusive requisite in a fast bowler. Tall bowlers may have greater stamina. As for injuries tall guys are just as susceptible to stress fractures + knee & ankle problems. Aaron has great potential & has been ignored far too long albeit he is 24!

  • Devang96 on August 9, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Just a point to Sidharth Monga, but you don't extend an over by an extra spell, but you extend a spell by an extra over.

  • here2rock on August 9, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    It is hard to believe how India pick their best eleven, what was this guy doing on the bench all tour?

  • Hardy1 on August 9, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Now I think the last remaining piece of the puzzle is replacing Jadeja with a quick bowler when outside the subcontinent. The bits & pieces approach really is frustrating & Jadeja for a man with a first class average of 50 looks a very limited batsman.

    Vijay-Dhawan-Pujara-Kohli-Rahane-Dhoni-Ashwin-Bhuvi-Ishant-Aaron-Yadav would be a really positive combination that would excite the fans. Any of the 3 quicker ones there could be rotated with Shami & Pankaj & Ishwar should also be involved in the squad. My worry is who would replace Bhuvi if he were injured? If we could bring back Praveen Kumar it would be ideal.

    I also agree that guys like Umesh shouldn't play ODIs, especially when they don't have a good ODI record (same for batsmen like Rahane).

  • baduva on August 9, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    @Sexysteven - I agree with you, the team you suggested is probably the best available for India. I too don't know why they are persevering with Jadeja, may be at Dhoni's say so?

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 9, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    If they persist with Duncan Fletcher, he will ask Aaron to concentrate on line and length and want him to give up pace. Sir Greg did that to Irfan Pathan and look where he is now. Only Garry Kirsten had best interests of Indian Cricket in his heart and mind and he himself wanted to succeed as a coach himself. Fletcher has no such interests. If Aaron continues to bowl at 85 mph consistently he will get wickets and is less likely to crumble. With Pankaj Singh its hard to believe that he has taken 300 wickets in first class cricket on Indian pitches when he can't get a single here in English conditions. God save Pankaj.

  • cricfootyfan on August 9, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    Amazing to see the difference between Pankaj and Varun. He may have been unfortunate to an extent but Pankaj has been inconsistent. His over has one or two good deliveries punctuated by absolute rubbish. He is not flexible or fast in the field either. His record in domestic cricket is excellent but I am afraid he is not test match class.

    Varun also needs to learn and can be more consistent with his line but he has used his pace to surprise at least two batsmen in this innings. His catch to dismiss Jordan was excellent. Umesh Yadav and Varun, if managed properly and with support from the likes of Bhuvi and Ishant, can help Indian attack in the next few years.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    If I was Indian management I would set aside Umesh and Varun, along with Ishant for Tests alone and won't bother them for ODIs and T20s. Test matches matter more, even more than the ODI world cup and fast bowlers are really precious and rare, therefore need to be preserved better. Bhuvi can play all formats and can take breaks if he feels he is getting overworked. Keep the likes of Mohit, Ishwar, Dinda, Binny for the ODIs. Even if they go for a few extra runs, our spinners and batsmen can compensate for that. Just because Aaron has bowled well here, he should not be right away included in ODIs as well. That would lead him to either get injured or lose form. The kind of deliveries bowled in Tests, sometimes can go for runs in ODI. You don't want to ruin a bowler's rhythm and confidence. Likewise Vijay and Pujara, along with Rahane and Badrinath have to be preserved for Tests. Guys like Gambhir, Dhawan, Virat, Samson, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin can handle ODI batting. Manage them well!

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    @Nandan Nadkarni on (August 9, 2014, 5:08 GM)

    Yes, I fully share your view.

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    India needs two more days for washout to draw this test. Honestly I cant see India batting lasting for 3 complete sessions on this pitch. Of the three batsmen who have the technique to play on this Rahane is the only guy in good form . Pujara and Kohli are struggling. Looking at aaron I wonder what an attack of aaron,umesh,bhuvi and the spin of ashwin with 6 batsmen would have looked like. India has learn to go for horses for courses selection.

  • Nampally on August 10, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    @Alex400: I am amazed that you are doubting Aaron's capabilities based on his height even though he is in 140- 150 KPH range!. He is around 5'-8" which is by no means short. Larwood was in a similar height range- may be an inch taller, but he terrorised Bradman & the Aussies with his pace. Ramakant Desai of India during late 50's & early 60's was only 5'-4" with a chest 28" & arms like spindles! Keith Miller the Aussie fast bowler called his bumper lethal. Desai was quicker than Ishant Sharma at 6'-5". Amar Singh one of the best Indian pace bowler along with Nissar was about 5'-8". Gilchrist of WI -5'8"- was one of the quickest bowlers, faster than Hall @ 6'-4". Malinga of SL is comparable in height with Aaron. So height helps but is not an exclusive requisite in a fast bowler. Tall bowlers may have greater stamina. As for injuries tall guys are just as susceptible to stress fractures + knee & ankle problems. Aaron has great potential & has been ignored far too long albeit he is 24!

  • Devang96 on August 9, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Just a point to Sidharth Monga, but you don't extend an over by an extra spell, but you extend a spell by an extra over.

  • here2rock on August 9, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    It is hard to believe how India pick their best eleven, what was this guy doing on the bench all tour?

  • Hardy1 on August 9, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Now I think the last remaining piece of the puzzle is replacing Jadeja with a quick bowler when outside the subcontinent. The bits & pieces approach really is frustrating & Jadeja for a man with a first class average of 50 looks a very limited batsman.

    Vijay-Dhawan-Pujara-Kohli-Rahane-Dhoni-Ashwin-Bhuvi-Ishant-Aaron-Yadav would be a really positive combination that would excite the fans. Any of the 3 quicker ones there could be rotated with Shami & Pankaj & Ishwar should also be involved in the squad. My worry is who would replace Bhuvi if he were injured? If we could bring back Praveen Kumar it would be ideal.

    I also agree that guys like Umesh shouldn't play ODIs, especially when they don't have a good ODI record (same for batsmen like Rahane).

  • baduva on August 9, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    @Sexysteven - I agree with you, the team you suggested is probably the best available for India. I too don't know why they are persevering with Jadeja, may be at Dhoni's say so?

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 9, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    If they persist with Duncan Fletcher, he will ask Aaron to concentrate on line and length and want him to give up pace. Sir Greg did that to Irfan Pathan and look where he is now. Only Garry Kirsten had best interests of Indian Cricket in his heart and mind and he himself wanted to succeed as a coach himself. Fletcher has no such interests. If Aaron continues to bowl at 85 mph consistently he will get wickets and is less likely to crumble. With Pankaj Singh its hard to believe that he has taken 300 wickets in first class cricket on Indian pitches when he can't get a single here in English conditions. God save Pankaj.

  • cricfootyfan on August 9, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    Amazing to see the difference between Pankaj and Varun. He may have been unfortunate to an extent but Pankaj has been inconsistent. His over has one or two good deliveries punctuated by absolute rubbish. He is not flexible or fast in the field either. His record in domestic cricket is excellent but I am afraid he is not test match class.

    Varun also needs to learn and can be more consistent with his line but he has used his pace to surprise at least two batsmen in this innings. His catch to dismiss Jordan was excellent. Umesh Yadav and Varun, if managed properly and with support from the likes of Bhuvi and Ishant, can help Indian attack in the next few years.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    If I was Indian management I would set aside Umesh and Varun, along with Ishant for Tests alone and won't bother them for ODIs and T20s. Test matches matter more, even more than the ODI world cup and fast bowlers are really precious and rare, therefore need to be preserved better. Bhuvi can play all formats and can take breaks if he feels he is getting overworked. Keep the likes of Mohit, Ishwar, Dinda, Binny for the ODIs. Even if they go for a few extra runs, our spinners and batsmen can compensate for that. Just because Aaron has bowled well here, he should not be right away included in ODIs as well. That would lead him to either get injured or lose form. The kind of deliveries bowled in Tests, sometimes can go for runs in ODI. You don't want to ruin a bowler's rhythm and confidence. Likewise Vijay and Pujara, along with Rahane and Badrinath have to be preserved for Tests. Guys like Gambhir, Dhawan, Virat, Samson, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin can handle ODI batting. Manage them well!

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    @Nandan Nadkarni on (August 9, 2014, 5:08 GM)

    Yes, I fully share your view.

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    India needs two more days for washout to draw this test. Honestly I cant see India batting lasting for 3 complete sessions on this pitch. Of the three batsmen who have the technique to play on this Rahane is the only guy in good form . Pujara and Kohli are struggling. Looking at aaron I wonder what an attack of aaron,umesh,bhuvi and the spin of ashwin with 6 batsmen would have looked like. India has learn to go for horses for courses selection.

  • j4884 on August 9, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    It was heartening to see an Indian fast bowler softening the batsman with fast bouncers and cleaning him up next ball. The Indian batsman have been at the receiving end of this treatment many times. So very happy to see Varun Aaron bowling fast. Umesh Yadav was unfairly dropped from the Test squad. It would be an awesome sight to see Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron bowling together. Hopefully the selectors play Umesh for the 5th Test match. Umesh Yadav, Bhuvi, Varun, Ishant and Shami can form a really good fast and varied bowling attack. The selectors and team management should nurture them carefully...

  • entryholedia on August 9, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    Our best attack would be Bhuvi, Aaron, Umesh & if 4th seamer Ishant . Aaron was overbowled ( 32 overs) before the Australian 2011-12 tour and Aaron developed stress fractures which kept him out of the tour and International cricket for nearly 4 years . Now he is back & Dhoni must not burn him out . varun happens to be the rare species to be found in India togather with Umesh and should be nurtured carefully . All others bowl 129-130 including one 6'6" giant from Rajasthan one Mr Pankaj Singh who does not run but does what can be best described as " Fast walk" . It seems his top body has no co-ordination with the lower part . There was another Bihar fast bowler Kajal Das also close to 6' 6" who broke down early because of the same reasons but continued to play as a 'fast spinner'. If Mr Pankaj Singh cant take wickets in England better forget playing International cricket & switch over to spin like Kajal Das did .

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 9, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    Aron try to bowl 138-142 kph.it's enough to struggle a batsmen. To bowling 148-150 kph it's lead to injury. We know bret lee, shun tait,akthar,bond these bowlers face regular injuries and surjaries. And given rest to shami up to ausis tour because he is tired. Shami is very effective bowler comped to swing conditions. My bowling team for ausis tour 1.ishant 2.shami 3.aron 4.umesh 5.pandey 6.bhuvi 7.pankaj.

  • on August 9, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    The last time India won a match against England before Lord's, Umesh Yadav had bowled a very tight spell and picked up wickets.. I have been harping on and on to include at least one of the two.. Pankaj Singh and Ishant Sharma bowl at the most comfortable pace for the batsmen in general.. Ishant Sharma has learned to pick wickets after 60 tests.. But he will not leak runs as Pankaj Singh does on occasions.. If Sharma and Bhuvi play, you can have a balanced bowling attack..

  • Sexysteven on August 9, 2014, 2:18 GMT

    To me India have got there team selection wrong for English conditions right through this series if they had the right team from the start they could have embarrassed England this series vijay and rahane should open they have better techniques to survive the newball then gambhir or dhawan followed by pujara kohli rohit dhoni ashwin kumar Aaron yadav ishant would be my team for English conditions jadeja isn't upto test cricket don't know why the persist with him Aaron and yadav have at least some pace to trouble the batsmen ishant has the height and kumar aswing bowler plus ashwin and afew part time spinners to do that job plus six decent batsmen that should be able to score runs even in English conditions

  • LisaDun on August 9, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    Indian bowlers don''t last long, they are injury prone, and those who start as fast bowlers end up as medium pacers. Dev was the only exception. Don't keep your hopes up.

  • on August 9, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    Did anybody notice Vidharbha left armer Shrikant Wagh? Will be a left arm quick effectively?

  • on August 9, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    Varun Aaron could be an ideal pace bowler for Indian fast bowling battery. He has pace along with line and length.with time and exposure with test and Odi commitments he could probably do lot of damage to the opposing teams batting line up. Let me pray my words come true.

  • SRAM20 on August 8, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    India need to invest on bowlers carefully. Aaron has shown he can do well in intl cricket. We need to get rid of Pankaj Singh and give Ishwar Pandey a chance. This guy has height and can extract good bounce and is a McGrath type bowler. Ishwar and Ishant with the height and bounce, Bhuvaneshwar with swing, Shami with pace and reverse swing, Aaron and Yadav with express pace. India could have a good pool of bowlers to choose from

  • on August 8, 2014, 23:27 GMT

    Mana from heaven for Indian fans. Aaron and Yadav with Ishant/Bhuvi is a decent attack with Dhawal,Shami, Bumrah etc as back up. I was a fan of Pankaj and blamed selectors now may be it is time to acknowledge they knew more than I did of his capability.

  • Alexk400 on August 8, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    For me varun arun is useless. I am not talking him as person or his mental ability or lucky. I think 1. he is too short. 2. Every fast ball he bowls is effort ball. 3. he is putting 150% effort to bowl faster. 4. His ball trajectory is awfully low. 5. ball has noweight , kinda float like rp singh used to do. He can be hit easily. There were few short bowlers that were good. 1. malcolm marhsall ( strong legs , strong shoulders and unique swinging ball action. kinda he bowl heavy ball). Malinga is another unique bowler. Short fast bowler is misnomer. They need to bowl constant 100% effort to get some wickets and will get injured eventually because of force they apply to angle ball after ball.

  • on August 8, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    SOS Yadav Shreyas Gopal for the fifth test, he is coming for the ODIs anyway. Yadav, Aaron & Bhuvi plus Ashwin (batting at 6) & Gopal, can get 20 wickets on most surfaces except the very placid ones, in which case the Indian batting can play out a draw.Ishant has to be the back-up bowler. All rounders like Jadeja, Binny, and Irfan Pathan suit ODIs, not tests.

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    Aaron might be able to bowl consistently at that pace... provided... Dhoni manages his workload better than how he is currently managing Bhuvi... Fast bowlers - i.e. bowling in the high 80s need to be given short spells of 3 or at the max 4, so that they can bowl that aggressive speeds.. otherwise they will just break after an innings or test match --- say manage them just like MJ or AUS, quick bursts of 3 overs...

    But you know Dhoni....

    And I would recommend rotating Aaron and Umesh... gone are the days when Kapil played continously for 50+ (or more) tests.. with the amount of cricket being played these days, especially for bowlers, pacers in particular they need to be rotated, there is no way anyone would last a 5 test series.. especially the way Dhoni manages them..

  • on August 8, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    Shami too has good pace around 95mph but he needed this break after playing every format of the game from Australia toured India last year he been for South Africa New Zealand in between world cup n Ipl now finally he got a break so he'll b back with fresh mind in Oval with Ishant (hope) n so we can see 3 pace bowlers who can easily touch 95mph (145kph) in same match which is first time for India I guess n I hope too these 3 quicks do well there..

  • on August 8, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    well if I m not wrong then same judgements were there about mohd. shami in last south africa tour ...and he sits in dropped out(remember not rested but dropped) doug-out today..next mate in that doug out willbe aaron As india had lot of pacy bowlers startin from..zak..sre..munaf..yadav..agarkar..mithun..nehra..pathan..balaji..qho all resumed business back agt mid 30 to prolonge career and of course money..

  • Nampally on August 8, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    I supported Aaron even before his return to big Cricket after his surgery. He is the fastest Indian bowler. But Dhoni consistently benched him in every match. Aaron & Umesh Yadev have been the 2 quickest bowlers that India has - like Nissar & Amar Singh. Dropping Yadev from the squad was a huge surprise to me. He is vastly superior bowler extremely well suited for the England pitches. Dhoni's benching of Aaron in the First 3 Tests defied Logic! I was thrilled to see him & Ashwin in the XI. Having another quick (140 KPH) like Yadev at the other end would be ideal combo. Ishant's injury was ideal chance for India to replace him with Yadev. Why India replaced Saha with Ojha but NOT Ishant with Yadev. In Kumar India has ideal swing opening bowler. If Yadev & Aaron provide pace with Shami as back up + Ashwin to cope with LH bats, India would have been a force in this series. These 5 backed with 5 batsmen + WK, is the right XI. Kudos to Aaron for rising to the occasion with 3 scalps!

  • on August 8, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    I wish Umesh & Aaron should bowl in pair in Test matches bowling at more than 90mph with accuracy which will be pleasure to watch... Bcos felt bored to watch other indian bowlers in 70 or 80mph during these years.. Plus we need one left arm young quick bowler in 90mph... Surely with this fast bowling combination, we can surely beat any test playing nation both at home as well away...

  • Hardy1 on August 8, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    Something I find strange by the way is how Umesh Yadav is selected in the ODI teams but not the Test team. India seem to have this bad habit of selecting Test players for the ODI team (Rohit, Rahane, Umesh) & leaving them out of the Test team when their list A records clearly show that the short form does not suit them best.

  • sergio11 on August 8, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    bowling look kinda ok in Eng..reason bgn Bhuvi's form,but it will in Aus where ind gonna suffer..Bhuvi will be ineffective there for sure..with no help from pitch..it will be tough for him to get wickets...take away Bhuvi's contribution of 18 wickets this series and see...Umesh must have been in the side..he has the pace of aaron and can swing the ball too..i cannt find a reason why he is let out from the team...

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    I wish the bowling pair of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron had substantiated. India is in a dire need of some really fast bowlers who could make things happen even on a dead pitch with their speed and pace.

  • Hardy1 on August 8, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    The exciting thing as an Indian fan as well is that this is something we're just not used to, so it's great when it does come around. Also in terms of the amount of stress put on the body, fast bowling is easily the most demanding discipline in cricket & so it's nice when Indian players prove that it's something that they can match along with the other Test nations.

    I still don't see why Umesh Yadav isn't playing though. I think his last Test was at Ahmedabad vs England 2 years ago & he bowled really well in that match before picking up an unfortunate injury. He needs to be back in the team.

  • CurrentPresident on August 8, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    I hope the loss in this match would prompt Dhoni to also draft in Yadav (who is coming in for the ODI team anyways) for the next match. Then Ishant will be back as well and Aaron can be rested for the last match.

    I think the Indian bowling has been decent so far in this match and they need to continue being positive. When the batsmen start doing their job as well, matches will be won.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    why cant he bowl with umesh yadav.. can we only afford one bowler that would take wickets?

  • wolf777 on August 8, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Should be pronounced Arron not Arun!!! Siva in those youtube video made a mistake and quickly corrected!!!

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    He seems to be an Indian Fidel Edwards in his hayday. Quick and lethal in short spells but far too inaccurate/wayward as well

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  • on August 8, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    He seems to be an Indian Fidel Edwards in his hayday. Quick and lethal in short spells but far too inaccurate/wayward as well

  • wolf777 on August 8, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Should be pronounced Arron not Arun!!! Siva in those youtube video made a mistake and quickly corrected!!!

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    why cant he bowl with umesh yadav.. can we only afford one bowler that would take wickets?

  • CurrentPresident on August 8, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    I hope the loss in this match would prompt Dhoni to also draft in Yadav (who is coming in for the ODI team anyways) for the next match. Then Ishant will be back as well and Aaron can be rested for the last match.

    I think the Indian bowling has been decent so far in this match and they need to continue being positive. When the batsmen start doing their job as well, matches will be won.

  • Hardy1 on August 8, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    The exciting thing as an Indian fan as well is that this is something we're just not used to, so it's great when it does come around. Also in terms of the amount of stress put on the body, fast bowling is easily the most demanding discipline in cricket & so it's nice when Indian players prove that it's something that they can match along with the other Test nations.

    I still don't see why Umesh Yadav isn't playing though. I think his last Test was at Ahmedabad vs England 2 years ago & he bowled really well in that match before picking up an unfortunate injury. He needs to be back in the team.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    I wish the bowling pair of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron had substantiated. India is in a dire need of some really fast bowlers who could make things happen even on a dead pitch with their speed and pace.

  • sergio11 on August 8, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    bowling look kinda ok in Eng..reason bgn Bhuvi's form,but it will in Aus where ind gonna suffer..Bhuvi will be ineffective there for sure..with no help from pitch..it will be tough for him to get wickets...take away Bhuvi's contribution of 18 wickets this series and see...Umesh must have been in the side..he has the pace of aaron and can swing the ball too..i cannt find a reason why he is let out from the team...

  • Hardy1 on August 8, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    Something I find strange by the way is how Umesh Yadav is selected in the ODI teams but not the Test team. India seem to have this bad habit of selecting Test players for the ODI team (Rohit, Rahane, Umesh) & leaving them out of the Test team when their list A records clearly show that the short form does not suit them best.

  • on August 8, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    I wish Umesh & Aaron should bowl in pair in Test matches bowling at more than 90mph with accuracy which will be pleasure to watch... Bcos felt bored to watch other indian bowlers in 70 or 80mph during these years.. Plus we need one left arm young quick bowler in 90mph... Surely with this fast bowling combination, we can surely beat any test playing nation both at home as well away...

  • Nampally on August 8, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    I supported Aaron even before his return to big Cricket after his surgery. He is the fastest Indian bowler. But Dhoni consistently benched him in every match. Aaron & Umesh Yadev have been the 2 quickest bowlers that India has - like Nissar & Amar Singh. Dropping Yadev from the squad was a huge surprise to me. He is vastly superior bowler extremely well suited for the England pitches. Dhoni's benching of Aaron in the First 3 Tests defied Logic! I was thrilled to see him & Ashwin in the XI. Having another quick (140 KPH) like Yadev at the other end would be ideal combo. Ishant's injury was ideal chance for India to replace him with Yadev. Why India replaced Saha with Ojha but NOT Ishant with Yadev. In Kumar India has ideal swing opening bowler. If Yadev & Aaron provide pace with Shami as back up + Ashwin to cope with LH bats, India would have been a force in this series. These 5 backed with 5 batsmen + WK, is the right XI. Kudos to Aaron for rising to the occasion with 3 scalps!