August 12, 2014

Aaron driven by need for speed

Varun Aaron is not about to sacrifice his pace, fear of injury be damned
  shares 39

'I'm much more patient than I used to be three to four years ago'
'I'm much more patient than I used to be three to four years ago' © Getty Images

This June, Varun Aaron drove to the Bangalore airport to pick up Subroto Banerjee, the former India fast bowler. Banerjee is the head coach of Jharkhand, the eastern state in India that Aaron represents in domestic cricket. Aaron, who was training at the National Cricket Academy, was excited to share some news: he had received two boxes of Dukes balls from England, which he had ordered on his own.

For the next three days Aaron bowled with three balls: new, 40 overs old, and one much older. "The ball condition is bound to change during the course of the match and I wanted him to be able to bowl in any situation," Banerjee said. "His length was fantastic. He was hitting the deck really hard. And he was hitting 150kph. Quick, very quick."

In the Emerging Players tournament in Australia in 2011, Aaron bowled a ball that was clocked at 153.4kph. Months before that, during the Indian domestic season, he fired in a 153kph delivery against Gujarat in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

A fast bowler who can consistently clock 90mph and above has been a rarity in India. A few in the past like Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma floored it early in their careers but became slower after the first year or so in order to curtail injury concerns. Mohammed Shami can touch the mid-to-late 80mph but not regularly.

Only Umesh Yadav of the current crop of Indian fast bowlers has showed the same aggressive attitude as Aaron has towards going full throttle. Although Aaron has played only two Tests, his desire to not compromise on speed despite career-threatening stress fractures - five at last count after his international debut in 2011 against West Indies - makes him an attractive fast bowler to keep an eye on.

At Old Trafford, in his first Test of the ongoing series, Aaron asked questions of the England batsmen with his speed and lethal swing both ways. The inswinging yorker-length delivery, measured at 85.9mph, bowled from wide of the crease that knocked back Moeen Ali's off stump will remain one of the moments of thes series. Not to forget the 87mph perfectly pitched short delivery, which screamed its way into the grill of Stuart Broad's helmet, broke his nose and drew blood, forcing the batsman to leave the ground.

Last year, around the same time, it was Aaron's career that seemed to have taken a near fatal blow after he suffered his fifth stress fracture to the back. "If you have five stress fractures and still bowl fast you have got to be a little mad to do that. I don't think a normal, sane person would like to bowl fast after getting the injury," Aaron said in an interview the day before the India squad departed for England in June.

The first stress fracture occurred at the end of 2008. A year later the injury returned to haunt him. That it was recurring became evident when it resurfaced again, in 2011, shortly after his debut Test in Mumbai. But when the injury came twice in close succession, just when Aaron believed he had seen the back of it (the stress fracture returned once again mid-way into 2012), he feared his career was over.

"In 2011 I got injured after my debut Test. Then I played the IPL, but the same stress fracture occurred again," Aaron said. "My aim was to recover and play the Ranji Trophy in the next season. Everything was going well, and then suddenly during the rehab there was a relapse. That was definitely the lowest point of my career.

"I do not know how to put it, but it was very, very disappointing to get injured during the recovery. There was no reason for me to get injured at that point because my workloads were very less. I was training under a controlled environment."

According to Aaron, stress fractures are not hugely restrictive. "Stress fractures are very funny. They just hurt you while you bowl. It is a very sharp pain which gets aggravated when you bowl. And you can't do too many weights."

Further medical examinations revealed that the bone was not healing and that a little fluid had leaked from the upper vertebra, which hampered the healing process. The only option left was surgery. So Aaron, sponsored by the BCCI, travelled to London to visit spine specialist Lester Wilson.

While on the sidelines, he managed to make a vital change to his bowling action. "All my coaches, including Dennis Lillee [MRF Pace Foundation], Bharat Arun [National Cricket Academy] said I had to open up my back foot. That was the right suggestion. With various inputs from the coaches I have made slight adjustments to my load, which opens up my back foot towards fine leg now and relieves the pressure on my back," Aaron said.

Aaron remembers well the stories Lillee told him about his own battle with serious stress fractures that nearly cost him his career. "Dennis has been a big inspiration for me," he says. "My work ethic and the attitude I have towards fast bowling and training is all because of him. I can never forget the inputs he gave me as a kid. Dennis always told me that it is important to have a good work ethic. If you have to be a fast bowler you have to be super fit at all times. Never leave anything back at training. You have to make sure you give 100% every time you train. I follow that principle strictly and it has worked for me."

****

When his son was growing up, Clement Paul Aaron would tell the boy stories of how he would bowl fast and hit batsmen on the head when he played cricket in Bangalore. Both men would watch in fascination and discuss passionately the exploits of the West Indies quartet. Along with Lillee, Andy Roberts and Wasim Akram were the other fast bowlers the young Aaron idolised.

"If you have five stress fractures and still bowl fast you have got to be a little mad to do that. I don't think a normal, sane person would like to bowl fast after getting the injury"

But when he started playing cricket in his teens, Aaron was a batsman. "I never thought of bowling fast when I was young. I took a break from coaching for a couple of months. When I got back I started to bowl and my coach said I was quick. Suddenly I discovered I could bowl fast," Aaron says.

His competitive cricket started at Under-15 level for Jharkhand. The same year, TA Sekhar, the former India fast bowler and the backbone of the MRF Pace Foundation at the time, saw Aaron's talent and inducted him into a camp in Chennai.

Sekhar remembers the "strong boy with raw pace" he came upon while scouting for youngsters in Jharkhand in 2004. Seeing Aaron had a mixed action, Sekhar took him to England to work with biomechanists in order to make sure the youngster would not be hampered by injuries later.

What did pace mean to Aaron at a young age? "I just enjoyed playing the game more than anything else. There was no thinking concerning pace as such. I became serious only when I turned 18. At that point I realised that I was quicker than the others, and if I keep working on my bowling I might play for the country one day."

Allan Donald, now the bowling coach at Royal Challengers Bangalore (Aaron's IPL team), thinks Aaron has all the makings. "He is a very good athlete. A strong guy. I look at two bowlers in the Indian fast bowling bench who are physically very well built, have very strong actions - they are Varun and Umesh Yadav," Donald says. "Those two are the quickest bowlers. What makes them attractive is they are very aggressive mentally. They can get stuck in."

Aaron's first stint in the Indian dressing room came during India's 2011 one-day series in England, when he flew in as a replacement for the injured Ishant. Although he did not get to play, he was happy to make mental notes about the various skills needed to perform in England.

This time, in the week leading up to departure, Aaron had the opportunity to speak to Glenn McGrath. "He said that the length is very important in England. You can't be on the shorter side; then you cannot get maximum purchase from the pitch," Aaron said. "He said it was important to be very patient and keep it simple, keep bowling at the spot throughout the day. He said if I could do that I would end up with a lot of wickets."

Aaron reckons his debut Test match taught him a valuable lesson. "I'm much more patient than I used to be three to four years ago. To be honest, that one Test match was a great leveller for me. I learned a lot from that experience. In the past, I would just decide to bowl fast and I would want to pick a wicket almost every ball. Now I know that you do not play cricket that way and I have to have patience," Aaron said.

Over the last year or so Aaron has realised he needs to work out the batsman with a plan and not just speed. "I have changed a lot as a bowler. I try to be as consistent as possible. It is relative, depends on who is batting. Accordingly, things happen in my mind."

****

Aaron is 24 years old. The team management -- captain MS Dhoni, head coach Duncan Fletcher and bowling coach Joe Dawes - has sent a clear message to Aaron: bowl fast. "They have told me that I must bowl quick whenever I am given the ball. That is my role in the team."

Not that he needs encouragement. Like a nervous boxer, he is always hopping, jumping, stretching, and running around frantically. You can sense Aaron's excitement in his follow-through: virtually after every ball he raises his hands in appeal or narrows his eyes as if he had nearly cornered his man.

According to Sekhar, Aaron is "is a smart fast bowler. That can be a disadvantage because he thinks too much."

Donald agrees. "Two things he needs to work on. The first one is the battle with himself technically. He gets very wound up if things do not go well. It is almost like he forgets to compete with who is in front of him and instead competes with his own action."

Then there is the question of focus. "Once he gets stuck in bowling short every now and again, he struggles to find his natural length," Donald says. "He got pummeled a couple of times near the end of the IPL. He got too predictable. In Test cricket, in English conditions, where every pitch is different, he needs to bowl that little bit fuller. The big challenge for him would be to find a balance between bowling Test lengths and then be able to bowl short and aggressive, and then switch back to the fuller lengths," Donald says.

Aaron acknowledges Donald's assessment but offers his own reasoning. "I know I have been a little finicky about my bowling technique over the past year. But it is a little hard for most people to understand why I lay so much emphasis on technique. It is just because I have made this change. And bowling with an altered action is not very easy. Your body tends to do what it has been doing for the past few years when it is put under pressure. So if I am not a little anal about my technique, I stand a chance of getting a niggle.

"But AD is right in a way. I should not be paying attention to it at times, but when you have five stress fractures you have to pay attention to it," Aaron says.

He performed his role convincingly in his comeback Test, in Manchester. Clearly the challenge now is for him to go a sustained period without being injured.

"Do we have bowlers who bowl 145kph-plus? There are only two - Aaron and Umesh," Sekhar says. "It is a rare commodity, an all-out fast bowler. These guys need attention from the right kind of coaches in order to keep them stronger for the longer duration."

Having lost two years, Aaron wants to be in the tream for the long haul. "Every time I have gone out injured I was bowling at my best. Every time I step on to the field, let it be training, I just want to bowl at my best. My main aim is to stay injury-free because then I will bowl well. And I just want to play for India for a long time."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    i remember seeing him first time in 2008 in an U-19 match between Assam & Jharkhand. They were defending 81, the first ball he bowled that day went over the head of the batsman , signaled wide, second was pushed for four off the back foot through point, the third ball broke the off stump in two pieces, the bat didn't even came down. The batsman (my brother, currently playing first class cricket for Assam) had a shock look in his face, he still says that , the ball that broke his stumps is the fastest ball he has faced till date.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 14, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Most of the out and out quicks in India are currently from eastern India. They are Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Mohammad Shami, Rahul Shukla, Ashok Dinda and recently Monu Kumar (recent U19 World Cup). All these bowlers are known to have bowled at 140kmph or more. Even I myself(I am a bengali) am one of the fastest bowlers of my school. I was clocked at 126kmph at the age of 14 few months back. So east india rocks!!!!!

  • POSTED BY hnlns on | August 14, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    I hope VA can maintain his fitness and continue to bowl in the 85-mile plus range consistently for the next 5 years or so without any serious injuries. That would make him a real asset and answer team India's dire need for a genuine quick bowler. Umesh Yadav can become one more useful asset in the same category, if he can become a bit more accurate and does not spray the ball around too frequently, resulting in too many runs being gifted.

  • POSTED BY Daveptee on | August 14, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    Open the bowling with Stuart Binny

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | August 13, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    I think we are getting the right kind of group into the box. either swing or have pace to disturb the batsmen... soon, Indian bowlers will be talked about...

  • POSTED BY Raki99 on | August 13, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Munaf patel when played his first test against Eng. I think in 2006 or 07 was bowling at 140+ with toe crushing Yorkers. and then Injuries stuck and now only after 6 years where he hasn't played since the last Eng. tour can't even bowl at 120K. This guys diet and conditioning is so bad that in couple years they are wasted and done and dusted. I think Indian team needs to hire a diet consultant and weight guy who can strengthen their core muscles. So they don't become injury prone. McGrath never bowled at 90k he was always near 80 k but he was so consistent with his line and length.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    "Do we have bowlers who bowl 145kph-plus? There are only two - Aaron and Umesh,"!!! Unleash them!!!

  • POSTED BY whirlaway on | August 13, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    I agree that India needs RF. I get tired just looking at the so-called "fast" bowlers who are mostly RMs, sometimes masquerading as RMFs or even RFMs.

    I think Aaron will be a key player for India when they visit the Aussies later this year. If things go well for him, he will be an important player in WC2015 as well.

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | August 13, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    I completely agree with SanjeevAwesome. We need to have a couple of quicks in the side.Shami was quick in 2013 but the defensive Dhoni seems to have made him lower his pace to bowl long spells. Zak could have been part of the bowling unit in Eng,but was not selected thanks to MSD. I don't expect him back till Dhoni is around and Zak will be 36 in Oct. Instead,Ishant can lead the attack.But for the betterment of Indian cricket, I want to see the current set-up (Dhoni, Fletcher and Dawes) completely overhauled gradually. If Dhoni can be replaced as Test skipper after the England series and shown the door once and for all after the WC, Indian cricket, currently in the doldrums, will start looking up. Bowling at good pace in the right areas with accuracy (not an easy ask) would mean quicker wickets and spare Indian fans, the pain to see the opposition lower order batsmen deflating our team(170/6 becoming 190 all out instead of 367 will bring relief) which is happening under defensive Dhoni

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 13, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Lets see over the long term whether he will be a good bowler or not. As usual the Indian fans getting excited before the guy has even proven himself. Umesh was the hero a few years back till he was taken apart by Warner in Perth. Lets see what happens!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    i remember seeing him first time in 2008 in an U-19 match between Assam & Jharkhand. They were defending 81, the first ball he bowled that day went over the head of the batsman , signaled wide, second was pushed for four off the back foot through point, the third ball broke the off stump in two pieces, the bat didn't even came down. The batsman (my brother, currently playing first class cricket for Assam) had a shock look in his face, he still says that , the ball that broke his stumps is the fastest ball he has faced till date.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 14, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Most of the out and out quicks in India are currently from eastern India. They are Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Mohammad Shami, Rahul Shukla, Ashok Dinda and recently Monu Kumar (recent U19 World Cup). All these bowlers are known to have bowled at 140kmph or more. Even I myself(I am a bengali) am one of the fastest bowlers of my school. I was clocked at 126kmph at the age of 14 few months back. So east india rocks!!!!!

  • POSTED BY hnlns on | August 14, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    I hope VA can maintain his fitness and continue to bowl in the 85-mile plus range consistently for the next 5 years or so without any serious injuries. That would make him a real asset and answer team India's dire need for a genuine quick bowler. Umesh Yadav can become one more useful asset in the same category, if he can become a bit more accurate and does not spray the ball around too frequently, resulting in too many runs being gifted.

  • POSTED BY Daveptee on | August 14, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    Open the bowling with Stuart Binny

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | August 13, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    I think we are getting the right kind of group into the box. either swing or have pace to disturb the batsmen... soon, Indian bowlers will be talked about...

  • POSTED BY Raki99 on | August 13, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Munaf patel when played his first test against Eng. I think in 2006 or 07 was bowling at 140+ with toe crushing Yorkers. and then Injuries stuck and now only after 6 years where he hasn't played since the last Eng. tour can't even bowl at 120K. This guys diet and conditioning is so bad that in couple years they are wasted and done and dusted. I think Indian team needs to hire a diet consultant and weight guy who can strengthen their core muscles. So they don't become injury prone. McGrath never bowled at 90k he was always near 80 k but he was so consistent with his line and length.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    "Do we have bowlers who bowl 145kph-plus? There are only two - Aaron and Umesh,"!!! Unleash them!!!

  • POSTED BY whirlaway on | August 13, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    I agree that India needs RF. I get tired just looking at the so-called "fast" bowlers who are mostly RMs, sometimes masquerading as RMFs or even RFMs.

    I think Aaron will be a key player for India when they visit the Aussies later this year. If things go well for him, he will be an important player in WC2015 as well.

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | August 13, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    I completely agree with SanjeevAwesome. We need to have a couple of quicks in the side.Shami was quick in 2013 but the defensive Dhoni seems to have made him lower his pace to bowl long spells. Zak could have been part of the bowling unit in Eng,but was not selected thanks to MSD. I don't expect him back till Dhoni is around and Zak will be 36 in Oct. Instead,Ishant can lead the attack.But for the betterment of Indian cricket, I want to see the current set-up (Dhoni, Fletcher and Dawes) completely overhauled gradually. If Dhoni can be replaced as Test skipper after the England series and shown the door once and for all after the WC, Indian cricket, currently in the doldrums, will start looking up. Bowling at good pace in the right areas with accuracy (not an easy ask) would mean quicker wickets and spare Indian fans, the pain to see the opposition lower order batsmen deflating our team(170/6 becoming 190 all out instead of 367 will bring relief) which is happening under defensive Dhoni

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 13, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Lets see over the long term whether he will be a good bowler or not. As usual the Indian fans getting excited before the guy has even proven himself. Umesh was the hero a few years back till he was taken apart by Warner in Perth. Lets see what happens!!

  • POSTED BY saravanan34 on | August 13, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    i think aaron should be picked for odi's. He along with umesh should open indian bowling attack that will be great. aaron should avoid long spells of bowling that will create injuries and reduce his speed. bowl 3 to 6 over short spell with full speed and also use slow balls, off cutters to surprise the batsman. i am telling this because you see pankaj singh bowlled in two test match's. only few balls he bowled slow that created problems for batsman. the batsman will expect balls at 140+. if he bowl slow balls that would create confusion in batsman mind and earn him wicket.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 13, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    varun i saw u bowling ur heart out in the Manchester test whenever Dhoni threw the ball to u.u got some really good pace varun and i am really impressed with ur bowling and ur aggressive attitude. it's a rare thing in India to produce a fast bowler like u.the only thing u need to improve is too just alter ur bowling line and bowl a bit fuller in English conditions and use the short ball as a surprise. also i want u to ball pacy in swinging yorkers particularly to the tailenders.

  • POSTED BY icommoner on | August 12, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    Dear Aaron, bowling quick is great, but bowl at good length throughout your spell. Learn from legendary Mcgrath - who is not quick but a length bowler - and, Wasim or Steyn. Steyn does bowl very quick, when pumped up, but his success relies on pitching in right spot, troubling the batsman throughout his spell. I hope you learn quickly and take it from Zaheer after he retires!

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    This is what India needs. Genuine pacers. RF. not RFM, RMF or RM.

    Play them just in Tests and T20s, make up for their loss of compensation in ODIs with extra money in their contracts.

    It'll improve the chances on trips outside the sub-continent and if they do well, it'll usher in a whole bunch of youngsters.

    It does not say much for the BCCI who has so much wealth and still cannot produce a winning Test team that rivals the 1971 team that won back to back road series.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    I say pick Umesh Yadav and Varun Arron, because 75-80 miles hasn't brought consistent results for India. +10 mph on both ends might give the opponent something to think about. Give these guys a good run and see the results. Don't get me wrong, Bhuvi is a great asset and should feature. Depending on the pitch Ashwin, Jadeja/Shami, Bhuvi, Umesh & Varun would be a good combination (playing 5 bowlers).

  • POSTED BY SanjivAwesome on | August 12, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    Dhoni is not mentally equipped to lead and manage fast bowling talent like Varun and Umesh. This explains the sorry results of Team India in tests under Dhoni overseas.

  • POSTED BY cktspirit on | August 12, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Good stuff from Nagaraj. I do not understand why Umesh Yadav is not being picked. Varun and Umesh need to be tried at least for a year or so while ahndling them carefully. They can get moulded with senior bowlers and get exposure to be more effective bowlers.

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | August 12, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    Dhoni needs to take a lesson from Michael Clarke on how to manage fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Madpashcrickers on | August 12, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    Fast bowlers who can bowl 90 mph plus are what test cricket is all about - I enjoyed watching Aaron bowl at Old Trafford and I would predict a good future for him in tests if he can keep the injuries at bay, but stress fractures are an occupational hazard for genuine fast men. I liked his attitude in the article - he is one of the few who are prepared to really put themselves on the line to do what they love - real fast bowling. Great to see him coming through and giving it everything - long may he run.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    if aron took 5 wickets regularly in 4-5 test you will find 155 i think.......

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    he will last for a year or so

  • POSTED BY sachin_ten_fan on | August 12, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Let's not get too excited about Umesh and Varun. Both are quick but so are all the 4 bowlers picked by England in the fourth test who can bowl at a similar or faster pace. But I agree, we need these 2 guys bowling in tandem in tests for India. You can't have Bhuvi and Pankaj Singh bowling together at 80 mph. There is no fire, short length balls can be hit off the back so easily. The biggest problem in this series is Dhoni. The guy is nearing a worst record as a test captain, maximum overseas test losses by a captain. He is 3 short of his chennai coach - stephen fleming. if dhoni remains as a captain post England, he surely will have that record under his belt. Go India! Varun is a good talent misused by Dhoni in the 4th test and same will happen in the next if dhoni remains as a captain. We are going to lose, might as well lose with someone else in charge. Drop Kohli and pick Naman Ojha. But that won't happen, dhoni and fletcher have something against Ojha's be it Naman or Pragyan.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    Dhoni keeps giving this guy 6 over spells.. Why?? And Why do we have Pankaj Singh/Ishant Sharma bowling along with Bhuvi in the team I fail to understand.. Peter Siddle, who is considerably quicker than both of them was sacked from the last test against SA because he was apparently "too slow".. They did not even pick Yadav.. They went for Ishwar Pandey.. I wonder what he did to merit a selection.. We lost the third test purely due to the lack of quality bowlers.. We had a horrendous selection and played the worst possible attack.. And we pick only two finger spinners for a five test series?? And one of them is Jadeja.. We have a problem..

  • POSTED BY Texmex on | August 12, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Unfortunately Dhoni is not the captain who encourages fast bowling, he is more of a line and lengtn guy who wants to keep it tight. Look what has happened to Umesh.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 12, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Indian and fast bowler is such a uncommon word where the bowling is dominated Kumars with swing. I wish Varon and U mesh are nurtured and managed well. Dhoni as a test captain is not the guy and sadly there is no one else around to replace him.

  • POSTED BY dganger on | August 12, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav should play together in all test matches for next 1 year irrespective of how they perform. The way Dhoni and Co persisted with hapless Ishant and Rohit u really have to scratch your head or, perhaps bang your head to figure it out why this 2 genuine fast bowlers not given enough chances. all the more pathetic because Indian bowlers performed all time low in last 2-3 years, they have shown some consistency in poor bowling. This guys are impact players and have the capacity to change the momentum with a brilliant spell in the middle of innings. But again, with mysterious thinktank of Dhoni and Indian team management u will never know when this will happen. I am screaming in this forum again and again to remove Dhoni as test cpt, he has done enough damage and caused tremendous shame for the nation with his unfathomable tactics. Indian team needs help and first thing they can do is to get rid of Dhoni as test cpt.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | August 12, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Best fast bowler after steyn in this era.....

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | August 12, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @InsideHedge, to be fair a lot of bowlers have modelled their action on past or present cricketers, Ray Lindwall for example modelled his action on Larwood, Caddick modelled his on Hadlee.

    Also most bowlers take advice from other, a certain FS Trueman gave advice to DK Lilliee who was struggling after his back operation, it was probably very similar advice Lilliee passed on to Aaron about opening the back foot.

    FS trueman, was given advice about his action, and it helped him add to his game, McGrath was adviced to take the pace off to get that metronome action he had. so were all those bowlers Manufactured?

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | August 12, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    @landl47 on August 12, 2014. Spot on with your comments. Aaron is an exciting prospect but just that at the moment. Most of the top and truly great fast bowlers hit their peak from about 27-28 years and have betwen 2 to 4 years at the top. Aaron to be fair should be protected from himself. Bowling flat out now will increase the likelihood of an early career-ending injury. IMO he should use the next couple of years bowling within himself, use his nous to pick up wickets and learning his craft whilst giving his body to heal and time to prepare for the challenges when he's at his peak. Ditto for Umesh.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | August 12, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Aaron needs an attacking Captain to handle him. Dhoni does not know how to handle genuine fast bowlers. Kohli or Gambhir can. Fast bowlers in India alongwith Aaron and Yadav will be encouraged once Dhoni quits the scene.

  • POSTED BY mrhamilton on | August 12, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    The Indian press need to keep perspective.Aaron's is a forced action like David Lawrence is.we been here before ishant and again last year started off like a poor man's version of waqar circa 2001.Aaron looks a Terrific fast bowler who does his homework 86-87 mph is fast enough...don't break the kid....not the kid

  • POSTED BY funnykid on | August 12, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Its good to see India producing genuine quick bowlers now, they have two (Umesh and Aaron) but as a Pakistan supporter, I wonder where have all the fast bowing talent that once Pakistan had, gone?

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    Interesting and nicely written article. However I completely object to Nagraj taking obvious delight in the injury Stuart Broad sustained during the Old Trafford test. Short deliveries are bowled to unsettle first and hurt second, not cause injuries so severe they cause a player to retire from the match. Had that ball smashed his cheekbone Stuart could've been left facially disfigured.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | August 12, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Legend in the making....Beware every team

  • POSTED BY GermanPlayer on | August 12, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    Another case of Indians getting too excited with someone who still has to prove himself.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 12, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Aaron bowled well against England, but there are a couple of things to look out for. First is that he was fairly sharp, but nowhere near Mitch Johnson speed. His quickest ball was 90.1mph, or around 145kph, and his average was about 87mph (140kph). That pace is something batsmen face regularly and he won't get too many out by sheer speed with those sort of numbers. It's fast-medium, not fast.

    The second is that he took his wickets early. He had his 3 wickets for 40 runs, which was good, but then went for another 57 runs without taking another wicket. 3-97 isn't a bad return, but not matchwinning obviously. As he got tired his deliveries straightened out and Root and Buttler played him without too many problems.

    He's a good young talent and if managed properly will be an asset to India. Don't oversell him, though, he's not anywhere near the finished article yet.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    Varun and Umesh can be our first choice bowlers outside Asia and can rotate between themselves in Asia to stay fit for longer periods. We see Indian fast bowlers struggle on England pitches not because of talent but because they never had to bowl at similiar pitches in India. With most cricket rules favor batsmen why can't we go on making bowler friendly pitches so that along with finding batting talents on such pitches, we can have better bowlers too. With Ranji matches mostly end on draws and points are based on leads why can't we prepare bowling friendly pitches and try for results. Its due to dead rubbers, we have batsmen with good averages who fail on international level, have allrounders but can't bat even for 5 overs. Without changes in base level onwards, no use in blaming current batsmen for overseas failures. We need to have both spin and Pace friendly wickets on a mix around to have a better player culture.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | August 12, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    Aaron's bowling action is completely unatural and mechanical. A good bowler runs up to the crease and concentrates on not only landing the ball in the right spot but making the ball deviate off that spot. This is true whether he's a spin bowler or a fast bowler.

    He's been taking advice from a plethora of people resulting in a manufactured bowler. I'm reminded of an article by Sanjay Manjrekar, here on CricInfo, where he lamented seeing Indian coaches demanding their wards copy the bowling actions of past players. He gave one example of a bizarre ritual where youngsters were asked to run with oranges under their armpits!

    Well, here's wishing Aaron the best, I would dearly love for him to prove me wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    unlucky Varun. You have a captain who wants to stop runs. A Jadeja can do that and he plays, Ashwin does not, he don't. Best Dhoni can think of is defense. Mind you, if we would have not lost 3rd test that badly, managed a draw out of it or lose with some respect, you still would have been sitting on bench for 4th match too.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    unlucky Varun. You have a captain who wants to stop runs. A Jadeja can do that and he plays, Ashwin does not, he don't. Best Dhoni can think of is defense. Mind you, if we would have not lost 3rd test that badly, managed a draw out of it or lose with some respect, you still would have been sitting on bench for 4th match too.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | August 12, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    Aaron's bowling action is completely unatural and mechanical. A good bowler runs up to the crease and concentrates on not only landing the ball in the right spot but making the ball deviate off that spot. This is true whether he's a spin bowler or a fast bowler.

    He's been taking advice from a plethora of people resulting in a manufactured bowler. I'm reminded of an article by Sanjay Manjrekar, here on CricInfo, where he lamented seeing Indian coaches demanding their wards copy the bowling actions of past players. He gave one example of a bizarre ritual where youngsters were asked to run with oranges under their armpits!

    Well, here's wishing Aaron the best, I would dearly love for him to prove me wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    Varun and Umesh can be our first choice bowlers outside Asia and can rotate between themselves in Asia to stay fit for longer periods. We see Indian fast bowlers struggle on England pitches not because of talent but because they never had to bowl at similiar pitches in India. With most cricket rules favor batsmen why can't we go on making bowler friendly pitches so that along with finding batting talents on such pitches, we can have better bowlers too. With Ranji matches mostly end on draws and points are based on leads why can't we prepare bowling friendly pitches and try for results. Its due to dead rubbers, we have batsmen with good averages who fail on international level, have allrounders but can't bat even for 5 overs. Without changes in base level onwards, no use in blaming current batsmen for overseas failures. We need to have both spin and Pace friendly wickets on a mix around to have a better player culture.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 12, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Aaron bowled well against England, but there are a couple of things to look out for. First is that he was fairly sharp, but nowhere near Mitch Johnson speed. His quickest ball was 90.1mph, or around 145kph, and his average was about 87mph (140kph). That pace is something batsmen face regularly and he won't get too many out by sheer speed with those sort of numbers. It's fast-medium, not fast.

    The second is that he took his wickets early. He had his 3 wickets for 40 runs, which was good, but then went for another 57 runs without taking another wicket. 3-97 isn't a bad return, but not matchwinning obviously. As he got tired his deliveries straightened out and Root and Buttler played him without too many problems.

    He's a good young talent and if managed properly will be an asset to India. Don't oversell him, though, he's not anywhere near the finished article yet.

  • POSTED BY GermanPlayer on | August 12, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    Another case of Indians getting too excited with someone who still has to prove himself.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | August 12, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Legend in the making....Beware every team

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    Interesting and nicely written article. However I completely object to Nagraj taking obvious delight in the injury Stuart Broad sustained during the Old Trafford test. Short deliveries are bowled to unsettle first and hurt second, not cause injuries so severe they cause a player to retire from the match. Had that ball smashed his cheekbone Stuart could've been left facially disfigured.

  • POSTED BY funnykid on | August 12, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Its good to see India producing genuine quick bowlers now, they have two (Umesh and Aaron) but as a Pakistan supporter, I wonder where have all the fast bowing talent that once Pakistan had, gone?

  • POSTED BY mrhamilton on | August 12, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    The Indian press need to keep perspective.Aaron's is a forced action like David Lawrence is.we been here before ishant and again last year started off like a poor man's version of waqar circa 2001.Aaron looks a Terrific fast bowler who does his homework 86-87 mph is fast enough...don't break the kid....not the kid

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | August 12, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Aaron needs an attacking Captain to handle him. Dhoni does not know how to handle genuine fast bowlers. Kohli or Gambhir can. Fast bowlers in India alongwith Aaron and Yadav will be encouraged once Dhoni quits the scene.