Varun Aaron, the Jharkhand fast bowler who has replaced Ishant Sharma in India's ODI squad for the England series, said he will not cut back on his pace as his career progresses because he loves bowling fast. Indian fast bowlers have a history of dropping their pace dramatically as their careers take off - Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and to some extent Ishant Sharma - but Aaron, who regularly clocks over 140kph and impressed for India Emerging Players during the recent tournament in Australia, said he will not go down that road.
"It's an individual thing, I guess. I don't know why they decided to give up on their pace. I love bowling fast, and it is my strength. I will never compromise on my pace," he told the Indian Express. "And it's a lot of fun to hit people on the head."
Aaron, who played for Delhi Daredevils in this year's IPL, does know the value of accuracy too. "Speed is okay; you have to bowl quick. But it troubles international batsmen only to a certain extent. After that, they adjust pretty easily," he told Reuters. "You have got to have a few tricks up your sleeve and you have got to bowl a good line and length consistently to get wickets. Even genuine fast bowlers have to have the right line and length."
With India struggling in the pace department in England, there were calls for Aaron, who is just 21, to be drafted into the national team, and when Ishant sustained an ankle injury, Aaron was called up to the one-day squad. He, however, said he would not be bogged down by the pressure of expectation. "It's tough to ignore the expectations that people have. But I don't want to think about that and I'm concentrating on bowling as fast and as well as I can."
One thing that could work in Aaron's favour is that the assistant coach at Delhi Daredevils is Eric Simons, who is also India's bowling coach. "Working with Eric was great," Aaron said. "Generally, he just tells you to do the most basic of things perfectly or a small little change here or there which somehow you fail to notice. But I am always open to advice."
Aaron took 13 wickets for Jharkhand during last year's Ranji season, followed by another nine in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, during which he reportedly bowled a 153-kph ball. He took 10 wickets in three games in the three-day leg of the Emerging Players Tournament , including 4 for 40 in the first innings against Australia Institute of Sport.