|Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates a wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara and Varun Aaron, in Manchester, on Friday
Manchester/Calcutta: When Varun Aaron made his international debut for India in 2011, he came with the promise of being an exciting fast bowler, something which the country has always craved for.
But as injuries interfered, the young pacer from Jharkhand retreated into oblivion, fighting a lonely battle to be once again fit for International cricket.
It has been a long wait, but the patience of not giving up, it seems, is paying rich dividends. After being ignored for the first three Tests in the ongoing series in England, Aaron finally made the XI. And so far, he has been very impressive, taking three of the six England wickets to fall till stumps, on Day II.
The 24-year-old Aaron (3/48) realises his achievement and is enjoying his day on the field. He revealed that when he was operated upon a year-and-a-half back in England, it was his resolution to be a part of a tour of England.
“When I was operated one-and-a-half years ago here, my target was to be here on this tour of England… So I am glad to be here… I have had a good match and I am feeling good… I am in good rhythm,” Aaron said after the day’s play.
Bowling fast comes naturally to Aaron and he doesn’t want to cut his speed down despite the danger of stress fractures. “There is no rule as such that I have to bowl fast… But there is a clear message that I got to bowl quick… Bowling in short spells is better. I have had five stress fractures, but I don’t hold myself back while bowling,” he said.
Expressing gratitude to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the support they gave during his difficult times, Aaron admitted that he wasn’t sure that he could get back to 100 per cent fitness again. “I had a good support system… The BCCI backed me and I worked hard at the NCA and then at the MRF Pace Foundation… After the surgery, I was walking on thin ice in terms of getting back to cricket and bowling fast,” Aaron said.
Aaron is happy that he got wickets when his team needed them most. “I am happy that I got wickets when we needed them… But there’s still a long way to go in the match.”
He also explained how he worked out Moeen Ali’s wicket. “He had a problem with the short ball… A bouncer followed by a foot-ball is a good idea in such cases. I just bowled a bouncer and then an in-swinger,” Aaron said.
Aaron admitted that England, who have an 85-run first innings lead with four wickets still remaining, enjoy the advantage.
“As the game is poised, England are obviously ahead… But they are not too much ahead and even a 100-run lead is manageable.”
About the wicket, he said: “It has changed from what we saw in the first hour.”
Aaron’s colleague Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who too has taken three wickets, praised the pitch. “It is quite a good wicket… There is a bit of everything for everyone. These are pretty good conditions as well… I was getting quite a bit of help. If you get the ball in the right areas, you can get wickets. We need to keep bowling at a good line and length and hope for the best,” Bhuvneshwar said.
Bhuvneshwar (3/47) is known as a genuine swing bowler, so it was quite unusual to see him picking up Chris Jordan’s wicket with a short ball. The bowler himself enjoyed taking the wicket with a bouncer. “I haven’t taken many wickets with a bouncer… So it feels really nice that I got the wicket of Jordan with a bouncer,” he said.
He explained further that the plan behind bowling the bouncer was to surprise the batsman since not many would expect him to bowl that way. “We planned to bowl a bouncer since no one expected that I will take a wicket off a bouncer... So that was a bit of a surprise to everyone,” he said.
Bhuvneshwar also informed that the injury concern, an ankle niggle, in the lead-up to the fourth Test was no longer there and so there isn’t any reason to worry.
“I definitely feel good… A pacer needs to be 100 per cent fit, because he needs to exert himself much more on the field than the others. It was a slight niggle… Now I am perfectly fine and there is no need to worry,” he said.