Varun Aaron: impressive debut, promising future
Bikash Mohapatra analyses Varun Aaron's sensational debut. Having impressed captain Dhoni with his pace, the Jharkhand youngster must look for consistency now.
Soon after Varun Aaron bowled the first ball of his seventh over, his hands went up to cover his face. The bowler was disappointed, assuming that the ball had missed the stumps despite being so close.
His captain (MS Dhoni), though, had started walking back to the pavilion.
It didn't take long for the young bowler to realize that he had, in fact, got a wicket off the delivery, a big one at that! His 141kph scorcher had clipped the bails, thereby ending Tim Bresnan's -- England's top scorer in the fourth ODI at the Wankhede with 45 -- and his team's innings.
Bresnan was Aaron's third wicket of the day.
For one considered to be the fastest bowler in India, it took considerably long for the Jharkhand player to make his international debut.
Having been forced to sit on the sidelines as India got thrashed in the ODI series in England, the youngster was also sidelined -- Umesh Yadav being preferred -- for the first three matches in the ongoing series.
"We felt Umesh, with a bit more experience, can be slightly better. That was one of the main reasons why we picked him ahead of Varun," explained Dhoni, when queried why it took the team so long to try out the quick.
However, an injury to Yadav meant Aaron finally got the opportunity he was waiting for. And, to his credit, he ensured it was a memorable debut, with impressive figures of three for 24.
What's more, there were a few words of encouragement from his captain, and statemate, as well.
"Varun can bowl a bit quicker than some of the other Indian bowlers," said Dhoni.
"Consistently he was around the 140 kph mark when it comes to the average speed. It is good to see fast bowlers who are a bit quicker and putting in more effort," he added.
Jharkhand youngster lucky in second spell
It wasn't all hunky dory for the young bowler, though. He had a relatively quite start, with 14 runs coming off his first three overs.
He steadily worked up good pace -- clocking 145.3 kph in his second over -- but failed to get a breakthrough, something his captain expected him to. Consequently, Dhoni took him off the attack and handed the ball over to the two spinners.
"He went for runs in his first few overs. So I thought to try and take the pace off the ball and, therefore, had spinners bowling from both ends," explained Dhoni.
Aaron was brought back only after the batting powerplay was over (in the 41st over). It was in this second spell that he impressed.
Dhoni expects consistency from Aaron
The 21-year-old's first international wicket came off the first ball of what was his fifth over, when he shattered Scott Borthwick's stumps.
In his sixth over, he accounted for debutant Stuart Meaker, a misdirected yorker that swung in late and crashed into the latter's leg stump.
His final wicket (Bresnan) ended England's innings, with 23 balls left to play.
It would be quite easy to dismiss Aaron's effort, considering all his three wickets were essentially those of tail-enders.
However, the fact that he had them all cleaned up, in three different ways at that, as also the fact that he consistently generated speed definitely makes it a commendable effort.
Besides, he emerged the most successful bowler for the side on debut, his second spell figures (3.1-1-10-3) making for an impressive read.
Dhoni summed up the young bowler's success.
"When he came back for his second spell he got a bit of reverse swing and that helped him a lot. He also bowled in the right areas and that helped him keep the pressure on the batsmen," said Dhoni.
With the impressive debut Aaron provided glimpses of his potential. Whether he can stay consistent is the question.