Vastavam web: India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun today took a dig at the Sri Lankan cricketers, stating that home team captain Virat Kohli did not require anti-pollution mask to bat for nearly two days in the third Test here.Kohli struck a career-best 243, batting nearly seven and half hours and he was the last home side batsman dismissed on a controversy-marred second day when Sri Lankan players forced an Indian declaration by halting play for 26 minutes, citing uneasiness due to poor air quality caused by smog.We are focussed on what we need to do. The conditions are the same for both teams and we are not too bothered about it,” Arun said when asked if his players were affected by the smog.
The coach then went on to wax eloquent about skipper Kohli.”His absolute focus is one thing and attention to detail is the key. In terms of fitness and game preparation, he is spot on. He is an example of what you need to be as a cricketer.” At one point in time, chief coach Ravi Shastri was seen getting onto the field to have a chat with the umpires. Asked about it, Arun said: “Ravi’s take was pretty simple. He said ‘please get on with the game, you don’t need to stop. You take a decision and just get on with the game.”
The former Tamil Nadu pacer feels that it’s not for players to protest and stop the match as there are match officials (match referee and umpires) assigned for a job.”I think pollution is everywhere in our country. This pollution levels are serious in our country. I don’t think we were too worried about pollution. The BCCI scheduled this matches and our job is to get the best out of our team. Focus is more on that.” Interestingly, Arun was the Hyderabad Ranji team coach when his side’s match against Tripura at Karnail Singh Stadium here was cancelled due to smog last year.”They wanted to probably stress upon the pollution part and our focus was totally different,” Arun said sarcastically.
“It could have broken his (Kohli) rhythm. Yes, but at that point, we had to move on and Ravi had to go into the field and tell the umpires to get on with the game.” That the Indian team was irritated with the Sri Lankan antics was evident when someone quizzed if he felt pity for Sri Lankan fast bowlers, as he was a fast bowler himself.