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India have got variety in fast bowling: Arnold

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Backing Virat Kohli’s five-bowler theory to win Test matches, former batsman Russel Arnold today said that the Indian pace attack has the variety to match their Sri Lankan counterparts.

India are ready to begin their three-Test series against the hosts come August 12 and Test skipper Kohli is keen to put forward his new plans in action. Arnold feels the young leader might hit the right note with his combination of six batsmen and five bowlers.

“India have got four fast bowlers. They have got variety there as well, Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has got swing, Ishant Sharma who gets a bit of extra bounce and then the raw pace. If Sri Lanka go that way they are equipped to counter it,” Arnold, who is part of the panel of commentators for Sony Six and Sony Kix, told PTI in an interview.

“But on the other hand they (India) have three spinners in the team too, which Kohli initially indicated that he might go with, but it all changes after seeing the pitch at the end of the day. So it will be interesting to see which combination they will take but from Sri Lanka’s point of view, I’d say go with what has worked in the recent past,” he added.

The cricketer-turned-analyst is also a fan of six solid batsmen, who do their job.

“Playing six batsmen is a way to attack a team. If you have a batsman who can bowl and vice versa then it’s a definite plus. Generally I’d like to take the opposition on. You play six batsmen, they score the runs. Those half-batters try and make runs. Your five bowlers pick wickets, 20 wickets. So you have men who do their job rather than those half players,” he said.

Kohli may have been criticised for his aggression at times, but Arnold said a leader should show a bit of arrogance.

“Aggression might not be the right word, but I think to be successful you need a bit of arrogance, to be up there and to be able to try and ruffle the opposition. Virat Kohli has shown those signs and the unit has been different. I mean in Test cricket, he has to prove himself with his approach,” he said.

“Now for Angelo Mathews you have to feel as a captain, because he hasn’t had too many options. Not many X factors on whom he could have relied on. You can’t compare him to the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, who always had a Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) and a (Chaminda) Vaas. So when in trouble he knew he could shut one end up, which made it somewhat easier,” he said about Sri Lankan Test skipper Angelo Mathews.

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