Aaron's spell made the difference, says skipper Nadeem
Considering what pace bowlers can achieve when at their best, bowling figures of 14-6-28-2 may not look very menacing. But as experts would have us believe, it's the timing of these wickets that can make the difference, and that's what Jharkhand pace-ace Varun Aaron managed to do on Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium.
Aaron had Mumbai in a tizzy when he got rid of opener Sushant Marathe and the number three Wasim Jaffer, leaving the much-vaunted batting line-up reeling at 30-2 in the ninth over. Overhauling a first innings total of 351 looked extremely challenging from here and that’s how it remained for the remainder of the day, as the hosts finished proceedings at 210-5, still 141 runs behind Jharkhand.
Aaron, whose career has been jolted by injuries, is attempting yet another comeback and his skipper Shahbaz Nadeem is thrilled with the impetus his bowling — especially the first spell of seven overs that yielded the two wickets — has provided as Jharkhand attempt to shock the 40-time champions.
“Varun bowled brilliantly for us and it’s because he struck early that we managed to keep Mumbai in check,” said Nadeem. The left-arm spinner who claimed a couple of wickets, praised Aaron for the effort he was putting in. “We have somehow not played to our potential this season, so it was important for the bowlers to strike early after Saurabh (Tiwary) had helped us to a good score. Varun did precisely that.”
So is this the fastest he has seen Aaron bowl this season? “Well, this was certainly amongst his best spells, but it’s difficult to say whether it was his fastest, as he bowled very well against Karnataka too,” he conceded. Mumbai wicketkeeper Aditya Tare who was out for 67, felt Aaron’s bowling had a huge impact on Saturday. “He was bowling really well and his two wickets definitely set us back,” said Tare.
The opener who has already hit a couple of centuries this season got out playing a rash shot to Nadeem and he felt he had let the team down when they were in a precarious situation. “It was a bad shot to play in that situation, so I feel I let the team and myself down. I hope Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) and Hiken (Shah) who are well set can stay together and overhaul the total.”