Indian pacer Varun Aaron in action during a practice session © AFP
One among the six fast bowlers picked in the 18-man squad for the tour of England, Jharkhand speedster Varun Aaron will be the one to look forward to on English wickets. In an exclusive chat with sports.ndtv.com, Aaron opens up about the difficulty in shifting from T20s to Tests, managing injuries, on why he merits a place in the playing XI in England and a lot more.
On bowling in English conditions: I am very excited to be going to England and getting a chance to bowl in those conditions. Plan is to not try too many things differently and look to do well.
On one aspect of bowling he would really like to work on: I definitely want to work on my swing. It will be one of the key aspects of fast bowling in England.
On experience of touring England in 2011 and the expectation this time around: The 2011 tour to England was a very good one for me. I did not play but learnt a lot from the sidelines. The opportunity to go was a blessing as I bowled well after returning to India. This year, I am not going there with any expectations as such. Just want to do my best for the country.
On shifting from the T20 mode to Tests: To be honest, it is very difficult to switch off from the T20 mode and to Test-cricket mode. The biggest challenge is getting your lengths right. I need to get used to the different lengths I will be bowling in England. I am heading to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai where I will work on this aspect.
On bowling to a 'four-slip-two-gully' field: (Laughs) Why not, I would love to. On a serious note, I used to dream of that when I was 15 or 16. Now it is all about picking wickets.
On a fast bowler's aggression: There is a need for fast bowlers to be aggressive but I prefer aggression in bowling. More often than not, fast bowlers get carried away and there is unnecessary aggression. I think fast bowlers need to have a control on that and concentrate on the bowling aspect.
On tips from Allan Donald and Wasim Akram during IPL: (Allan) Donald and Wasim bhai were great bowlers and I look up to them. They are two different types of coaches. At KKR, Wasim bhai would give me insights into swing bowling which helped me a lot. Donald stresses more on me doing what I do best and chips in with advice wherever necessary. That has also helped me grow as a pacer.
On injuries and recovery: My back has been very troublesome to be honest. But I had a surgery last year which has helped me a lot. I feel very blessed to have the kind of coaches and support staff who have backed me. BCCI, too, has been patient with my rehabilitation. Apart from that it is the support from family and friends that has helped me bounce back after an injury last year.
On why he should be picked in the playing XI: I think the Indian team needs an out-and-out fast bowler at the moment and I feel I can fulfill that requirement.
On the absence of a genuine leg-spinner on England tour: If Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) is bowling well then we will not (miss a leg-spinner). There is no point in thinking what we will miss. It is better to work on doing the best with the resources we have.
On preparation for the England tour: Like I said before, I am just switching over from the T20 mode. The aspect of studying the opposition and watching videos and setting personal goals will happen only a week or two before the start of the series.