"I genuinely wanted to do something with the team but I didn’t think it would happen this soon." © Wisden India

“I genuinely wanted to do something with the team but I didn’t think it would happen this soon.” © Wisden India

S Arvind reckoned that having been a part of the Karnataka dressing room as a player until recently will give him the upper hand when he assumes his new role as bowling coach.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association announced last week that former paceman, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will take up the role of bowling coach to complement Yere Goud, the new batting coach.

The duo replaced PV Shashikanth and GK Anil Kumar, who were docked from their coaching role after just one year at helm. That year, Karnataka made it to the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 and won the Vijay Hazare Trophy title. Which could also explain why both the seasoned coaches expressed surprise at their sacking.

“This is ridiculous. I don’t get how they could remove us. It’s not like the team crashed out in the league stage,” fumed Anil. “I’m happy for Goud and Arvind but I think they have been unfair to us. This isn’t how you treat coaches who have done well in their first year.

Arvind was just as surprised, but for being considered to take up the role. “I was very surprised. I wasn’t sure they called the right person because I really had no clue that they would consider me,” said the left-arm seamer.

“I thought about it and I figured that this role works for me because I genuinely wanted to do something with the team but I didn’t think it would happen this soon. I have been with them for a long time so it becomes very easy for me to make the transition.”

Arvind, who played 56 first-class games for Karnataka and picked up 186 wickets at an average of 23.94, represented India in one Twenty20 International against South Africa.

Over the last few years, Arvind has taken up the role of mentoring young pacers in the side. R Vinay Kumar, the skipper, and Abhimanyu Mithun too have benefitted from Arvind’s expertise despite being among the top bowlers on the domestic circuit.

“I have always mentored our young bowlers so this is no different. I don’t think there is a big difference. Only thing is that I don’t have to tire myself out bowling anymore (laughs),” said the 34-year-old.

“Honestly though, these players are so good they don’t need coaching in the true sense of coaching. They only want someone to guide them from time to time and that’s really not a tough job. It requires an understanding of players as individuals and that is something I have done that for a while so it’ll be a relatively easy role for me to slip into.”