India's bowling coach Bharat Arun hits out at the Sri Lankan cricketers on Sunday (December 3) for wearing masks while fielding. Arun gave the example of Indian captain Virat Kohli, who batted for nearly seven and half hours without the need of any anti-pollution mask.
Kohli piled up his sixth double-ton (243) in Test cricket at his home ground (Feroz Shah Kotla). It was Virat’s second double hundred of the series and now the 29-year-old has equalled the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the list of most double hundred by an Indian in Test cricket.
On the other hand, all the Sri Lankan players were wearing anti-pollution mask during the post-lunch session. In fact, at one point in time, the game was halted for nearly half an hour as the visiting cricketers cited uneasiness due to poor air quality caused by smog.
"Virat batted close to two days. He did not need a mask. 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 was quoted by PTI as saying.
"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," added Arun.
On being asked whether the declaration was forced, the Indian bowling coach said: "We were looking at a total of 550. It was pretty close to that. So we thought we might as well declare."
"I think the umpires and the match referee have a job on hand and it's not up to the players to go and protest. They know what they are doing. When the play was unnecessarily being stopped, we just wanted to get on with the game because our focus is to win this Test match," Arun further remarked.
The 54-year-old bowling coach made it clear that the Indian team was not too concerned about the pollution.
"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," he opined.
Arun also stressed that the protests may have broken Kohli’s concentration as he soon was adjudged LBW.
"They wanted to probably stress upon the pollution part and our focus was totally different. 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," Bharat said.
"We are focused on what we have to do and what we need to do to win the Test match. I don't think we need to be thinking about what the opposition does. It's their outlook. It's their problem to keep their bowlers fit," he concluded.