The Indian bowling attack looks too good…..
It is often said, a good batting unit can win you games, but a menacing bowling attack can win you tournaments. Over the years, India have developed into a threatening bowling unit and have done extremely well in the recent times. There is absolutely no weak-link in this Indian attack; they have a pool of impactful players to choose from and there is no dearth of talent or potential. In the middle of Asia Cup, India lost few players due to injury, but that hardly made any difference to their fortunes as they had enough backup.
Although India’s pace attack needs reinforcements, but the core is very solid. The addition of Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Shami to this squad will only provide stability and more productive option. Shami has healthy numbers to his name and has proved his worth in the past; recurring injuries have been the reason behind his absence from the ODI side. He was India’s most successful bowlers in the 2015 World Cup and should be drafted in the future.
Talking about the current attack in the Asia Cup, India have Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja as their primary bowlers. Kedar Jadhav rolls his arms when needed while Jadeja was roped in after Hardik Pandya suffered an injury. If one just adds Shami to this attack, it will only spill fire. Nevertheless, the current Indian attack has been instrumental behind their team’s success in the tournament so far.
Barring the first game, which India won by a whisker, Indian bowlers have been unstoppable. In fact, India played a second string bowling attack in their opening game against Hong Kong, the scenario would have been definitely different had India played all their players. Let’s introspect India’s bowling in the tournament so far.
After Hong Kong, India locked horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their second encounter. Any game between these two sides is more about nerves and temperament. The expectations and intensity are on a different level altogether. India were beaten inside out in their last encounter against Pakistan in the final of 2017 Champions Trophy. The pressure was on India, but their bowlers did an amazing job in restricting the side to 164. Bangladesh was next and Indian bowlers didn’t face any issue in repeating the feat as Bangladesh were folded for 173.
After beating Bangladesh, India needed just one more win to make it to the final. Pakistan, on the other hand, snatched a nail-biting win against Afghanistan and were on the same page. The pitch in Dubai was perfect for batting, it didn’t have a lot to offer to the bowlers and Pakistan decided to bat first.
Spin was introduced in the eighth over and turned out to be a masterstroke by Rohit Sharma as Chahal trapped Imam-ul-Haq leg before in his very first over. When Fakhar Zaman started looking dangerous, Kuldeep Yadav did well to get the better of him. Moments later, Babar Azam was run out on 9. A partnership was built between Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed and looked good for more; they stitched 107 runs between them when Kuldeep broke it by chipping the skipper’s wicket.
No. 1 ODI bowler, Bumrah, showed why he is best in business by delivering a gem of a spell in the death overs. Malik was anchoring Pakistan’s innings and looked all set to change gears and get some quick runs, but fell prey to Bumrah’s persistence. Bumrah gave away just 16 runs in four overs that he bowled in the death along with two wickets. Pakistan just managed 237 runs in 50 overs, which India chased down inside 40 overs and with nine wickets to spare. The fact that none of the Pakistani bowlers had a single wicket to his name speaks about the effectiveness Indian bowlers had.
On a whole, India have a well-balanced pace attack and bowlers who are equally effective with the new as well as the old ball. The middle-overs are controlled by the wrist-spinners, who have been the talk of the town lately. Ravindra Jadeja also grabbed his new lifeline and made an immediate impact with his wily left-arm spin. It’s a well-oiled attack and has no evident weaknesses whatsoever. It will demand a lot for any batting line-up to dominate this kind of bowling. There is a variety and so much potential.
India have a lot of impactful options to choose from. At times, there is a dilemma regarding players’ selection, but it’s a good headache to have. With the World Cup being around the corner, India are quite certain about their core attack. The bench strength also looks good, and the attack will only be strengthened if someone like Shami or Umesh is roped in.
Indian bowlers have left the opposition at sixes and sevens in their last three games, but their character will be tested in the final. The pressure of a final is different and it will only reach the sky if Pakistan beat Bangladesh to sculpt a spot against India. It’s difficult to even predict if the Indian bowlers will have a tough time ahead, they are the team to beat. This is what an effective bowling unit can do. Earlier, India was widely reckoned for their dominating batting, the time has changed now, their bowlers are doing an equally effective job and the line-up on a whole is pretty much balanced.