Recognised By: THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA & PREMIER/GOVERNER & CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF VICTORIA      Victoria's first Melbourne Monthly Newspaper since October 1993

Sports

Indian pace attack can excel in English conditions


For perhaps, the first time in Indian cricket history, the team boasts of an all condition attack capable of restricting and taking wickets under different conditions and that too while bowling at and above 140kph. India now has four pace bowlers at its disposal, all with slightly different skillsets. Umesh Yadav who made his debut in 2011 seems to have finally come of age especially after his fiery spell in Dharamsala last year, blew away the Australian top order in a spell of fast bowling seldom seen in India.

Earlier known only for his pace and swing, he has now learned the art of bowling tight spells resulting in breakthroughs when the conditions are not supporting him. Umesh, who was considered expensive in the shorter forms of the game, in particular at IPL, had a terrific IPL this year. He had a very good strike rate of 15.95 and an economy rate of 7.86. His skills at the Test level are known well and he will be a big contributor to the pace attack swinging at that speed.

Since the time Ishant Sharma bowled that spell to Ricky Ponting at the WACA in 2008, he has been in and out of the team owing to numerous injuries and subsequent loss in form. He seemed to have developed a habit of straying in line and length while his pace dropped appreciably. With Kohli’s insistence on fitness and rotation, he has now started filling in the shoes he was always expected to. He can now bowl long spells while continuously attacking the batsmen with hostile pace and bounce. Be it his 7-74 against England at Lords in 2014 or his brutal 8-86 against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club the next year – eventually setting up a series victory – Sharma has proved that he can be the tall angry fast bowler that Indian fans have always so wished for. His current stint in the English county can only improve his bowling under the English conditions.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the swing seamer in this attack, impressed everyone with his booming in-swingers against Pakistan during his debut series. But as it has happened with the rest of the bowlers in this team - and many before them - he couldn't escape injuries. Soon, his speed went down and the swing was not as visible as it was early in his career. He seemed to have turned into a one-dimensional bowler.

But since his successive five-wicket hauls in England in 2014 he hasn’t looked back. His bowling average of 27.18 is currently the best among India’s fast bowlers. He has worked hard on his fitness enabling him to gain few yards in pace. He has also reinvented his bowling in the shorter formats, where he is now able to bowl yorkers and knuckle balls at will and with pinpoint accuracy. If India needs to perform well and win the series, Bhuvi will have a say in it.

Jasprit Bumrah, the younger member of the pacers, is a bowler the opposition is totally uncomfortable with because of his action and raw pace. There are few who are of the opinion that English conditions will not suit his bowling. That theory is totally incorrect as Bumrah with his action and bounce can trouble batsmen in a similar way Stuart Broad does for England. His incoming delivery straightening late will be a nightmare for English batsmen. Considered initially as a specialist ODI and T20 bowler, Bumrah has adapted pretty well in Tests in the South Africa series.

Indian cricket fans have seen a long line of fast bowlers bursting onto the scene but sooner or later losing pace and potency, especially due to injuries. In this context, the rotation policy employed by India to give regular rests to its premiere bowlers can't be overstated. While not only taking care of the injuries, the BCCI and the team management have made sure that the bowlers, when they are not playing, maintain their fitness levels by sending them to the MRF Pace Academy.

It has also helped India that Kohli has the resources to choose horses for courses. If the conditions are expected to aid swing then Bhuvi is an automatic pick. Similarly if the pitch is fast and offers appreciable bounce then Umesh and Ishant come into the picture. Adding to this quartet, Jadeja and Ashwin are spinners who on their day can run through any batting order. Kuldeep Yadav adds the mystery element who can be used in few Tests in a five Test series.

The legendary Sachin Tendulkar feels India has headed to the gruelling tour of England with “the most complete fast-bowling attack in many many years”, a “luxury” that was not there during his 24 years in international cricket. “This is the most complete fast-bowling attack that India has had in many many years. In my assessment, this attack would go as one of the best,” Tendulkar said. “We have the luxury where we have a swing bowler (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), a tall bowler (Ishant Sharma), a skiddy bowler (Jasprit Bumrah) and a genuine quick bowler (Umesh Yadav). It is a nice combination to have with so much variation on offer,” Tendulkar added. So does he rate this attack as more potent than some of those during his playing days, Tendulkar replied: “Yeah, I am taking that into account that (attacks of yesteryears) as well because of a reason. We have got Bhuvi, who can bat and also Hardik with good batting ability.” However, Tendulkar didn’t want to comment on what kind of combination India should play. “I think the team management would have to assess which opposition batsman is comfortable against what kind of bowling. There will be a few, who would play the swing bowling well and some will have the technique of dealing with deliveries that move off the pitch. You have to pick the team accordingly,” he said.

“The current India team is constantly looking at seamers, who can contribute with the bat big time. I think these two guys (Bhuvneshwar and Hardik) have contributed crucial runs every now and then. Hardik has just got into the side but I think Bhuvi contributing brilliantly and that contribution changes the balance of the team in a positive manner,” Tendulkar said. “It’s good to have batsmen who can bowl four-five overs but even better if we have bowlers, who can score those crucial runs. The kind of contributions that can help you move forward,” he added.

South African batsman and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock feels that the Indian pace attack has the potent to trouble opposition. “I think it’s going to be a good contest. The Indian seam attack is one of the best that I’ve ever faced. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Shami, Ishant and all these guys were very consistent against us and the opposition is going to struggle against them. They have one of the hardest bowling attacks that one can face, especially as openers, he said.


Sports News By

Srinivasan


Intesols - Intelligent Solutions for all businesses

 

Local News

View your local news
Local news

Sports

Cricket, soccer, footy, tennis and more
Sports

About us

About us
About Us Us

Contact Us

Get Contact Details
Contact Us