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T20 World Cup 2014: Indian Bowlers have surprised one and all.

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It is still hard to digest for many cricket fans that the Indian bowling, the very same unit which has a record for conceding the most 300+ scores in a year, has restricted not one, but two oppositions for 130! The surprising fact is that it is the very same team which were present during the recently concluded Asia cup.

But one of the major tactics brought about is playing three spinners(considering R Jadeja as a full-fledged one) and two pacers. This is not something very surprising considering the spinning conditions of Bangladesh. But the way they have choked and applied pressure on Pakistan and West Indies was a sight of brilliant tactics implemented.

The pacers were tidy and neat with their quota. Bhuvi’s natural swing movement, which was absent during the tours of SA and New Zealand, was back and his opening spell against West Indies was something a captain would dream to get. His match figures of 3 overs, no wickets for 3 runs was one of the most economical spell in T20. It was somewhat unlucky that he didn’t get a wicket, considering the way Dwayne Smith struggled to connect with his out swingers.

Shami was spot-on, as usual. Over the past 6 months, his death bowling has improved drastically and has been reliable more often than not in the death overs. In this tournament, he has been spot on with his out-side-offstump Yorkers, which is quite hard to connect. Though he lacks pace variations compared to other frontline fast bowlers, he has compensated with an intelligent length variations.

And coming to the spinners, who were the wreckers-in-chiefs as far as wicket taking and choking the run-flow is concerned. Ashwin is back to is usual best, after not-so-great tours of SA and NZ. He has been effective in his variations, his line and length has been consistent and more importantly, he has got his old confidence back. As before, he has continued to bowl in the first 10 overs of the match, and has been effective in controlling the run flow. The very fact that Chris Gayle scored 34 off 33 balls, despite having dropped twice, shows how well he was controlled, and full credits to Ashwin on that.

R Jadeja is not exactly a great turner of the ball, but his left armers are still hard to score off. Though expensive in both the matches, he took crucial wickets during the end stages of the matches. Though his 20 run over against West Indies cannot be called as impressive, his performance is expected to improve in the coming matches.

And finally, the man of the moment, Amit Mishra. Out of nowhere, he has come out and bamboozled the oppositions with leggies which can be the closest we can see to Shane Warne today. His line and length, intelligence in using variations and his perfect stock delivery of pitch on off stump and turning away has troubled even the Pakistani batsmen, who are generally good players of spin. He is definitely the trump card as of now, and his performance in the upcoming matches will strongly indicate India’s true chance of winning this cup.

It is quite  surprising to know that it was the Indian bowlers who were responsible for both the victories. But there are still two matches remaining, and the spinners will definitely be wary of Aussies, who lost a close match to Pakistan. If the Indian bowlers perform as good as they are in the coming matches, it cannot be denied that they can be concluded as hot-favourites to lift the trophy the second time.

 

by


Kaushik Narayanan

 

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