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England vs India 2014: Analyzing India’s Bowling Attack

pic credits : espncricinfo.com

pic credits : espncricinfo.com

The very talented Indian batting line up has been grabbing most of the headlines going into the India’s tour of England, but nevertheless, bowling, which has been quite inconsistent off lately, has been in the back of the minds of critics.

The inexperience of the attack resulted in devoiding India couple of famous victories abroad. While India lacked tooth to defend a 450+ target at Johannesburg, not-so test specialists Brendon McCullum and Neesham took the Indian bowlers for cleaners, after having a near 200 run deficit.

Now going into the series, it is quite acceptable that the Indian bowlers lack experience. With the absence of Zaheer Khan, the cumulative sum of the wickets of entire bowling attack is less than James Anderson’s tally. But, experience doesn’t mean anything. Now here is a SWOT analysis on the Indian bowling.

 

Strength :

Variety is definitely one of the strengths of Indian bowling attack. As far as the fast bowling is concerned, we have some  swing bowlers in the name of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishwar Pandey and Pankaj Singh, Seamers in Ishant and Shami, and the latter being a reverse swing specialist. This is a definite plus in having an attack with variety, as there is always a back up option if plan A doesn’t work.

Even in spin department, we have our traditional spinner with variations in R Ashwin, and stingy left armer in R Jadeja.

Weakness :

Ass specified before, the lack of experience will be the prime weakness for this young Indian attack. While traditionally pacers like Sreesanth, RP Singh and Praveen Kumar have been successful in English conditions, they were far too inconsistent, and often lacked the energy to keep the pressure on.

The current lot have shown similar symptoms. But nothing cannot be judged till it is seen. Can Indian bowlers overcome this one aspect? We have to wait and watch.

Opportunities :

The English batsmen are quite shattered with the morale breaking series loss to Sri Lanka across all the three formats. The English line up has been trying different combinations, but yet to find a genuine replacement for the ousted Kevin Pieterson.

The Indian bowlers can step up and apply some salt to the wound. They need to be especially focused against Alastair Cook, who’s batting and captaincy has reached a new low and is mentally fragile.

Threats :

The English playing conditions has sprung up a surprise, with rather flat pitches in both the test matches against Sri Lanka. Both the matches were close, nevertheless.

But it cannot be assured as to how the Indian bowling would perform under such conditions. Sri Lankans were clinical in their bowling, but the Indians have a history of letting the opposition off in crucial junctures of the match. Moreover, the English batsmen have milked the Indian bowlers in the recent times, and that would be a huge psychological barrier for the new look bowling attack to overcome.

Moreover, the English cold has always caused trouble to Indian bowlers. While they have somewhat adjusted to the conditions by going there early, it still remains a crucial factor.

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