Fast bowling has never been India’s forte. Over the years, India have relied more on their batsmen to the job, especially in the overseas conditions where spinners don’t get much assistance. It’s not that India have not produced good fast bowlers, but India have not had a good fast bowling “unit” since a very, very long time.
In the recently concluded ODI series between India and Sri Lanka, India’s fast bowler Umesh Yadav bowled with good speed and showed great accuracy with the new ball. In the first match of the five-match series, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, India’s two fastest bowlers, bowled very fast with the new ball(s) and consistently touched the 140 mark. Watching them bowl in tandem was a great sight for all Indian cricket fans. Unfortunately, Varun Aaron injured himself after the first match and he was replaced by Mumbai’s Dhawal Kulkarni, who also bowled well in the remainder of the series.
India’s fast bowing unit bowled very well in the series, and if you consider the fact that two of India’s best fast-bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed were rested for the series, it was a very satisfying performance.
Now, India are preparing for the all-important tour of Australia and India’s performance down under will depend heavily on how their bowling unit, especially the fast bowling unit. India have picked fast bowlers for the tour of Australia; Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.
There’s a lot of variety in this attack and the likes of Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron will enjoy bowling on the Australian pitches, as there will be a lot more purchase for them. It will be interesting to see Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s approach in Australia as he depends more on swing and seam than pace and bounce.
The biggest challenge for this young attack will be to manage the workload and stay fit throughout the long tour. All these five bowlers have had injury problems in the past, in fact, Shami and Aaron are still recovering from injuries. India’s recent record in the overseas Tests has been abysmal, as they have lost their lost their last 4 Test series outside the sub-continent.
This series will be a big challenge for Team India, as Australia have been unbeatable at the home in Test cricket, since the last Ashes series. While all the media focus will be on the batting department, India’s fast bowling unit can surprise a lot people, and this might well be the start of a new era for Indian cricket.
By The Cricket Lounge