“Dream combination for any captain.”: Virat appreciates Indian speedsters after Indore brilliance.
“Just see the way they have bowled. It’s their belief that stands out. Any kind of pitch, any kind of opposition. They believe they can get more out of any pitch than the opposition. That belief matters a lot. I couldn’t be more happy for them,” the Indian skipper said.
Gone are the days when any Indian skipper had to rely on three spinners to fetch 20 breakthroughs in a test match. The current pace quadrangle (Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Ishant Sharma) has proved why this crop of fast bowlers is not only lethal but economical at the same time when they set a batsman into a trap and still don’t leak runs. It was only the fourth time that Indian pacers took all 10 wickets in a Test innings at home when they played Bangladesh on Day 1 at Eden Gardens. The famous pink ball test was marked sheer brilliance and dominance of the Indian pacers when they demolished the Bangla lineup in two sessions.
Without any doubt, the current batch of speedsters are the best Indian cricket has ever seen and can be easily declared as “the best fast bowling attack in the world at this moment.” This is no hyperbole, and the following points will do justice to every word in this statement.
5 reasons why Indian fast bowling attack is currently the best attack in the world-
The key point that differentiates the current Indian attack from their predecessors, is speed. Indian pacers no longer bowl at an average speed of 130/135 kmph but have raised the bar in order to compete on the South African and Australian pitches. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav have consistently clocked 140+(kmph) against the strongest opponents.
The last time India played a test versus England or even South Africa, the Indian pack was far more competitive and quicker than any of the foreign bowlers. These bowlers have kept executing variations to remain unpredictable and stun the best batsmen, this is what makes them so superior.
After taking over as skipper in 2014, Virat has had a drastic impact on every player’s fitness. As a captain, he has been the perfect role model for players across all sports. Similar is his impact on the Indian fast bowlers, who have managed injuries well and stayed healthy all along. Health and body shape defines a fast bowler’s effectiveness.
To bowl at a certain pace a bowler must be in a certain shape and this Indian lot has understood the importance of fitness. Fitness not only helps them as a bowler but also makes a fielder and batsman out of a player. Umesh Yadav hitting six maximums or running out Kagiso Rabada, are examples of how he is a better player now.
These bowlers have not only adapted well to the conditions but also shown composure in every situation. Adaptability becomes an important aspect when the Indian team tours other countries. With different conditions and newer situations, a bowler had to continuously change his style by altering mindset and the Indian pacers have proved their mettle by winning tests from difficult situations. Be it on a sunny day or under floodlights, be it puzzling the top order or clearing the tail-enders, the Indian quadrangle has been simply the best.
At the press conference in Indore, Kohli seemed pretty flattered with the efforts of these fast bowlers. Talking about Ishant Sharma, he said, “A big reason for success in Test cricket is his ability to keep bowling in the same areas and others come in and pick up wickets. Also, he has picked up 4,5 wickets on many occasions.”
Any other factor without consistency makes an unsatisfactory performance. This batch of bowlers has consistently taken wickets and bowled fine overs. For them, every ball has been a battle, and they’ve successfully won every battle. Bowling good balls at the correct areas without getting tires is something that makes the Indian speedsters so consistent.
The final point to add to this list is hunger. Only a hungry bowler can succeed in beating his own best every time he/she takes on an opponent. This Indian pack has worked really hard to deserve the respect they receive now. The captain’s role-play as a very important aspect of a bowler’s career. In our case, Virat has been a bowler’s captain by granting freedom and playing with the bowler’s plans. A decision of playing with 5 bowlers in every match could have backfired, but with the batsmen taking responsibility and bowlers delivering well, the Indian team looks like the most balances test side.