The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has taken the cricketing world by storm, and the Indian Cricket Team has been nothing short of spectacular. They’ve triumphed in all eight of their matches, advancing to the semi-finals, where they are likely to meet New Zealand in Mumbai. The Indian bowlers have been nothing short of sensational, consistently dismissing opposition teams for under 100 runs on multiple occasions.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been instrumental in India’s success in the 2023 World Cup. Bumrah has showcased his mastery with the ball by securing an impressive 15 wickets in just eight matches, while Shami has been even more devastating, bagging an astonishing 16 wickets in a mere four games.
[World Cup 2023] Gautam Gambhir Picks India’s Highest Wicket Taker
Shami returned to the team with a bang after not playing the initial games as India was playing Shardul Thakur at number 8. His bowling figures of 5/54, 4/22, 5/18, and 2/18 in the matches he played after his return were nothing short of extraordinary. Shami’s ability to swing and seam the ball, coupled with his fiery pace, has left opposition batsmen struggling to contend with his lethal deliveries.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir, a well-known figure in the cricketing world, shared his perspective on who could potentially be India’s highest wicket-taker in the 2023 World Cup. He made a compelling argument in favor of Mohammed Shami, stating, “I feel Shami [will take more wickets], from the point of view that oppositions will look to attack him because of Jasprit Bumrah. And he’s bowling as the first change.”
Gambhir’s rationale for favoring Shami is quite intriguing. He points out that Jasprit Bumrah is often considered too formidable for opposition teams to take on in the initial overs. As a result, many teams choose to play cautiously against him, thus limiting his wicket-taking opportunities. Gambhir believes that Shami, who usually bowls as the first change, will be more likely to pick up wickets as teams may adopt a more aggressive approach against him.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge the significance of Jasprit Bumrah in the Indian team. He is undoubtedly the X-factor that sets this team apart. His exceptional ability to generate pace, extract bounce, and swing the ball both ways make him a force to be reckoned with. Opposing batsmen often approach Bumrah’s initial spell with caution, further testament to his prowess.
Bumrah’s role as the team’s premier fast bowler is pivotal, and his exceptional economy rate, even when he doesn’t take many wickets, contributes significantly to India’s success. Teams often opt to see him off rather than take any undue risks against him, which is a testament to his bowling mastery.
Gambhir said: “I think Shami because people do not take on Jasprit Bumrah. He’s too good a bowler for an opposition to take him on. A lot of times, the best bowler will not have the most number of wickets. The reason is that the opposition thinks let’s see him off. If you observe Jasprit Bumrah’s initial spell, no one wants to take him on. A lot of times, the team’s best bowler would have a very good economy rate, but he won’t have a lot of wickets.”
He added: “I feel Shami [will take more wickets], from the point of view that oppositions will look to attack him because of Jasprit Bumrah. And he’s bowling one change. I still feel Jasprit Bumrah is the X factor in the team. This Indian team is such a strong team because of him. But Shami will have more wickets.”
In essence, India is fortunate to have two exceptional bowlers in Bumrah and Shami. While Bumrah is the standout X-factor with a remarkable ability to contain and trouble batsmen, Shami’s role as the first-change bowler positions him to potentially pick up more wickets as oppositions look to attack. This dynamic duo is a critical element of India’s strong showing in the World Cup.