Current bowling attack of India is the best in recent times: Ajit Agarkar

Current bowling attack of India is the best in recent times: Ajit Agarkar

Agarkar believes that the Virat Kohli-led team is still favourites to lift the Champions Trophy.

Ajit Agarkar
Ajit Agarkar. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

After starting their Champions Trophy campaign in style against the arch rivals Pakistan, defending champions India locked horns with another neighbour country Sri Lanka on Thursday (June 8). They went into the game with the tag of favourites only to taste defeat as the Sri Lankan batsmen chased down a record 321-run target.

Team India having decided to go unchanged in the game definitely missed out on the service of a quality spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin. As a result, the Men in Blue will now take on South-Africa on Sunday (June 11) in what will virtually be a quarter-final.

Ashwin who has been the strike bowler for the Indian side for a considerable time now did not make it to the playing XI in both the games of the ongoing Champions Trophy. Hardik Pandya being more of a batting all-rounder has been given preference over the offie by the team management.

Veteran Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar feels that someone like Ravi Ashwin not getting a place in the Indian playing eleven itself speaks a lot about how well the bowling department has worked out for the defending champions. The former Mumbai pacer also considers the current bowling lineup to be the best bowling attack in recent times.

In an interaction with the PTI, Agarkar said, “At the start of the tournament some of the batters were not in a great form, but once the tournament started all the batsmen are in good form and bowlers are doing well. All the five bowlers are in good form. A guy like Ashwin not making the eleven tells you how well the bowling unit is doing”.

In spite of the shocking loss against Sri Lanka, the new chairman of selectors of the Mumbai domestic team believes that the Virat Kohli-led team is still favourites to lift the Champions Trophy.

The current bowling line-up

“As a combined attack, one of the best attacks we (India) had for a while. Even the ball has not swung in England, you got (Jasprit) Bumrah, Umesh (Yadav), variety is there, which helps the team always. Quite a complete attack. Not just balance, but there is variety, which makes captain’s life easier,” he added.

The opening pair

“Shikar’s form is very encouraging, but Rohit who did not have much cricket in the last six months due to injury, his form is biggest plus for India, because coming into the tournament, probably he didn’t have enough runs that he would have liked but both the games (in which) he has batted, he looked comfortable,” said the former quickie.

Ajit Agarkar also feels that the must-win game against South Africa on Sunday will be tough.

“They (South Africa) are the number one side (in ODI) and had a bad game against Pakistan, so it will be a tough game. They have not won an ICC tournament before in-spite of having such a good game. It will be a tough game for India. They will have to play well. South Africa like India is a balanced team and on the day they play well, they are difficult to beat,” he added.

Team India is still on the top of the points table in group B with a net run rate of +1.272.