Indian Cricket Team on Mission World Cup-2015: Part I
Updated - Nov 4, 2014 8:25 am
Recall your memories of the only Cricket World Cup that was ever played in Australia & New Zealand. The first thing that instantly comes to your mind is the picture of ecstatic Imran khan and a euphoric Pakistan team lifting the trophy. The compelling reason behind this triumph of the Pakistan team was an absolute brute of a spell of genuine fast bowling from one of the greatest fast bowlers ever Wasim Akram in which he bowled some virtual unplayable deliveries dismantling the stumps of Englishmen. This win in itself is sufficient cue of the role pacers will have in those conditions. Team India who is the defending champions and has one of the weakest bowling lineups. Here’s a look on Indian cricket teams mission World Cup and their Fast bowlers.
Indian team in the 2011 Cricket World Cup had a below par bowling attack, besides Zaheer Khan the attack did not have any potent threat. Yet they did become champions because of the formidable batting line up that they possess and placid batting track. Four years later i.e. in about three months’ time, the cricketing world will meet again this time Down-Under for the biggest extravaganza of cricket.
Though the teams in the tournament will more or less be same but the playing conditions down under will be substantially different from the subcontinent. Tracks will have lot more life in it, greenness on the wicket and will offer real lateral movement, pace and bounce. The new rule of two new balls from the either end will check the prudency, technique and patience of the batsman, especially at the start of innings. The team with the most vigorous fast bowlers will have an excellent chance of lifting the World Cup 2015 trophy.
The Indian team management at the moment is looking to set up the team which will most probably get the ticket to Australia for the World Cup. Fast bowlers still a concern for MS Dhoni and others as there have been inconsistent performances, death bowling as always is a concern, so is new ball bowling. Indian team is in serious need of a bowler who can pick them wickets like Zak did in the 2011 World Cup.
Ishant, Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Umesh /Aaron and Mohit/ Kulkarni these 5 are most probably the best in the Indian ranks at the moment.
Ishant Sharma might not be a regular in the ODI squad in recent times but his experience and his decent bowling stats in Australia will in all probability earn him a place in squad and with Zaheer Khan not expected to be in final 15 the responsibility of leading the attack will be on Ishant. Bhuvneshwar, Shami with their recent form and performance have ensured they will surely be on the flight to Australia.
The rest will be chosen between Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma, Dhawan Kulkarni.
Fast bowlers in the first 10 overs in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011
[table id=32 /]
This is a telling state which shows the gloomy state of Indian fast bowlers. Onus of picking the wickets with new ball is on Bhuvneshwar Kumar but, off late he hasn’t delivered with the new ball. He has become more of a run saving bowler than a wicket taker. As skipper Dhoni is pretty much relying on him to make early in roads.
As the era of cricket has changed with so much T20 cricket, the strategy of the batting team has changed big time. Teams now play out the middle overs quietly and go for the kill in the last 10 overs. Through all this what still owns its importance is the art of bowling Yorkers. If executed correctly this can be the most deadly weapon of for any fast bowler. Who can forget how Malinga and Kulasekra’s consistent Yorkers’ denied India the worldT20 title this year.
Fast bowlers in the last 10 overs in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011
[table id=33 /]
All stats from ESPNcricinfo.com
India is yet to find their bowler who can consistently crush the toe. Shami has off late shown sparks and probability is high that the Kolkata speedster could become MS Dhoni’s to go bowler soon. Indian bowlers have an average economy of 8.33 in the last 3 and a half years in last 10 overs which is completely unacceptable .This is an area which probably would give MS Dhoni sleepless nights in his mission to defend the World Cup they earned in 2011. He has tried everyone at death overs from spinners to pacers but none has worked so far.
In the ODI series against West Indies we saw Shami and Umesh Yadav come round the wicket and bowl Yorkers this is a strategy which has worked and it would have pleased Dhoni. A lot will depend on how the two do in upcoming challenges ahead of the show case event.
X Factor – Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami will for sure be India’s fast bowling spearhead a devastating bowler with white ball. Shami will be the WRECKER IN CHIEF of India’s pace bowling. He can crank up in mid-140 with his pace and is specially lethal against the right hand batsman. Bowling equally well with old ball and reverse swinging it, is the USP for Shami. He has picked 44 wickets in his last 18 matches at an astonishing average of less than 25. Having a leader in the form of MS Dhoni who completely backs him, it wouldn’t be wrong to say he has the potential to do a WASIM AKRAM of 1992 World Cup for the Indian team.