Mohammed Shami hunting in packs with ‘hunters’ Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma
The pace trio first perturbed South Africa and then it was Bangladesh's turn.
Updated - Nov 24, 2019 7:26 pm
Make way for the new superstars of Indian cricket. For long these guys have been overshadowed by their more glamorous counterparts; for long they have been shrugged off as the ‘laborers’; the workhorses who grind themselves to dust, but never really seem to get the credit! Remember Javagal Srinath? The lone warrior of the 1990s who bowled his heart out when there was virtually no support from the other hand or the army of left-arm pacers of the 2000s- Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, who scripted many historic feats for Team India in overseas conditions?
Do you remember the time when Sreesanth was having the South African batsman for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? You probably do. But, then the heists of our batsmen took over and everything was shrugged off onto the back-burner. Call them the mean machine; the gladiators or as Mohammed Shami has said in his Instagram post as “3 hunters”, they are the real deal!
The one thing that went against all of the above names is they never really played together as a group, which the current crop is doing so beautifully. They have craft, venom, skills everything that the fast bowlers of the past had, but one thing that separates the current set of Indian bowlers is their fitness.
Make way for the mean-bowling juggernaut- The Hunters who hunt in pack, literally!
And, so with better fitness and even greater hostility, there you are! No longer are the fast bowlers the supporting cast; in-fact they are the poster boys. People throng to the stadium to see them; they subscribe to online streams just to see Mohammed Shami or Umesh Yadav send the stumps on a cartwheel; to see Ishant Sharma bowl that fuller length to suck the left-handers into the drive or bamboozle their defense with his newly mastered skill of bringing the ball tailing into the batsmen; to see Jasprit Bumrah to do- Well! Jasprit Bumrah things!
Since the start of January 2018, no set of fast bowlers have taken more wickets at a better average or a lower strike-rate than the Indian pacers. In 22 matches, the fast bowling group has claimed 274 wickets at an average of 20.74 and a strike-rate of 41.8. While Shami has taken 80 wickets at an average of 22.72, Ishant has claimed 66 at an average of 19.43 followed by Jasprit Bumrah, who has 62 wickets to his name in just 12 Test matches at an average of 19.24.
Umesh Yadav, on the other hand, has been a force to be reckoned with at home. The Vidarbha Express has taken 38 wickets at home since 2018 at an average of 13.86- the most among all his compatriots. So, when Mohammed Shami takes to Instagram and posts a collage of the trio with that of ‘Three Idiots’, captioning Ishant, Umesh Yadav and himself as “Three Hunters”; one can’t really disagree with it.