The bowling woes of Indian Cricket team

The bowling woes of Indian Cricket team

Its almost a year left for the biggest cricket extravaganza to begin.At a time when any team would have been busy strategizing and planing for the mega event,Indian team is still looking for the right bowling combination of the side for the 2015 world cup.The bowling performances of the Indian team have gone from bad to worse in the past couple of years.We get thrashed all over the park in the last ten overs,there isn’t a single occasion when we don’t concede more than 300 runs if we are bowling first and we simply don’t have the confidence to bowlers to defend a total which makes our ‘captain cool’ take the decision of bowling first every time we win the toss.Thats where our bowling stands one year before the World Cup which would be held ‘down under’.

Who is to blamed for the kind of showings our bowled have delivered in the past recent times?Is it the Bowlers?Is it the conditions?Is the the new rules?or  Is it the captain and the management?Those are a few questions raised after the dismal show of the Indian team bowling unit in South Africa and New Zealand.The fact is that we just haven’t got the bowlers who can get the better of the batsman on a given day.We don’t have someone like Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson who can rattle the opposition on any given day.

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The first ODI of the India tour of South Africa in December,2013 showed a glimpse how weak the current Indian bowling is.At the same pitch in Wanderers where the Indian team was bundled  out for 217,South Africa managed to score a mammoth 358/4.Same was the case in the second innings of the First test match between India  and South Africa where we struggled to get wickets for hours and hours and South Africa almost managed to chase down an  invincible target of 458.

Let us have  a look at the bowling performances of Indian team in Oversees conditions since April 2011.

Indian bowlers in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011 (Qual: 50 overs)
Bowler Overs Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 80 9 44.00 4.95 53.3
R Ashwin 198 23 43.26 5.02 51.6
Ravindra Jadeja 186.4 24 40.04 5.14 46.6
Praveen Kumar 57 6 49.50 5.21 57.0
Vinay Kumar 68.5 11 34.45 5.50 37.5
Ishant Sharma 70 16 25.87 5.91 26.2
Umesh Yadav 98.4 10 59.90 6.07 59.2
Mohammad Shami 62 19 23.15 7.09 19.5

Seeing those number,one would certainly get an idea of Indian team’s poor show as a bowling unit in Oversees conditions.The key to bowling in death overs in anywhere in the world is to bowl bouncers and yorkers at will.For that,one needs to bowl at a consistent speed of 140 km/hr.We have had a tradition that when a new fast bowler comes into Indian team,he bowls consistently in 140s km/hr speed.As he gets a bit matured,the speed gets a rapid downfall which further leads him in bowling at 125 km/hr in a couple of years.That doesn’t helps anyone’s cause.Neither his nor the team’s.You have to be quick if you have to bowl bouncers and yorkers at the death overs.

The biggest weakness of the current bowling unit is that they dont have any bowler who can consistently bowl good yorkers at the death with a pace of over 140 km/hr.That is why we see our bowlers getting thrashed all over the park in the final 10 overs of the innings.  The key to bowling in oversees conditions is to hit the right channel consistently.Swinging the ball in oversees condition is a vital aspect but it is not to be forgotten that bounce is as essential factor as swinging places like New Zealand,South Africa and Australia.

The biggest disappointment of the current bowlers has been Ishant Sharma.It is indeed sad to see such a promising talent loose his way and struggle so badly.Those who watched him bowl in India’s tour of Australia in 2008 thought that he will be the next big thing as far as the Indian team fast bowling is concerned.Leave aside ‘the big thing’,Ishant has come to a stage where he is more of a liability in the side as suppose to anything else .Seeing him getting thrashed all over the park in the death overs is indeed a very very disheartening sight for the followers of Indian Cricket.In the 27  ODI’s he’s played after the world cup 2011,Ishant has taken 39 wickets at an average of 32.28 with the best of 4 for 40.

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Vinay Kumar  and Umesh Yadav havent done much to their credits as well. They havent been as bad as Ishant sharma but they certainly haven’t been giving consistent performances for the team as well.If they don’t get their act together,it wont take much time for the selectors to show them the door.Vinay Kumar has played 31 ODI matches in which he has took 36 wickets at an average of 36.13 while Umesh Yadav has played 28 matches in which he has took 30 wickets at an average of 43.6.

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R.Ashwin and Ravinder Jadega havent been the in the best of form offlate,yet they have taken wickets at regular intervals for the team.Their batting ability adds to their cause as well.Having played 75 Odis,Ashwin has took 97 wickets at an average of 34.24 with the best of 3 for 24.Ravindra Jadeja after having played 97 Odis has took 113 wickets at an average of 33.20 with the best of 5 for 36.

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 The only bowler who has looked good in the limited opportunities he has got has been Shami Ahmad.He could swing the ball at a consistent pace which is a great asset for the team.He caused plenty of problems for the West Indian and Australian batsman when they toured India last yer.

Having played 25 ODI matches,he has took 41 wickets at an average of 29.70 with a best of 4 for 55.

The ideal bowling combination going into the 2015 world cup would be a blend of experience and youth.Experienced players like Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan should get a look in to the side to add experience to the bowling lineup,while youngsters like Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey should also be given a look in.