Ian Chappell has stated that the variety in India’s bowling attack makes them a strong side and it can also help them in favourable conditions. India has gone ahead with three pacers in their side along with two leg-spinners, add to that two fast-bowling all-rounders and a spin all-rounder.
India posses arguably the finest bowling attack of this World Cup. Leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the second highest wicket-taker in ODIs in 2018. Even in 2019, he holds the same position with 20 wickets despite playing just 11 games. He is followed by two Indian pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami with 19 wickets each while Yuzvendra Chahal is not very far with 16 wickets in just seven innings.
Top-ranked Jasprit Bumrah has only played five ODIs while picking seven wickets in them and the same goes for spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja too. Hardik Pandya has only played three ODIs for India this year but his exploits in the Indian Premier League make him a fine option for skipper Virat Kohli. Ian Chappell feels that the better bowling team will win the quadrennial event in England this year and singled out India for their variety in bowling.
“Wicket-taking is going to play a crucial role in deciding this World Cup...the best-balanced attacks will likely come to the fore, and they belong to England, India and Australia. While not possessing the outright pace of England or Australia, India have great variety and a trio of fast bowlers who can be exceptional in favourable conditions,” he wrote, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
“If there’s any moisture in the pitches then Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are skilled enough to take full advantage. If however the pitches start to wear and the conditions are dry, then Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are a dangerous wicket-taking combination. Throw in Hardik Pandya as a handy fast-bowling all-rounder and Virat Kohli has plenty of options,” added the 75-year-old.
England is another side which possesses a bowling attack teams should be wary of, apart from their hard hitting batsmen. Similar to India, the hosts also possess two fine spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid apart from all-rounder Liam Dawson. They even have three fast bowling all-rounders in Tom Curran, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Pacer Mark Wood has shown a lot of promise by picking up nine wickets in games, all on pitches favouring batsmen. His form, along with the late inclusion of Jofra Archer might even force Liam Plunkett out of the playing XI, as pointed out by Chappell.
“Suddenly with Jofra Archer a late qualifier and a resurgent Mark Wood, they have an abundance of speed – to the point where their most reliable wicket-taker in the recent past, Liam Plunkett, could warm the bench. A pace attack of Archer, Wood and Chris Woakes, with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid providing the guile, and the ebullient Ben Stokes as back-up, is one to be feared,” reckoned the former Australia skipper.
The top-ranked side last featured in the finals of the showpiece event in 1992 but have failed to even reach the semi-finals since 1999, crashing out from the group stage in most of the editions. Chappell feels that Eoin Morgan’s calmness might make the difference this time.
“Throw in a deep and powerful batting line-up and the only concern for England is their history of World Cup failures and the tendency to be weighed down by home expectations in the short forms of the game. This is where Eoin Morgan’s calmness as captain will play an important role. If he keeps England focused purely on the job at hand then the home side will take some stopping. If England can overcome the weight of expectation that comes with playing at home, their bowling attack has the look of a winner,” he expressed.
Australia have picked Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff ahead of Josh Hazlewood. Mitchell Starc will lead the attack along with Pat Cummins and a surety in the playing XI. Chappell feels that the success of the third seamer will define his country’s performance.
“Australia’s success in the tournament will depend a lot on how well either Nathan Coulter-Nile or Jason Behrendorff fill the third-seamer role. In the past Australia have been reluctant to play two front-line spinners in ODIs, and with Glenn Maxwell as a batting allrounder providing some offspin, leggie Adam Zampa is likely to be the first-choice tweaker,” he explained.
Marcus Stoinis has only bowled 66.4 overs in the 12 ODIs he has played this year. The ICC Hall of Famer is of the opinion that the all-rounder might have to bowl more going into the ten-nation tournament.
“After a promising start Marcus Stoinis’ bowling seems to have been largely neglected lately but the captain, Aaron Finch, may have to revise that plan in England,” Chappell signed off.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi