Harbhajan Singh has reckoned that Indian skipper could have managed his bowlers a little better after their loss against Australia in the second ODI. Alongside that, Harbhajan also insisted that the duo of Shami-Bumrah must find ways to swing the new ball and make it count in Australia.
India’s bowling line-up has looked like it has not arrived in Australia, after the two first ODIs with a lacklustre show in both the games. While Jasprit Bumrah has struggled both in the powerplay overs and in the death overs, Mohammed Shami has remained the only shining light in the otherwise dull bowling unit. The struggle has not restricted itself to just the pacers but the spinners too haven’t had any success in stark comparison to Adam Zampa’s impact with the Australian outfit.
Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh reckoned that Virat Kohli could have managed his bowlers a little better. After Shami’s strong start in the second ODI, Kohli replaced the pacer with the spinners after the end of the powerplay overs, which allowed the two Australian openers to settle down. With the new-ball, the Indian bowlers have struggled to pick up a single wicket in the past two ODIs, a record that stretches to their last five games away from home.
“New ball is a very good weapon and India will have to find a way to use it in these Australian conditions. Virat could have managed the bowlers a little better. When Shami was bowling better, he could have stuck to him for longer, and tried to set up a tighter field to build pressure,” said Harbhajan, reported India Today.
“We know Bumrah is a match winner and someone who can pick wickets early on, but unfortunately he has not been able to do it in the tour,” he added.
In this tour, Bumrah has averaged 76 with the ball, picking up just two wickets while having conceded 152 runs, at a strike-rate of 60. That combined with Navdeep Saini’s average of 153 and a strike-rate of 102, India have struggled to get any sort of momentum with the new ball, a sign of worry for the national team.
In comparison, Australian bowlers have struggled in the first five overs but since thereon have utilised the conditions perfectly, with short deliveries and slower balls helping them dismiss India.
“Swing is something that is lacking for him (Bumrah). If you can swing the ball even for the first 2-3 overs, you create a lot of doubt in the minds of the batsman. There is assistance for the fast bowlers in Australia and our pacers need to find a way to utilise it. Bumrah, Shami and even Saini need to find a way to swing the ball, and make the new ball count and that is how the game will change in India's favour,” Singh concluded.