ICC World T20 | Problem of plenty with pace attack, reckons R Sridhar
R Sridhar has opted for the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for ICC World T20 2022|
R Sridhar has acknowledged the plethora of options India has in the pace department and the difficulty in picking between them for the World T20. However, he was pretty quick to opt for the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the marquee event, before explaining why.
Never before in Indian cricketing history has the nation had such a competent pace attack and the ability to field three separate bowling lineups, each with more potential than the other. Traditionally a country that has struggled to develop seamers owing to the spin-friendly pitches and conditions in the subcontinent, the Indian Premier League has flipped the scenario by allowing youngsters to develop at rapid rates and compete against the world's elite. No wonder then that a total of 11 bowlers have been given a chance to prove their salt in T20Is since last year's disastrous World T20 campaign where India bowed out in the Super 12 stage itself.
Nevertheless, former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar believes the team's first picks have not changed over the year's course and opted for the evergreen trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to start games. The three were the only premier pacers in the Indian squad for the 2021 tournaments as well, with Shardul Thakur present as an all-rounder option.
Bumrah ended up as the Men in Blue's most successful bowler with seven scalps, closely followed by Shami's haul of six. However, the spin-friendly conditions in the United Arab Emirates meant Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to warm the bench for most parts and was only fielded in a single game where he went wicketless. But given the next edition is in Australia where pace plays a crucial role, all three can be expected to play together. The fact that Kumar has been sensational of late, picking 23 wickets since the event at a brilliant economy of 6.94, further boosts his chances.
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“I think we have problem of plenty, isn't it? Look I'm going to be straight and I'm cutting to the chase. I think our top three fast bowlers would be Bumrah, Shami and Bhuvi. Because, if you have this, you have an absolute banker, banker, banker new-ball bowler and death-over bowler in Bhuvi who is in the best shape in terms of his fitness," Sridhar said to Cricket.com.
Of late in the ongoing season, the Indian side has featured the likes of Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh. While Khan has struggled so far in the international arena, Patel'swicket-taking abilities have been overshadowed by his extravagant economy rate. Perhaps the only bowler with a practical chance of pushing for a place in the squad at the moment is Singh, who in four games has six wickets with an economy of 6.51. He might replace Shami who is yet to play a single T20I since the World Cup, but Sridhar thinks otherwise.
"And we have Shami, who will come up with the new ball and ask a lot of questions to the best opening batters in the world. So you can bowl Bhuvi and Shami twice and now that Hardik is bowling and Jadeja is an all-rounder, we have the fifth and sixth bowler covered. When it is the World Cups you need the big boys to go in and play and these are the three as far as fast bowling is concerned and backed by another big boy in Hardik,” he concluded on the matter.