Cricket writers have been showering encomiums on Indian uncapped fast bowlers, such as Arshdeep Singh, Mohsin Khan, Umran Malik, and many others, for setting new benchmarks in IPL 2022. They have taken the responsibility to deliver for their respective teams, and have been doing with perfection.
In the post-Zaheer Khan period, Jasprit Bumrah is the guiding spirit of Indian fast bowlers. Bumrah has got able assistance by Mohammed Shami for a while, and now their apprentices are knocking on doors to join hands. Certainly, the last few years are a golden period in the country’s cricket history as India have never seen the emergence of so many quality fast bowlers at the same time.
Take Arshdeep Singh for instance. The value of left-arm quicks, and their relative scarcity, is priceless for any side, especially in T20 cricket. Ahead of IPL 2022 mega auction, Punjab Kings (PBKS) had acknowledged the fact and retained him at just INR 4 crore. Look at him now. He is yielding rich dividends for the franchise.
Arshdeep has found success in IPL 2022, particularly in the last four overs. The 23-year-old has conceded just 7.31 runs per over at death (as per ESPNCricinfo), which is supremely impressive. He has been a brilliant exponent of control and incision, and at the same time, can give a variety of going over or round the wicket.
He's got a lot of nerve, he has shown that, especially in the death overs. He reads the game well, he's able to execute his skill and he's done it game in game out. He knows what he wants to work on, I am not saying too much to him. As a bowler, you have to bowl in all stages of the game. It's about figuring out how to be the most effective in each stage of the game."
Kagiso Rabada on Arshdeep Singh.
Now let’s go to the part that is required for BCCI, more precisely for Team India at present. The next big-ticket event at the grandest stage is the T20 World Cup, which will take place in Australia later this year. India, led by Virat Kohli, struggled to secure wins against Pakistan and New Zealand in the last edition, which eventually forced them to endure a shocking group exit.
The revamped Indian team, under the new all-format skipper Rohit Sharma, have plenty of areas to fix. They must look for someone who can be as accurate as Bumrah in death overs to restrict runs, as well as for providing breakthroughs. In Arshdeep, the BCCI has certainly found one who can hold his nerve in the last few overs. Safe to say, Arshdeep is definitely a strong candidate to give the support required for Bumrah on a long-term basis. For now, Bhuvneshwar Kumar seems like he has regained his form. Even at 32, he has been bowling tremendously well for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2022, especially at critical stages.
So the point here is that when Bhuvneshwar won’t be able to keep up the good work, a young and energetic Arshdeep is ready to fill the void.
Now let’s talk about the giant, Mohsin Khan. Everyone knows how height could also be a benefit for fast bowlers, as it helps to extract steep bounces. Mohsin is six feet three-inch tall, and the 23-year-old has evolved himself into the most economical bowler this season during the Powerplays. His overall economy rate (5.93) in IPL 2022 is equally impressive, only behind Sunil Narine (5.57) among the ones who have bowled at least more than two overs.
Mohsin has been recognised as the most successful Powerplay bowler this year, courtesy of his impeccable control and movement. On Wednesday evening, when Lucknow Super Giants, after asking Kolkata Knight Riders to chase 211, conceded 208 runs in 20 overs, Mohsin bowled four excellent overs, returning figures of 4-0-20-3. These include wickets of Venkatesh Iyer, Abhijeet Tomar, and the ruthless Andre Russell.
Even at such a young age, training alongside Mohammed Shami has helped Mohsin to become a much-effective bowler, whether in Powerplays or post-Powerplays. That’s how it has happened.
Shami told him that Mohsin is a better bowler than him but just needed more focus. I called him during lockdown and said, jitna Shami ka dimag nichod sakta hai, kar le (Learn whatever you can from Shami)’. Things have changed after that.”
Shami and Mohsin's coach Badruddin Siddiqui.
India need someone like Mohsin at present, especially after Deepak Chahar’s long-standing back injury. Deepak was their primary Powerplay specialist, but due to injury concerns, he missed IPL 2022 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Chahar, moreover, will miss the upcoming T20 World Cup too.
Unlike Chahar, Mohsin can release the ball at high speeds. Keeping Australia’s hard pitches in mind, the gigantic frame can be an excellent addition to begin the bowling attack under Rohit Sharma. Being the left-armer, meanwhile, adds more value.
The third and the most exciting fast-bowler the IPL has produced this year is none other than Umran Malik. Like many others, he does not experiment with a slower ball released from the back of his hand, knuckleballs, or any other innovative skills. All he has been doing this year is to attack the batsmen with brute pace. He has already clocked 157 kph during IPL 2022, and it will only increase with time.
Umran Malik— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) April 14, 2022
Umran is 22. He still has plenty of time to learn how to make the most out of his raw pace to become an impact player on a consistent basis. Nevertheless, he has picked up 21 wickets in 13 matches this season, which includes a five-wicket haul. All he needs to do is to get better and better under Dale Steyn, one of the greatest fast bowlers ever to play the game.
Of course, there'll be the team management there, support staff, that'll help him do that, but don't let him stray at the moment. Get him into the mix, and keep him there and groom him. He'll get better and better."
Ravi Shastri on Umran Malik.
As Ravi Shashtri rightly mentioned, Umran should get an India call-up immediately. The country never had someone like him who can bowl scorchers after scorchers, and this is just the initial phase of his career. Let him join hands with the best and see how fast, yet with composure, he can unleash to scare the batsmen.
Umran Malik is the real deal 🔥🔥🔥🔥— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) April 27, 2022
The surge of Indian uncapped pacers is making India’s fast-bowling department even more powerful. Alongside Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and Shami, there are Chahar, Mohammad Siraj, T. Natarajan, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Basil Thampi, and Ishan Porel already in the pool, and the above-mentioned trio will just make them look even scarier.
Time has come to utilise the fast bowlers properly. If Team India manage to make them ready before the T20 World Cup, there will be a significant chance for Rohit and co. to lift the coveted trophy. The changes are required to bolster their bowling attack, and here, a flurry of new names, are seeking attention with top-notch performance.
Let them join, BCCI.