By Khurram Habib
New Delhi– India’s pace bowlers, who didn’t have to rely on spinners for even one wicket for the second successive Test in England as they helped the team script a Test win at Lords on Monday, have made overseas victories possible due to their aggressive wicket-taking bowling.
The win in the second Test at Lord’s was India’s third win out of five Tests overseas this year. Two of these have come against in Australia, while one in England.
“India’s pace bowlers currently are all attacking. Earlier, we would have defensive bowlers. Many a times, they would focus on line and length and wouldn’t attack. Now it is different. When you have two attacking bowlers in Shami and Bumrah, it also rubs on to someone like Ishant Sharma who lately has started to feel that if he doesn’t attack, he will be left out. There is healthy competition in our team,” former India speedster Manoj Prabhakar told IANS.
“If we have been able to defend 200-odd (271), it means our bowling has got a lot of strength. We can play to win out of India,” added the former pace bowler.
While Bumrah, Shami and Ishant had already established themselves as a dangerous trio – their 136 wickets in calendar year 2018 upstaged the 130-wicket haul of West Indian pace trio Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall in 1984, the addition of Mohammed Siraj has given India an extra edge.
Siraj, who made his debut on the recent tour of Australia, brings in energy and zeal.
India bowling coach Bharat Arun had recently lauded the right-arm pace bowler’s self-confidence.
“Siraj has the hunger and determination. His self-confidence is his biggest strength and success factor,” Arun had said recently on R Ashwin’s Youtube show.
Skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged him for not being overwhelmed by the occasion while playing at Lord’s. “[For] Someone like Siraj playing for the first time at Lord’s, he bowled superbly,” Kohli added.
What an attack, that has also pushed the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Umesh Yadav to the bench, has ensured is that the opposition doesn’t give India seamer-friendly wickets in their backyard.
“Since the bowlers are good, the home teams don’t leave grass for Indian batting. They know the Indian pacers are capable of skittling them out. This allows batsmen to do well. Our batting managed to give target to the bowlers. We put England batting in a position from where they couldn’t attack or even defend,” added Prabhakar, who played 39 Test matches for India. (IANS)