Chennai: Two Test matches against Bangladesh at home. And Indian pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami picked up 33 wickets at an average of 13.48. They completely overshadowed spinners, who otherwise have been the potent weapon in home series.
The pace battery created history in the just concluded second Test (Pink Ball) at Kolkata Sunday. This is the first home Test win for India and second overall without a wicket going to the spinners. Ishant Sharma got nine wickets, Umesh Yadav eight, and Mohammed Shami two while the spinners bowled just seven overs in this Test. In the two Test, the pace trio picked up 33 wickets at a strike rate of 26.3. The previous best was against West Indies last year.
Not just this, in the home series against the mighty South Africans a couple of months ago, India picked 60 South African wickets in the six innings the visitors batted, where Umesh, Shami and Ishant accounted for 26 of them at an astonishing average of 17.46 while South Africa fast bowlers got 10 wickets at 70.20.
Under Virat Kohli, India has lethal fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, a luxury rarely enjoyed by his predecessors. Interestingly, Umesh Yadav was not even in the initially-named squad for South Africa Test series. Umesh was called into the side as a replacement for Bumrah, who sustained a minor stress fracture in his lower back before the series.
India, famous for producing world-class spinners over the years, now boasts of having one of the most lethal pace attacks in the world. The performance of the Indian fast bowlers across venues in the world has been a revelation, quite naturally drawing high praise from cricketers of both past and present.
Team India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun praised the boys for hunting in a pack. “They hunt as a pack, they have their processes set and they take a lot of pride in each others’ performances, not just in theirs, so that’s the secret behind the pack. They work on the basics a lot,” he said.
Arun feels that the boys adapt beautifully and that is what sets them apart. “We are an experienced bowling attack, and the beauty is how quickly they adapt to situations. I thought they adapted beautifully to these conditions. New Zealand will be a good challenge and we are really looking forward to it,” he said. Remember Bumrah and Bhuvi will join the squad post after they recover from their injuries. Team India will have plenty to choose. A formidable attack it would be, say sports enthusiasts.