Is Indian Bowling Toothless Without Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Jasprit Bumrah?
High-flying India came crashing down to the earth on Tuesday (March 6) when Sri Lanka thrashed them by 5 wickets in the tournament-opener of the Nidahas Trophy. India had entered the game after winning the ODI and T20I series in South Africa. However, form and reputation counted for little as the Islanders won the game quite comprehensively.
One of the reasons behind India’s dismal outing was the bowlers’ performance. Sent in to bat first, India rode on Shikhar Dhawan’s blistering 90 to post a competitive 174 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs. However, the hosts chased down the total with more than one over remaining. It was an one-way traffic in the second innings as Sri Lanka always looked in control of the chase despite losing Kusal Mendis cheaply. The destructor-in-chief was Kusal Perera who scored 66 off just 37.
None of India’s bowlers clicked during the game as the chase turned out to be a cakewalk for the hosts. Jaydev Unadkat was spearheading the pace attack but failed to deliver as per expectations.
The left-arm pacer ended up conceding 35 runs off just 3 overs. On the other hand, Shardul Thakur conceded 42 runs in just 3.3 overs including the 27 runs in his very first over.
Spin spearhead Yuzvendra Chahal also had a day to forget. The leg-spinner, who had conceded 39 and 64 in the two T20Is against South Africa, was once again taken to the cleaners as he conceded 37 runs. The only bowler who walked out of the game with a decent figure is Washington Sundar. The youngster conceded 28 runs off his 4 overs and picked up two wickets.
India missed Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar:
The first game of the tournament has clearly showed that the Indian attack is toothless without Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both the bowlers have been India’s lynchpin in the limited-overs cricket.
Their track record in T20 cricket is highly impressive. In the last T20I series against South Africa, Bhuvneshwar had bagged the Man of the Series award. The Uttar Pradesh star had conceded at an impressive economy-rate of just 6.09 and had picked up 7 wickets in 3 games including the 5-wicket haul in the first match.
Both the pacers’ career economy-rate in T20Is have been remarkably less than 7. In 34 games so far, Bumrah has conceded at a rate of 6.86. The Gujarat pacer has also picked up 41 wickets at an impressive average of 20.44. On the other hand, Bhuvneshwar has conceded at a rate of 6.74 in 26 games in addition to picking up 28 wickets.
While Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar have enjoyed exceptional economy rates, their teammates have not. In fact, none of the front-line bowlers who played on Tuesday have an economy rate less than 8.25.
So far, Shardul Thakur has played 3 T20Is and has conceded at a rate of 9.39. On the other hand, Unadkat has conceded at a rate of 8.32 in 7 games so far. Chahal have also failed to do well in the shortest format of the game. The leggie has so far played 17 games and has an unimpressive economy rate of 8.25.
In a format where economy-rate is so important, it is very much clear that the Indian attack loses its shine whenever Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar do not play. Both the bowlers have already proved their mettle in T20Is and India are more than likely to suffer the same fate whenever these two do not play.
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