Many may not agree with the title straight away. But, truth is always stranger than fiction. India may be one of the favourites for the T20 World Cup title, which I also agree. But it is only due to the strong batting line up that India possesses that the balance has tilted just slightly in India’s favour. If we look at the Indian bowlers, we have always drawn a sorry figure, irrespective of the format, and this bowling line up is no different.
The only ray of hope in the Indian bowling contingent is not Zaheer Khan, who many have been talking up. It is instead R. Ashwin, who has been doing consistently well in all formats of the game, especially in his recent T20 ventures for the national side and his IPL team. He has a good understanding of the game, and possesses a confidence to success in different conditions. Most importantly, he knows how best to use the conditions according to his strength, and the rest of the Indian bowlers would do well to learn from this youngster.
The Indian team has always been short of quality in the bowling department. The likes of Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, R. Ashwin, L Balaji and Zaheer Khan will be handling the responsibility of getting the opposition out this time around. Which team would get scared of these bowlers? Only Zaheer and Ashwin may raise a few questions, but with the former prone to injuries and inconsistency, the bowling just does not match the high standards set by other teams.
The Indians are known for ability with the new ball, but have time and again been found wanting at the death. MS Dhoni seems to be clueless as well, and seems to throw the ball to whoever he trusts. The ball however quickly disappears to the stands, as no bowler commands a confidence towards the end of an innings. Ashwin is India’s best bet, but he can only bowl a total of 24 legal deliveries in a match. None of the faster bowlers have the pace needed to bounce the batsmen out, or crush their toes with the yorkers.
The Indian team has improved their fielding by leaps and bounds, but their bowling is still found wanting against quality opponents, which is the main reason why India will not lift the 2012 T20 World Cup.