India's much-criticized bowling attack will be oppositions' biggest worry in World Cup: Javagal Srinath
On the back of India’s thumping victories over Pakistan and South Africa, former India pacer Javagal Srinath has said that the much-criticized bowling attack of the Men in Blue would be the biggest worry discussed in opposition team meetings in subsequent World Cup matches. Praising the ‘superlative execution’ carried out by the Indian bowlers, Srinath singled out Mohammad Shami for special praise, but maintained that the current form of the team is down to to a complete team effort.
South Africa and Pakistan were India’s most difficult oppositions in Pool B on paper, and the ease with which they have steamrolled both oppositions has brought a new wave of optimism in Indian ranks.
In the two matches so far, Indian bowlers have taken all 20 wickets for a combined total of 401 in 87.2 overs, a feat which has taken everybody by surprise. Mohammad Shami, with 6 wickets, has been the highest wicket-taker, and Srinath picked him as the team’s best bowler so far in the World Cup.
India’s most successful fast bowler at the ODI World Cup along with Zaheer Khan with 44 wickets, Srinath played in four edition of the mega-event between 1992 to 2003.
Mature showing from Shami: Srinath
Srinath, currently a member of ICC’s elite panel of Match Referees, said: “The judicious use of the short ball showed real maturity on Shami’s part as did his fine execution of plans. He’s looked for wickets and to me that’s always an encouraging sign.
“It mostly boils down to confidence. With every ball one bowls, one’s confidence must rise. It shouldn’t matter who’s batting against you, you simply have to back your own ability and that’s something Shami has done really well.
“With three quick bowlers working well in tandem, the opposition’s usual ploy of targeting one bowler just hasn’t worked. Umesh Yadav has done his part while the relatively unknown Mohit Sharma has reaped the benefits of good opening spells from his two fellow pacers to make his own mark. Mohit is a handy bowler and he’s used well the pressure created by Shami and Yadav.”
Dhoni’s bowling changes have been spot-on: Srinath
Srinath said that the way individual bowlers have stuck to the game plan has been exemplary, and that captain MS Dhoni has used his available options in the most effective way possible.
Spinners were instrumental in bringing about a collapse from the South Africa batting order, and Srinath praised the role Ashwin and Jadeja had played as well.
“Let’s not forget the role of the Indian spinners even for one moment. Ravichandaran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the ones who brought the India team back in the middle overs. Ashwin’s willingness to bowl it slow and toss the ball up shows that he is bowling without fear. Jadeja, at the least, has been superb in support.”
“Just like the support from Dhoni the captain. The India skipper has been positively brilliant with his moves, not allowing the batsmen to get used to any bowler, his constant bowling changes being spot on.”