Opinion: Should India play 3 seamers vs South Africa?
The 2019 World Cup juggernaut has rolled on and all the hype around this edition being a batsman's World Cup has been bashed. We have already witnessed 4 lopsided matches, a closely contested one and one that left us biting our nails. England has scored in excess of 300 in both their concluded matches. Still, they lost one against Pakistan in spite scoring 334.
So far, it has been seen that teams that have scored above 300 have easily defended those totals. Two Asian sides have been restricted to below 130 scores while one just managed to scrape past 200. Fast bowlers have thrived in the four concluded matches, and this might just change the suggestions about batsmen finding it easy on these English flat decks.
While the pitch at Trent Bridge had a lot of bounce that supported the West Indian bowlers to unleash a barrage of short bowls at the Pakistani batsmen, the Cardiff pitch found some seam and swing to trouble the Sri Lankan batsmen. These results suggest that going in with an extra seam bowler would not be a bad decision. Seeing the way the World Cup has rolled on till now, Virat Kohli might want to go in with an extra seamer.
Seeing the recent results, Virat Kohli might have an idea of going in with all 3 seamers plus Hardik Pandya in their first match against South Africa. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be effective with the new ball, while Shami is a known wicket-taker in the middle overs. This policy can turn out to be effective as seamers have thrived on these pitches while the spinners have found little help. Either of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal might have to warm the bench.
Taking account of the first 5 matches played till now, a total of 68 wickets have been taken. Fast bowlers have accounted for 51 of those wickets, while the spinners have managed a meager 14 wickets in total. It can be observed that the English pitches are providing help for the pacers, while the spinners have found little assistance.
India's ability to make inroads will also depend on their potentiality to use the seam and bounce off the pitch. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami can use the bouncers effectively while Bhuvneshwar Kumar can swing the bowl.
India plays South Africa on 5th June in Southampton.
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