Ranking Australia's bowling attack ahead of WTC final vs India

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be vital for Australia in the WTC final
Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be vital for Australia in the WTC final

The World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final has become the talk of the cricketing world since the conclusion of the IPL. Arch-rivals India and Australia are set to lock horns in a riveting battle for the crown at the Oval, starting on June 7.

The players from both teams have arrived in England. They are currently going through intense training to prepare for arguably their most important week of the season.

While Team India have been hit with the absence of several big names like Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer due to injury, Australia have been dealt a cruel blow recently with the injury to Josh Hazlewood.

The veteran pacer picked up a side strain during the IPL and has been deemed unfit for the marquee clash against India. He has been replaced with bowling all-rounder Michael Neser.

Despite Hazlewood's absence, the Australians boast a sensational bowling attack with over 1,000 wickets in the red-ball format. Three of the top eight leading wicket-takers in the WTC 2021-23 cycle were Aussies. Senior off-spinner Nathan Lyon tops the charts with 83 scalps in 19 games.

The Australian bowling was instrumental in the side finishing atop the points table for the WTC cycle and could have a big say in the outcome of the grand finale.

With that in mind, let us rank Australia's bowling attack ahead of WTC final vs India.

#5 Cameron Green

Cameron Green has become an integral part of Australia's Test lineup over the last couple of years, providing balance and depth in both batting and bowling.

The 24-year-old comes into the WTC final in a rich vein of form from the recently concluded IPL. He batted predominantly at no.3 and also provided some crucial overs for the Mumbai Indians.

However, his bowling has been middling in the Test arena, with the occasional burst of wickets at crucial moments.

Overall, Green has picked up 23 wickets in 20 games at an average of 34.30, with a lone five-wicket haul late last year against South Africa.

Unfortunately, the tall Western Australian has not picked up a single wicket in his six Tests against India.

Although he is yet to play a Test in England, Green could be a factor with his height and ability to extract bounce and seam movement at the Oval. He also has a happy knack for breaking crucial partnerships.

#4 Scott Boland

The late bloomer of Australian cricket, Scott Boland, will have a crucial role to play in the absence of the experienced Josh Hazlewood during the WTC final against India.

One of the great performers in the Australian domestic setup, Boland has played 91 first-class games before making his Test debut for Australia against England in December 2021.

Despite a late start, the 34-year-old has made a spectacular start to his Test career, picking up 28 wickets in only seven games at an incredible average of 13.42.

Boland has played only the lone Test against India in the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy and was wicketless in his 17-over spell.

The Victorian is a handful to face when there is movement on offer and could play a role in troubling the Indian batters at the Oval.

#3 Mitchell Starc

The tall left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc will be one of the leaders of the Australian attack, particularly in the absence of Josh Hazlewood.

The 33-year-old from New South Wales has been among Australia's best Test bowlers of all time with his ability to swing the ball late at an extreme pace.

Despite picking up 306 wickets in his Test career, fitness and inconsistencies have plagued Starc during different times.

Starc also has a surprisingly poor record in English conditions, picking up only 33 wickets in nine matches at an average of 31.27. He has also struggled against India in Tests, averaging 38.88 in 17 games with no five-wicket hauls.

However, Starc was among the best bowlers of this WTC cycle, picking 51 wickets in 16 games at an average of 27.27, which included three four-wicket hauls.

The speedster played a vital role in Australia's 50-over World Cup triumph in 2015 and T20 World Cup victory in 2021 and will look to add the World Test Championship mace to his stellar achievements.

Considered one of the toughest bowlers to face when in rhythm, Starc will hope to hit the ground running in this one-off encounter for all the marbles.

#2 Nathan Lyon

One of the greatest bowlers in the history of Test cricket, 35-year-old Nathan Lyon, will shore up the spin department for Australia in the WTC final.

Lyon is eighth all-time in the list of leading wicket-takers in Test cricket history, with a staggering 482 wickets in 119 games. This includes an incredible 23 five-wicket hauls and his best bowling figures of 8/50 against India.

Lyon is third behind only James Anderson and Stuart Broad among active cricketers in Test wickets and is on top of the charts among active spinners.

The great off-spinner was Australia's leading wicket-taker in their recent Border Gavaskar Trophy defeat in India with 22 wickets. He has also been at his successful best against India in his illustrious Test career, tormenting them with 116 wickets in 26 matches.

Nathan Lyon also boasts a decent record in England, picking up 45 wickets in 13 games.

The New South Wales-born cricketer has been kryptonite to several of India's top batters, having dismissed Rohit Sharma ( 8 times), Cheteshwar Pujara ( 13 times), and Virat Kohli ( 7 times) 28 times in times.

With the pitch at the Oval expected to assist spin, Lyon will play a substantial role in dictating the direction of the contest.

#1 Pat Cummins

Skipper Pat Cummins will undoubtedly be the spearhead of the Australian bowling attack, considering his stupendous overall Test record and outstanding numbers in England.

Ranked third in the World Test rankings for bowlers, the 30-year-old picked up 53 wickets in the WTC cycle at an average of 21.22. Cummins' bowling average of 21.50 is fourth all-time among bowlers with at least 200 Test wickets.

He also has an incredible bowling average of 19.62 with 29 wickets in England and boasts an excellent 25.45 average with 46 scalps against India.

Like teammate Nathan Lyon, Cummins has also had much success against the top Indian batters, dismissing the big three of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara a combined 15 times.

After leading them to the top of the points table for the WTC cycle, the skipper will look to make one final push to capture the team's first Test Championship title.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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