If the IPL is a yardstick for selection to the India team, the national selectors are likely to have a tough time ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka (Sept 18-Oct 7), as a dearth of quality bowlers could run them out.
Though the selectors will have their hands full as far as options for batsmen are concerned, they will feel the heat which selecting the bowlers who can deliver on Sri Lankan pitches. The IPL has reached its business end but the bowling statistics so far reflect the age-old problem in Indian cricket.The rise of youngsters like Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh and Rohit Sharma might have given a choice to the selectors to strengthen the batting line-up but none of the India bowlers feature either in the list of top-three wicket-takers or most economical bowlers.
What's making the situation even worse is the unimpressive showing by the experienced lot --- Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin and Praveen Kumar.
Zak’s not ripping
Zaheer has so far scalped 12 wickets in 14 matches with a strike-rate of 26. Though Praveen has managed to contain the batsmen, he has failed to pick up wickets, with seven scalps in twice the number of matches (strike-rate 47.1). Ashwin has also failed with the ball as he has claimed nine wickets in 14 outings with a strike-rate of 34.
The million-dollar boy R Vinay Kumar might have had his days but he too has lacked consistency, while Ashok Dinda has struggled with his fitness.
Former India all-rounder and coach Madan Lal expressed concern over the lack of bowling options.
"We don't have quality bowlers. We need to unearth talent. There is a thin possibility of India winning the World Twenty20 with such an attack. The team with a quality bowling attack will lift the trophy," he said.
He however, expressed faith in newcomers Parvinder Awana and Harshal Patel and believed they deserve a chance. Prior to the gala event, India are set to tour Sri Lanka in July-August for three T20 International and three ODIs before facing New Zealand at home in two Tests and two T20Is.
The selectors may have the options of testing out young batsmen during these series but they surely will struggle to find the right bowling combination that can give a chance to the former champions in the World Twenty20.