Sunday was one of the rare days when all Indian pace bowlers on the park put in a decent effort with the ball.
Zaheer Khan, R Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav put in a commendable effort to restrict Australia, who at one stage were looking to touch 300, to 269. As a result, the batsmen, despite the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, were relatively comfortable all along during their successful chase at Adelaide.
Keeping it up
And if India have to maintain their momentum in the CB Series, the pace trio will have repeat its heroics against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Zaheer, who missed the first game of the tri-series due to knee trouble, not only bowled with craft but also guided his two relatively inexperienced team mates.
Vinay, who turned 28 on Sunday, finished on the winning side. He was struggling with stiff neck on the eve of the match, but once passed fit he not only got rid of Ricky Ponting, who opened the innings, but also removed the dangerous Matthew Wade at the fag end.
But Umesh, who finally got a game after resting for a fortnight, was the pick of the bowlers. The express paceman not only got the key wickets of skipper Michael Clarke and Peter Forrest but also kept things tight in the Powerplays and death overs. Gautam Gambhir was all praise for the Vidarbha bowler.
“Umesh, as we have seen against Australia on such a flat track, bowled that well. Hopefully now he should play a lot more games. Someone who can bowl at 150kmh is great for Indian cricket because we have been missing this for years and years,” Gambhir said on Sunday. “We talk a lot about our fast bowlers, that they are not as quick. But someone like Umesh is fantastic for us. Now people should stop talking we can't produce fast bowlers.”
Battle of quicks
On Tuesday, it will certainly be a tussle between the pace attacks of the two sides. While the Sri Lankan attack, led by the unorthodox Lasith Malinga, restricted Australia to around 230 in their last outing in Perth, India’s pacemen didn't let the Australia batsmen run away in the latter half of the innings.
As a result, more than the batsmen from both the sides - they have not lived up to expectations so far - it will be the performances of the pacemen that will be vital to the outcome of the match.