India vs Sri Lanka: Niggles, injury, depleted stock - Explaining India’s biggest concern in T20I series
Jasprit Bumrah is making a comeback, Mohammed Shami has been rested, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is injured, Deepak Chahar too is struggling with his workload and hence, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur find themselves running in with the new ball in the shortest format.Updated: Jan 07, 2020 10:41 IST
One of the biggest talking points in Indian cricket over the last year has been the resurgence of the fast bowlers. Bowling coach Bharat Arun beams with pride and after India smashed Bangladesh in the Indore Test match, he spoke about the ‘embarrassment of riches’ as far as the fast-bowling stocks were concerned.
Cut to 2020, Jasprit Bumrah is making a comeback, Mohammed Shami has been rested, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is injured, Deepak Chahar too is struggling with his workload and hence, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur find themselves running in with the new ball in the shortest format - and this is where the depth of the stocks will be tested. Both these bowlers have promise - Saini has pace, Thakur has skills, but they have only one good match to show for all the potential. 3 for 17 on debut for Saini and 4 for 27 for Thakur against Sri Lanka in March 2018, they need to be more consistent, they need to plug the flow of runs and utilise the new and old ball to make an impact.
If all the bowlers are fit, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Chahar and Shami will be the top 4 picks and with the T20 World Cup being the next big focus, Virat Kohli would want these young bowlers to step up and provide more than what they have been providing so far.
Also, there is Hardik Pandya who will be in the side as the seam bowling all-rounder, and this makes every match extremely crucial for Saini and Thakur. Indore might not be entirely forgiving for the bowlers, but this is their test and they will be under the pump.
“Because the tournament (World T20 2020) is in Australia, you will need these many options and back-ups to be able to take firstly your strongest squad and have those back-ups in place who also can come in and do the job. It’s good that we’ve identified five or six guys and it will be priority based on who goes and back-ups will be in place for fast bowlers. Small niggles can happen now and then, so we’re pretty sorted in that regard. Not a worry at all,” captain Virat Kohli has already spoken about this issue.