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Tarun IAS

‘Can’t say this is the best-ever Indian bowling attack’: Ganguly’s reality check for Bumrah, Shami, Siraj before semis

India remains the sole team yet to experience a batting collapse in the ongoing World Cup, showcasing an exceptional performance. They boast the unique achievement of dismissing every opposition team they have faced. In recent clashes, England, Sri Lanka, and South Africa struggled to surpass the 150-run mark, being bowled out for 129, 55, and 83, respectively. The effectiveness of Indian bowlers, including Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav, has played a pivotal role. The inclusion of Mohammed Shami, stepping in for the injured Hardik Pandya midway, has further fortified their bowling lineup, making them a formidable force.

Shami has particularly stood out, securing 16 wickets in just four matches with an impressive average of 7 and an economy rate of 4.3. Bumrah closely follows with 15 wickets in eight matches, maintaining an average of 15.53 and an economy rate of 3.65. Jadeja emerges as India’s most successful spinner with 14 wickets in eight matches, while Kuldeep and Siraj have contributed with 12 and 10 wickets, respectively.

The Indian bowling attack poses a significant challenge, with Bumrah and Siraj wreaking havoc with the new ball, complemented by Shami’s impactful contributions. Should opponents navigate the new ball threat, Jadeja’s spin expertise comes into play, followed by Kuldeep’s skillful tactics. Bumrah’s effectiveness with the old ball, utilizing his mastery in slower deliveries, bouncers, and yorkers, further solidifies India’s dominance. This pattern has become the narrative for nearly every team facing India, with the side conceding more than 200 runs only thrice in eight matches under the leadership of Rohit Sharma.

Conversations naturally arise about whether this Indian bowling attack stands as the best in the history of white-ball cricket. While many support this notion, former India captain Sourav Ganguly provides a different perspective, recalling the stellar performances of bowlers like Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, and Javagal Srinath in the 2003 World Cup under his captaincy.

Ganguly refrains from categorizing the current attack as the best ever but acknowledges the excitement brought by Bumrah, Shami, and Siraj. He highlights Bumrah’s significant impact on the entire bowling unit, creating pressure from both ends.

Praising Shami’s impact, Ganguly suggests that the pacer should have featured in the playing XI earlier. As the team aims for a record ninth consecutive World Cup victory, with their last group-stage match against the Netherlands and a probable semi-final against New Zealand on November 15, India’s potent bowling and batting units, led by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, position them as formidable contenders in the tournament.

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