Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has opined that it’s not necessary to only field swing bowlers in England and cited examples of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer. He also added that India have to start with the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma in the first Test.
After doing extremely well in the WTC cycle, the Indian team lost the finale to New Zealand in June, thereby extending their ICC Trophy drought. The batting fared terribly but even the bowling wasn’t terrific as the Indian speedsters lacked penetration like the Kiwi pacers. While the New Zealand pacers were able to generate a lot of swing, their Indian counterparts, all largely seam bowlers, failed to move the ball in the air. It had left many experts surprised with India’s call not to include Bhuvneshwar Kumar or any other swing bowler to the squad for the England tour.
However, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra believes that it’s not a necessity to only play swing bowlers even in England. He even cited examples of seam bowlers like Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer to drive home his point.
“I don’t agree that you need only swing bowlers in England. Look at somebody like Stuart Broad. Even Jofra Archer is not a swing bowler. But they are England’s main weapons, so a lot depends on how you bowl and it’s not like Bumrah or Shami can’t swing the ball or they need one particular surface to achieve results,” Nehra told Hindustan Times.
There is also a lot of curiosity around the make-up of the Indian pace bowling unit. The duo of Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav were impressive in the warm-up fixture against the County XI side and have thrown their hat in the ring. And While India’s first-choice trio of Ishant, Shami and Burmah is also world-class, in the form of Shardul Thakur there’s an all-round package, waiting for his chance after the Gabba epic. However, Nehra still feels India have to start with the same pace battery as the WTC final fixture.
“You have to start with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. Of course, these three will play. If you want a fourth fast bowler then the captain, coach and team management can take a call based on who has been bowling well. You want to go with Umesh Yadav or you want to play Siraj. But if you are playing three seamers then you will start with Bumrah, Shami and Ishant unless there is an injury to any of them,” Nehra stated.
He also praised Siraj but maintained that there’s no threat to Bumrah’s place.
“Yes, Siraj is waiting in the wings but he has to wait for his turn. Everybody knows that Siraj is a great prospect, a very skilful bowler.”
“Here you are talking about a guy like Bumrah who has done really well in the last five-six years since his arrival. Don’t think there is any threat to Bumrah’s place in the side. It’s not like he hasn’t been bowling well for the last 10-12 Tests.”