Simon Doull is of the opinion that Indian pacers are not genuine swing bowlers, and believes that attributed to them struggling with the ball on Day 3. Doull said India had enough time to prepare but admitted that match practice is something that provides better preparation for the players.
In conditions tailor-made for pace bowling, New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway added 70 runs for the opening stand on Day 3 as the Indian pacers struggled to exploit the conditions as well as their Kiwi counterparts.
The Indian pace trio of Shami, Ishant and Bumrah, despite the overhead conditions being helpful, were unable to find swing, and this meant that New Zealand came through Day 3 with minmal damage, losing just two wickets in bowler-friendly conditions.
Former New Zealand bowler and active commentator Simon Doull reckoned that the Indian bowlers failed at exploiting the conditions efficiently as they are not ‘genuine swing bowlers’.
“They are not genuine swing bowlers. I know Jasprit Bumrah can swing the ball, Ishant is more of a swing bowler, he comes round the wicket with that angle wrist takes the ball away. He does take the ball away from the left-handers and into the right-handers,” Doull said on Cricbuzz.
“Mohammed Shami has never really been a genuine swing bowler. He is a seam bowler and always bowls upright. To me, it is not Bumrah, Shami it is more Ishant Sharma. I did however expect the ball might seam a little bit more. Shami and Bumrah at times found it but they were not just consistent enough,” he added.
Before the final game, India hadn’t played any competitive Test cricket except the intra-squad matches, whereas New Zealand came fresh off a 1-0 series victory against England. Doull felt India did have enough preparation but insisted that nothing can equal the practice an actual match gives.
“…at times you look and overthink and say ‘did they (India) have enough preparation?’ I think they did. I am sure in the last 10-12 days they would have bowled enough deliveries to make sure they are ready and raring to go,”
“But its hard to simulate match practice. You can try in these intra-squad games but it just doesn’t quite work and that’s the key. It is genuinely hard to replace match practice that makes you better and get you ready for those matches.”
Further expanding on the same point, Doull compared how New Zealand entered the first Test at Lord’s in a similar state, but yet managed to bring out their A game to have England in their mercy.
“…New Zealand went into their first Test match at Lord’s against England, they had the very same preparation that India had coming into this Test match.
“New Zealand were in Southampton for around 10-11 days, played intra-squad matches, training practices and when they turned at Lord’s they looked pretty set and ready to go.
“Tim Southee bowled beautifully, Devon Conway came straight out of 10 days of net session here and scored a double hundred at Lord’s. They looked like they were prepared and ready to go.”