Millennium Post

Hunted turn into hunters

Delivering one blockbuster performance after another, the usually under-rated Indian pacers have turned a corner and changed a few perceptions in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup by accounting for 43 of the 70 opposition wickets so far. Since India landed in Australia, the common refrain has been how batsmen would be found out on bouncy pitches against the short pitched stuff.

Three months down the line, it’s the Indian pacers, who are creating problems for all and sundry with effective execution of short-pitched stuff which opposition batsmen are finding it difficult to handle. India have taken all 70 rival wickets in seven matches with pacers accounting for 43 out of those and close to 25 wickets have come off short balls. A few days back, Dhoni was talking about one of his press conferences three years back when he was asked about ICC allowing two bouncers per over.

Recalled Dhoni, “Someone had then asked me, ‘What’s your take on two bouncers per over rule?’ I answered, ‘Ek bouncer toh inse theek se daali nahin jaati, do bouncer kya mein ghar leke jaunga (They can’t even bowl one proper bouncer, do I take the second one home?)”

From the sarcasm laden statement to this day, the Indian pacers have done a lot of work to buck the trend. It is but natural that pacers would get more wickets in Australia but what was never seen with an Indian team was how well they have read the pitch is definitely a factor.

Mohammed Shami has been the pick of the bowlers with 17 wickets, Umesh Yadav the fastest with 14 wickets and Mohit Sharma got 11 wickets. Mohit has used the short ball effectively as he can control the pace with variation of bouncers. “Mohit Sharma arguably has the most effective bouncer,” former Pakistan pacer and current UAE coach Aaqib Javed had said recently at the WACA in Perth.
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