Bowlers eye con­sis­tency

In­dian bowl­ing depart­ment aim for dis­ci­pline and ac­cu­racy against Bangladesh to­day


COLOMBO: In­dia may have wob­bled in their chase of 153 against Sri Lanka, but when they did get across the line it was con­trol, poise and in the end some ease on Mon­day. Bangladesh, in con­trast floun­dered com­pletely in their first game, only to roar back in the sec­ond, chas­ing 215 with typ­i­cally un­pre­dictable panache.

Bangladesh’s win against Sri Lanka opened up the tour­na­ment and showed that they had it in them to play high­qual­ity Twenty20 cricket, but they con­tinue to be de­feated in their search for con­sis­tency.

And, when Mah­mudul­lah’s team take on In­dia to­day, they will not have it easy. Af­ter all, Sri Lanka’s bowlers suf­fered an off day, be­ing too pre­dictable in the sec­ond half of the in­nings, al­low­ing Mush­fiqur Rahim to string to­gether a se­quence of ad­ven­tur­ous and ag­gres­sive shots to chase down a big score.

In­dia’s bowlers, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of Jay­dev Unad­kat, who is yet to hit his straps in this tour­na­ment, have been dis­ci­plined and ac­cu­rate. Wash­ing­ton Sun­dar, 18, off-spin­ner, has been par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, go­ing for only six runs per overs in the 12 he has sent down, de­spite bowl­ing in the Pow­er­play. Yuzven­dra Cha­hal has been as dan­ger­ous as ever, keep­ing the runs down while pick­ing up wick­ets.

Shardul Thakur, who has of­ten lamented the lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties at the high­est level, made it count on Mon­day pick­ing up 4-27 and with it, the Man of the Match award. “As I said be­fore, I love chal­lenges. I am tak­ing it as a chal­lenge. If other se­nior bowlers are miss­ing from the team, then I have to step up,” said Thakur.

“I have done this pre­vi­ously for other teams that I have played for. I have come in place of Za­heer Khan, Dhawal Kulka­rni and Ajit Agarkar while play­ing for Mum­bai. I had to step up in that role. When se­nior bowlers are rested, I have to step up and fill that role to lead the pace at­tack.”

Thakur won the re­spect of his op­po­nents, es­pe­cially for the man­ner in which he bowled the knuckle ball, a vari­a­tion that is fast be­com­ing fash­ion­able in Twenty20 cricket.

“The most im­por­tant thing is that he bowls a re­ally good slower one, like with his knuckle ball. That’s the main rea­son for his suc­cess,” said This­ara Per­era, Sri Lanka’s cap­tain. “I also got out to the knuckle ball. I have seen it be­fore, but he has bowled it re­ally well in this tour­na­ment.”

It’s over to Bangladesh now, and a test of whether they can over­come In­dia’s ac­cu­rate spin twins and in­dus­tri­ous vari­a­tions of pace.

‘I am tak­ing it as a chal­lenge. If se­nior bowlers are miss­ing from the team, I have to step up’

In­dia pacer Shardul Thakur on his 4-27 v SL on Mon­day


In­dia pacer Shardul Thakur (sec­ond from left) cel­e­brates the wicket of SL’s Dush­man­tha Chameera with team­mates on Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.