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Breaking Records: The Year of Indian Fast Bowling Resurgence

2018 was the year of this Indian fast bowlers trio (Shami, Bumrah, Ishant) as they picked up 136 wickets in away test matches.

Last updated: 02.01.2019
Indian Fast Bowling Attack | Sports Social Blog

2018 was always going to be a crucial year for the Indian cricket team. With the World Cup scheduled for 2019, there were a few tactical points that needed to be fixed. Heading into 2018 as the number one test team in the world, a daunting task lay ahead for India. Tours to South Africa, England and the year ending tour of Australia were going to be difficult, and going to be the key to monitoring the progress of the team.

The challenges were answered to a long extent, with wins coming in South Africa and England albeit in series losses. Heavy importance was laid to how the batting was going to fare in different and extremely tough conditions. The bowling department was seemingly working behind the scenes without really getting too much of attention. Yes, the spin department had worked wonders in the 2017 season, but the fast bowling department had shown constant signs of improvement. Fast forward to 2019, and the story on every cricket pundit’s and fans lips is how the Indian fast bowling department has undergone a resurgence and come out as one of the leading fast bowling attacks in world cricket. The amount of work put in by bowling coach Bharat Arun behind the scenes has brought in laurels for the bowling attack and that too at the benefit of the team.

Being an aspiring fast bowler constantly trying to learn the different aspects of fast bowling, 2018 was easily the best year to just sit in front of the TV and watch as the Indian fast bowling trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami went to three countries and came out shining. The credits also go to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav who chipped in with amazing performances when called upon but, 2018 belonged to Ishant, Bumrah and Shami who went toe to toe with some of the greatest fast bowling units ever assembled and managed to break a record that had stood for the past thirty four years. 2018 was the year of this trio as they picked up 136 wickets in away test matches.

Let’s have a look at the performances of all three of them individually.

Jasprit Bumrah

If one was to say at the beginning of 2018 that Jasprit Bumrah was going to play test cricket, let alone dominate it there were chances that they would be looked at with a confused expression. Bumrah had a phenomenal first year in the test cricket arena. With the amount of workload he has managed this season across the three formats, it is safe to say that he is among the fittest bowlers in the world at the moment.  Focusing on the tests, Bumrah debuted in January against South Africa and since then has gone on to play 9 tests and picked up a whopping 48 wickets at a brilliant average of 21.02. His career-best match figures came in the last test of 2018 when he registered 9/86 at the recently concluded Melbourne test.

He has also broken Dilip Doshi’s record of most wickets by an Indian bowler in their debut year in tests. Constantly clicking 145 kmph, Bumrah has already troubled some of the best batsmen in the world and, as a bowler who is still a work in progress we might well be looking at a world dominator.

From being a bowler whose place in the starting eleven was questioned by many, Bumrah has swiftly gone on to become Kohli’s go-to man when India is searching for wickets. The tale of Jasprit Bumrah has only just started, and as a cricket fan I hope it goes on for years to come.

Ishant Sharma

The leader of the pace attack and India’s test specialist, Ishant Sharma had a remarkable year in the test arena. Often doubted, perhaps criticized by fans and pundits alike, the tall fast bowler from the capital came into his own this year as he handled the mantle of leader of the pack with eagerness and dedication. Ever since his debut back in 2008 on the Australian soil, Sharma has been a bowler with credibility but a lacking of fine performances to back it. This year though, those performances came and they came in plenty. In the 11 tests that he played, he has picked up 39 wickets after bowling 335 overs. At 30, Ishant has come into his prime a little late but at the right time.

Devastating to the lefthanders because of his natural away movement to them, the plan of switching to round the wicket to them immediately has proved to be deadly for him. With renewed vigour and a stronger and fitter physique, Sharma will be raring to go in the final test in Sydney.

Mohammed Shami

A bowler painstakingly underrated, Mohammed Shami is always a delight to watch with the red cherry in his hand. He might not be the quickest and to some, he isn’t that effective as well but the role that he fulfils in this bowling attack is something not many pace bowlers around the world can. He is a bowler who has mastered the art of reverse swing and has proved to be the difference maker for team India with the old ball. A workhorse, Shami puts in the yards in the last sessions of the day and is always at the batsman, not giving them any respite. Even with the number of knee injuries that he has had, it is incredible that Shami played the most number of test matches among the trio this year with 12 and managed to take 47 wickets. He has also bowled the most number of overs among the fast bowlers with 383. 5.

An indispensable part of the test setup, Mohammed Shami has a lot more to give and Indian fans can only rejoice in that fact.

A lot of credit should also be given to Virat Kohli and the think tank for the way they have managed to check the workload taken by these three. Making changes and ensuring none of them bowl long spells has helped them stay fresh and ensured their endurance stays high for the entire year. 2018 has been the year of Indian fast bowlers.

Here’s hoping they keep their tails up and dominate world cricket for years to come.

Cricbuzz analysis of Indian Pace attack: Watch Video

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