Indian commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle has stated that captain Virat Kohli has played a key role in the growth of the team’s fast bowlers. India currently has one of the best pace batteries in the world and a lot of credit goes to Kohli, who has put his weight behind the pacers.
Kohli always likes to play with three main fast bowlers in overseas conditions. Earlier, we had noticed that India would play two spinners in their playing XI in the foreign conditions whereas Kohli only likes to play with a solitary spinner.
The likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been right on the money in the last two years and they have taken giant strides. Since January 2018, India’s fast bowlers have scalped 292 wickets at an impressive average of 21.33 and they are at the top of the chart in terms of average.
In fact, the current attack is regarded as India’s best ever. India has had bowlers like Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan in the past but for the first time in Indian cricket, we have a collective bowling unit, which can rattle any opposition.
Kohli has also motivated the fast bowlers to work on their fitness and the same has been palpable. Furthermore, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun has also done a fine job with the fast bowlers.
Meanwhile, Harsha Bhogle feels Zaheer Khan played a key role as an influencer on the next generation whereas former skipper MS Dhoni used to back spinners in the side. However, Kohli has believed in backing the fast bowlers to the hilt.
Harsha Bhogle said while talking to Cric Cast, “Zaheer Khan had a bit of an influence on the next generation but I feel the biggest influence has been that of Virat Kohli. Because Virat Kohli likes playing with fast bowlers. Dhoni was a very good captain of spin bowling. But after Virat Kohli came, we had Bhuvneshwar Kumar, then Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami came back again.”
India’s pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma had scalped 48 wickets on the tour of Australia and they had played a key role in India’s success in 2018-19 for the first time on Australian soil. All the fast bowlers are fit as fiddle and they can consistently bowl above 140 kmph to trouble the opposition batsmen.
Furthermore, bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini are waiting in the wings for their opportunity in the Test side. Thus, the Indian team has solid bench strength and depth in their attack.