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India desperately need genuine fast bowling all-rounder to compete well in ICC events

India desperately need genuine fast bowling all-rounder to compete well in ICC events. Lack of fast bowling all-rounders have been hurting Team India. India to look beyond Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya for future.

WTC Final 2023, AUS vs IND: Shardul Thakur took David Warner and Steve Smith in first innings  (Images: ©mufaddal_vohra/Twitter)
Thakur got Warner & Smith in first innings of WTC Final (Images: ©mufaddal_vohra/Twitter)

India may have produced some of the best batters of all time and given the world some of the most renowned spinners it has ever seen in their decorated cricketing history. But when it comes to the bowling department, especially fast bowling, India have been lagging someway behind the likes of Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England and even their arch rivals Pakistan.


This is a historical fact but there has surely been a boom in the fast bowling department in the last decade or so. While this is encouraging, but BCCI and India have a long way to go to become a fast bowling country.


There is an even bigger issue or puzzle at place for the Indian team to overcome. Yes, we are talking about the all-rounders slot and specifically the fast bowling all-rounders. The lack of which is hurting the India team a lot when it comes to overseas Test tours as well as some important ICC tournaments in the shorter formats of the game.


The recent WTC Final 2023 debacle against Australia where the Indian team lost their second consecutive summit clash is a case in point. India didn’t have the luxury of having a fast bowling all-rounder, one who could fill in as the fifth bowler and can score crucial quick runs down the order, hurt them a lot. This has been their case since eternity and the team balance when it comes to overseas Tests.



Short supply of fast bowling all-rounders since Kapil Dev

India did find answers to this problem post the Kapil Dev era in the form of Irfan Pathan in the 2000s and Hardik Pandya in mid-2010s, but the duo’s Test careers were cut short due to injuries. While Hardik still plays limited-overs cricket for India at the highest level, his participation in Tests is a question mark and he hasn’t played a Test in the last 4 years. Shardul Thakur does look a decent all-round cricketer, but at the international level there is a lot to be done to fulfil that role of an all-rounder and there is a long way to go for Thakur to become a reliable all-rounder in all formats. For a brief time, India had high hopes from players like Shivam Dube, Venkatesh Iyer and Vijay Shankar, but shockingly all of them just stopped bowling at the highest level.


Not only just Thakur, but Indian team needs to find that genuine all-rounder who couple by bowling pace as well as do sensible batting or big hitting down the order. We have seen how a side with a player with these traits benefit. These players not just win you games but also tournaments. Ben Stokes is the best example in this category. At his peak fitness, he can bowl 10 overs in an ODI game or bowl that game-turning spell in a Test match and then have a moment with the bat. He has done that innumerable times for England and similarly there have been quite a few all-rounders across the globe who have created such an impact.


Unfortunately for India, they have not seen such a cricketer since the days of Kapil Dev. The question is why a 1.4 billion population country like India is struggling to find a high calibre genuine fast bowling all-rounder. BCCI is after all the richest board in the world and they have all the resources available to find and nurture the abundant talent available in the country. They have the most lucrative T20 league, the IPL, apart from the vast domestic structure which is rarely seen in other countries. Even then, India is seeing a dearth of a proper all-rounder and it is time the BCCI steps up in this regard. As mentioned, these are the players who can win you tournaments and India so badly needs an ICC trophy up its sleeve.


A player of such ability is a captain’s delight and India badly needs one. Even if India finds one, BCCI needs to look after them with utmost care and monitor their fitness regime, since fast bowling all-rounders are the most injury prone as the efforts they put in take a great toll on their body.



Enough said on what can be done to groom the next all-rounder, we can now see who are the potential pace bowling all-rounders in the country? Let’s find out here.


Raj Angad Bawa

The young all-rounder from Himachal Pradesh made heads turn with a great performance in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022. He is yet to find his feet in the domestic circuit as yet but this talented pacer will have a great future if groomed properly by the BCCI and the National Cricket Academy (NCA).


Bawa has already represented Punjab Kings in the IPL and let us hope he is one among the many fast bowling all-rounders that comes out of this country.


Manoj Bhandage

A lesser-known pace bowling all rounder from Karnataka who represents RCB in the IPL and has impressed many in the domestic circuit. He has a T20 strike rate of 154.66 from 16 games and has a decent record with the ball as well.


Atit Sheth

Many who don’t follow India’s domestic circuit may not know about this all-rounder from Baroda who has a first-class batting average of 34.23 and a sub-26 bowling average in 30 games. Though he primarily plays as a lower-order batter and a genuine bowler in white ball cricket, the 27-year-old is someone who can be tried at the next level.


Ravi Teja

Ravi Teja from Hyderabad is another all rounder who looks a genuine prospect especially in the longer formats of the game. With 63 wickets and 1197 runs in 25 FC games, Ravi Teja might need some more consistent performances in the upcoming domestic season to grab the eye balls.


Ramandeep Singh

The 26-year-old all-rounder from Punjab has represented Mumbai Indians in the IPL and is amongst the brightest young all-rounders in the country especially in T20 cricket. He has the ability to hit the long ball and is more than useful with the ball.


Apart from them, there are players like Prerak Mankad, Sanvir Singh to name a few and this list goes further which is exciting but at the same time, a talent can fizzle out if not groomed properly.


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