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India's Bowling Brilliance: A Six-Game Symphony of Supremacy in CWC 2023

India's Bowling Brilliance: India's bowling performance has been phenomenal in CWC 2023 so far. Bowlers have taken 55 wickets from a 6 games so far in World Cup 2023.

CWC 2023, India vs New Zealand_ Mohammed Shami took 5-54 against New Zealand _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Mohammed Shami took 5-54 against New Zealand (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Team India is usually celebrated for its star-studded batting line-up, including icons like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. But the spotlight has shifted to the bowlers this time in CWC 2023. The bowlers are consistently stealing the show in every game. The seamless partnership between pacers and spinners operates like a well-coordinated hunting pack, reminiscent of carnivores seeking sustenance.

The dominance, which initially began with spinners at Chepauk, continues till date with pacers creating havoc at Ekana. Opposition teams are left with no option but to plead for mercy. The bowlers' relentless performance, backed by the team's unwavering spirit, has surely made India a formidable force to reckon with, this World Cup. So far in 6 matches, 55 wickets have been scalped by India’s bowlers.

This year also marks the second-best performance at the World Cup so far, for the bowlers in terms of their bowling average. The chart below depicts the same:

Chepauk: Where the Tone was Set

In the scorching heat of Chepauk, Australia's middle order found itself left spinning as India's formidable spin trio seized dominance in their tournament opener. Under conditions of unpredictable bounce, India's spinners delivered an outstanding performance in their 30 overs of bowling. Throughout this phase, they bowled 101 dot balls.

The trio of Jadeja-Ashwin-Kuldeep managed to capture 6 wickets, while giving away only 104 runs. Their achievement can be attributed to maintaining a steady length consistent with Test match standards, along with the assistance from the pitch that complimented their efforts.

Chepauk was the proper trailer of what was to come in the upcoming games.

Next up against Afghanistan at Arun Jaitley Stadium, it was Jasprit Bumrah’s day who picked up 4 wickets at an economy of 3.90. Hardik Pandya complimented him with two more wickets at an economy 6.10. The entire Afghanistan team was restricted to 272/8.

Siraj’s dream game against arch rivals

On October 14, in his first World Cup match against Pakistan, Mohammed Siraj initially struggled. He attempted to find swing, but none materialised, resulting in half volleys dispatched for boundaries by Imam-ul-Haq.

Jasprit Bumrah held fort at the other end. During a brief break, Suryakumar Yadav was seen delivering an undisclosed message to Siraj at the boundary. Immediately after that Siraj adjusted his approach, shortening his lengths in his later spells. His fourth over ended with a wicket; Abdullah Shafique was trapped leg before. Siraj's second wicket, however, was the turning point, breaking an 82-run stand between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

Reintroduced for a new spell, he outwitted Babar with a cross-seam delivery, initiating Pakistan's collapse from 155 for 2 to 191 all out. Bumrah received his deserved acclaim, but Siraj played a substantial role. His adaptability and crucial wickets contributed significantly to India's success in the match.

India's Bowling Attack Restricted Bangladesh in Convincing Victory

India's bowling performance against Bangladesh was solid. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were once again the standout bowlers, with Bumrah taking 2 wickets for 41 runs in his 10 overs at an economy of 4.10, while Siraj bowled a tight spell, conceding 60 runs in his 10 overs and taking 2 crucial wickets at an economy of 6.

Kuldeep Yadav contributed with 1 wicket for 47 runs in his 10 overs at an economy of 4.70. Ravindra Jadeja was economical, giving away only 38 runs in his 10 overs and taking 2 wickets at an impressive economy of 3.80. Overall, India's bowling attack performed well to restrict Bangladesh to 256/8.

CWC 2023, India vs England_ Mohammed Shami took 4-22 against England in Lucknow _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Shami took 4-22 against England in Lucknow (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)
India’s bowlers rose up to the challenge against England and NZ

Their most significant challenge awaited them in the upcoming matches against New Zealand and England. Let’s see how they shaped up against them.

With Hardik Pandya getting ruled out of the games due to injury, a lot of questions were now popping up. Will they opt for an extra batter, thus having only 5 bowlers? If they choose this approach, will Shardul be one of those 5 bowlers?

Facing a batting depth issue, with Hardik Pandya's injury sidelining him, India opted for Suryakumar Yadav and Mohammed Shami as replacements for the game against NZ, limiting their batting options to Jadeja at no. 7. To compensate, India's pace attack Shami took centre stage and orchestrated New Zealand's downfall, restricting them to 273 after they were 178 for 2. Shami's five-wicket haul, his second in World Cups, dominated the latter stage of the first innings, accounting for six wickets while conceding just 54 runs in the final 10 overs.

Each wicket claimed by Shami raised an intriguing question: "Where was he all this while?" His very first delivery, a classic in swing, sent Will Young packing. Then, with a cleverly disguised off cutter, he dismantled the Mitchell-Ravindra 159 run partnership. But it was in the 48th over that Shami delivered the knockout blow, annihilating the stumps of Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry with consecutive deliveries. This remarkable performance left everyone wondering why Shami had not been part of the starting lineup. But again: Better late than never!

India secured their fifth consecutive victory, chasing down the target with four wickets in hand and 12 balls to spare, solidifying their position at the top of the points table.

England left floundering at Lucknow

After restricting India for 229 runs, England thought that their much-needed comeback in ongoing World Cup was to happen in this game. But little were they aware of the bowling force coming at them!

Shami and Bumrah delivered a stunning bowling performance as they defended a modest total for India. Shami's early breakthroughs, claiming 2 wickets for just 4 runs, and Bumrah's economical spell with 2 wickets for 17 runs, left England struggling at 40 for 4 in the first ten overs.

Despite a brief resistance from Liam Livingstone (27), Shami and Bumrah continued to dismantle England's batting order. None of England's batters could make a significant impact, and India secured a resounding 100-run victory with 15.1 overs to spare, maintaining their unbeaten World Cup record and giving a huge blow to England's campaign.

Let’s take a look at wickets taken by the pacers this World Cup

India are definitely the team with second highest wickets and the best economy rate at this World Cup.

CWC 2023, India vs Pakistan_ Jasprit Bumrah took 2-19 against Pakistan; IND beat PAK _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Jasprit Bumrah took 2-19 against Pakistan (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Jasprit Bumrah’s revival

Due to injury, Jasprit Bumrah missed a significant portion of cricket in 2022 and some of 2023, including the IPL, which left Indian fans yearning for his return. His absence was notably felt when England secured a dominant 10-wicket victory over India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. Fans held high hopes of witnessing the talented pace bowler leading India in the ODI World Cup, scheduled on home soil. Jasprit made his comeback from this injury-ridden period first in the Asia Cup and now in the World Cup. Remarkably, he appears to have seamlessly resumed his play as if he never missed a beat. His form, rhythm, and fitness remains unscathed.

In the limited span of 2021-2022, Jasprit participated in just 5 ODIs, during which he managed to claim 13 wickets with an impressive economy rate of 4.33. This statistic underscores his exceptional bowling prowess, as even with limited matches, his impact was consistently significant.

Now, in the World Cup, he is performing exceptionally, having already taken 14 wickets for the team, making him the leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament. As India progress to the critical knockout stages of the World Cup, a substantial weight of expectation rests on Bumrah's capable shoulders.

The versatile bowling unit

India's current ODI bowling lineup boasts bowlers, each with unique strengths. Jasprit Bumrah intimidates with brutal Yorkers and short balls, coupled with remarkable variations. Mohammed Shami excels in seam positioning, staying true to his strengths. Mohammed Siraj's wobble-seam deliveries and precise swing make him a potent threat. Kuldeep Yadav has made a resounding comeback, displaying improved control and a broader range of tricks.

India’s bowlers have managed to take all 10 wickets of the opponent thrice in the tournament against Australia, Pakistan and England.

Their collective celebration of wickets highlights the team's unity, a testament to the environment fostered by skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid.

Many would consider this to be India's finest-ever ODI bowling attack.


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