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India’s Pace Renaissance since January 2018 – Lowest average of 23.43 amongst all pace attacks

Indian pacers average 23.43 in Test cricket since 2018 which is best among all the pace bowling attacks around the world.

Indian Pacers average 23.43 since Jan 2018 in Test Cricket, best among all the test playing nation.
Twice Indian pacers have taken all 20 wickets in a Test. (Image: ©AP)

India has always been known for batting talents and legendary batsmen who have ruled the cricket world in the last 50 years. Even the first player to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket was an Indian named Sunil Gavaskar. However, in the last few years, things have changed drastically. Indian pacers have started to dominate the cricket world. Cricket fraternity across the world has been stunned by the majestic performance of Indian seamers in the last 4-5 years.

Jasprit Bumrah’s debut in January 2018 sparked a revolution in pace bowling for India

After the debut of Jasprit Bumrah in Test cricket in January 2018, India’s seam bowling attack has reigned world cricket through the force of phenomenal performances. India pacers have bagged all 20 wickets of the opponent in a Test match twice in their Test history of 89 years; interestingly, both the incidents came from the start of 2018 which signifies that the Indian pace unit is showing terrific performances in recent times.

Let's have a look at the performances of Indian pacers from January 2018 and their impact on world cricket.

Record of Top 8 teams - Pace attack from 2018 (Data till 26th Aug)

When we compare records of pace contingents of every team, India is the standout performer in recent years. As we can see in the above chart, from the start of 2018, India’s pace attack bagged 399 wickets which are less than only the English pace attack who picked 515 wickets, though the latter played 9 more Test matches. Both team’s pace attacks picked around 11 wickets per Test match whereas the World Test champion New Zealand pace unit snared around 15 wickets per Test match in this timeframe.

India’s pace attack has lowest average (23.43) among all Test teams since January 2018

India’s pace attack has the lowest average (23.43) among all Test teams from 2018 in Test cricket as shown in the above chart. Only Proteas come close to India by averaging 24.02. Also, India’s pacers registered the second-best strike rate (47.1) among all Test teams. Only South Africa recorded a lower strike rate than India in this timeframe with figures of 45.3.

India’s pacers picked the second-highest number of five-wicket hauls (17) in Test cricket in the stipulated period. Only Kiwis recorded more fifers in Test cricket (18) than India in the given period.

Top Wicket-taking Seamers from 2018 (Data till 26th Aug)

Three India seamers in top ten wicket takers amongst pacers since January 2018

We can see in see in the above chart that three India seamers made it into the table of top ten wicket-taking pacers in the stipulated timeframe which is higher than any other team. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma found places in the above table.

England, New Zealand and Australia have two pacers each in the above table while only Kagiso Rabada from South Africa is the other entrant in this list.

Record of Indian Seamers from 2018 (Overall) (Data till 26th Aug)

Among India pacers from the start of 2018, Mohammed Shami snared the most number of wickets (99) for India while Jasprit Bumrah scalped 96 wickets, though Shami bowled in six more innings than Bumrah. Ishant Sharma booked the third slot with 85 wickets in 25 games in the same timeframe.

Right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav is the mainstay in eleven when the team play at home and he has picked 49 wickets in 12 Test matches. Newbie Mohammed Siraj debuted in 2020 and has 29 wickets in eight Test matches in the timeframe while all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been away from Test cricket for a long time due to injury concerns.

Record of Indian Seamers from 2018 at Home (Data till 26th Aug)

When we dissect the record in terms of home and away performances, Umesh Yadav is the leading wicket-taker among all Indian pacers at home from 2018 whereas Shami and Sharma have dismissed 24 batsmen each in the same timeframe at home. Bumrah and Siraj didn’t play many Test matches at home.

Umesh Yadav in India and Jasprit Bumrah in away Tests, are India's most successful bowlers.
Jasprit Bumrah has been India's most successful bowler in away tests from 2018. (Image: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Record of Indian Seamers from 2018 in Away Tests (Data till 26th Aug)

Let's have a look at the away record of India pacers in the above chart. Jasprit Bumrah has an exceptional Test record from his debut match onwards. He bagged 92 wickets in just 21 Test matches played abroad with a phenomenal average of 22.58 and a healthy strike rate of 50.5. He recorded the highest number of fifers among all India pacers in the given timeframe.

Mohammed Shami bagged 75 wickets outside India from 2018 whereas Sharma has dismissed 61 batsmen in 16 away Test matches. Mohammed Siraj has scalped 26 wickets in 6 Tests outside India which include an eight-wicket haul in the Lord’s Test against England in August 2021.

So, we can conclude from these numbers that India is an undisputed leader of pace territory in the cricket world for the first time in their 89 years Test history. Now, India just needs some more variation in their seam contingent like the inclusion of some left-arm pacers to strengthen this claim further.

* All Stats till 26-8-2021


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