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IND vs ENG, 2024: India's bowling combination worked wonders in Rajkot Test; What set them apart?

India vs England, 2023-24: India's bowling combination worked wonders in Rajkot Test; What set them apart?


India vs England, Rajkot Test_ Ravichandran Ashwinn and Jasprit Bumrah during third test match _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India vs England: India's bowling attack looked complete in Rajkot (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Regarding cricket, India has always been known for its formidable batting line-up. However, in recent times, the India bowlers have stepped up their game and proven to be a force to reckon with. The recently concluded third Test match in Rajkot is a prime example, as India’s bowling combination worked wonders and emerged as the heroes in the victory against England


India secured its largest win (by runs) in the longest format of the game by 434 runs in the third Test between India and England in Rajkot. The India bowlers were at their vicious best in the final innings, outscoring Ben Stokes’ team for 122. They were surprised by the ease with which they could obtain wickets. Ravindra Jadeja stole the show in bowling as the spin all-rounder clinched 5 wickets to decimate the England batters in the second innings.


However, it was a reality check for England's ‘Bazball’ as the tourists were bundled out for just 122 in 39.4 overs in their final innings, losing the Rajkot Test by 434 runs. England looked clueless as India spinners, led by hometown hero Ravindra Jadeja, ran riot in the final session of the third Test.



What set India Bowlers apart?

India played with five top-tier bowlers in the Rajkot Test, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. This combination was not there in any of the previous Test matches in the ongoing series. Kuldeep Yadav’s inclusion in the playing XI brought more variation in India’s bowling department. 


England appeared to have no plan for their final innings after being set a Himalayan target. Neither did the batters look to put pressure on India’s bowlers, nor did they show conviction in defence as India’s bowling attack flaunted its firepower at home, getting the job done in little over a session.



The pacers and spinners complimented each other equally

India's pacers and spinners worked together to take wickets, showcasing their equal complementarity. The India bowlers displayed remarkable consistency throughout the match, especially in the second innings. They maintained disciplined lines and lengths, making it difficult for England batters to get away. The consistent performance of the team put constant pressure on the opposition, leading to regular fall of wickets.


India bowlers demonstrated exceptional skill and variety, effectively utilizing the conditions and blending their deliveries. They possessed a diverse arsenal of skills, including seam movement and spin. They constantly troubled the opposition batters with their variation, making it a tough task for them to settle in and build partnerships.


The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, with their years of international cricket experience under their belts, were well supported by Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav.



India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 4_ Ravindra Jadeja took 5-41 against England in 2nd innings _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Jadeja took 5-41 against England in 2nd innings (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Assorted spin bowling of Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep

The spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav with distinct bowling styles, pose different challenges for batters. India were without their veteran off-spinner R Ashwin on Day 3 as he had flown back home due to a medical emergency. Stepping up in the absence of Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav led the spin attack with a long and productive spell on Day 3 of the Rajkot Test.


Ashwin, a right-arm off-spinner with a wide range of variations including carrom the ball; Jadeja, left-arm orthodox spinner who relies on accuracy and subtle variations in spin and Kuldeep, a chinaman bowler; have become formidable forces in the spin bowling department. 


When this daunting trio plays together, their combined variations and skills create a terrifying spin-bowling attack. Their ability to complement each other and apply pressure from both ends makes it challenging for batters to score runs and create partnerships. Their presence in the team adds depth and versatility to India's bowling lineup.


Overall, the trio of Ashwin, Jadeja, and Kuldeep played a significant role in India's success in the Rajkot Test against England, with their spin-bowling variations causing difficulties and making the English batters clueless. 



India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 3_ Mohammed Siraj took 4 wickets against England _  Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Mohammed Siraj took 4-84 wickets against England (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Fiery pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj

The fiery pace attack of Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah has been a key factor in India's success in recent times. Siraj was not impressive in the previous match but made a notable contribution in the third Test. Both Siraj and Bumrah have consistently troubled batters with their pace, accuracy, and ability to generate movement off the pitch. Together, they form a formidable pace duo for India.


Mohammed Siraj has emerged as a potent fast bowler for India. He swings the ball both ways and has shown great control over his line and length. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah, known for his unique bowling action and ability to bowl deadly Yorkers, has the knack of picking up wickets at crucial moments. 


When Siraj and Bumrah operate in tandem, they create immense pressure on the opposition. Their ability to take early wickets and break partnerships has been crucial in India's success in recent years. They complement each other well, with Siraj's swing and bounce complementing Bumrah's accuracy and variations. The pacers have provided significant support to the spin trio in the Rajkot Test, making notable contributions.


While the India bowlers excelled in their performance, the Rajkot Test also exposed certain weaknesses in the English batting lineup. The inability of their batters to handle India’s spinners effectively became a crucial turning point in the match. The India bowlers exploited this weakness, resulting in frequent wickets and a comprehensive victory for the home team.



What future holds for this?

The India team is expected to showcase a robust and balanced bowling attack based on their recent performances and team dynamics for upcoming Test matches. India is confident with their bowling combination and plans to continue using it in the remaining matches. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma would look to carry on with the same bowling combination.


Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep, the premier spinner, are expected to be a vital part of the bowling attack, especially considering the spin-friendly conditions in India. Both Bumrah and Siraj have been key contributors in the series so far and are expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming Tests.


In conclusion, India's bowling combination worked wonders in the Rajkot Test based on a combination of skilful bowling, tactical planning and quality bowling. The collective effort from the bowling department proved to be a winning formula against England. The victory highlights the dominance of India's bowling attack. As the series progresses, it will be fascinating to see if India can maintain this level of performance and continue to set itself apart on the cricket field.


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