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Probable pace battery that India would look to take for BGT 2024-25?

Team India's possible pace bowling options for Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2024-25. Who will lead India's pace attack in BGT 2024-25.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are India's bet in SENA Test tour _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©X_Twitter)
Bumrah, Shami and Siraj are top bet in BGT 2024-25 for India (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

The India-Australia Test series, known as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT), is always one of the most anticipated tours on the cricketing calendar. Over the years, it has grown in popularity, much like the Ashes. The rivalry is set to ignite again as India tours down under for a 5-match Test series later this year.

The ‘Men in Blue’ will be led by Rohit Sharma in their quest to complete a hat trick of Test series wins in Australia. They had won each of their previous two Test tours to Australia by a margin of 2-1 and would be keen to make it three in a row come this November.

India attained their twin Test series wins largely due to the performance of their seamers in the country. If they repeat the feat, then their pacers should step up big time. Their pace attack is at an all-time high, and if India pacers were to do well again, then it would be a tough nut to crack for the home team.

So, the major question now is: what would be the probable pace attack for India in the upcoming BGT?

Jasprit Bumrah 

One of the world’s finest pacers, Jasprit Bumrah, is all set to lead India’s pace attack in what will be his third Test tour to Australia. In the seven Tests he has played in the country, Bumrah has taken 32 wickets at 21.25 apiece.

Given his stunning form in the current year, where he has taken 21 wickets in five Tests, to go along with a player of the tournament performance in the T20 World Cup, Bumrah would be the main threat.

Mohammed Siraj 

India had a torrid time on their last tour of Australia with regards to their injury woes and player availability. Amidst all the chaos, the bowler who stood up for the team was Mohammed Siraj.

Playing his maiden high-profile Test series, Siraj emerged as the mainstay of India’s bowling attack when the tour concluded. He took 13 wickets in three Tests, including a five-wicket haul in the Gabba Test.

WTC Final, India vs NZ, Day 5_ Mohammed Shami took 4-76 in first innings against New Zealand  Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©X_Twitter)
India would be looking for Mohammed Shami's return (Photo: ©X/Twitter)
Mohammed Shami 

The most experienced of the trio, Mohammed Shami, had an unfortunate 2020–21 series where an injury cut short his stint. He could only play the first test. He will be looking forward to what will be his fourth Test tour to Australia.

With 229 wickets to his name in 64 Tests, the veteran can be a handful in favourable Australian conditions, where he has already played eight Tests.

The above three are sure-shot certainties to start in the playing XI when India takes on Australia in the first Test at Perth. For a team to succeed in Australia, they need to have four quality pacers in their lineup. So who could be India’s fourth? It boils down to Shardul Thakur or Mukesh Kumar.

Shardul Thakur

With Hardik Pandya not part of India’s red-ball scheme of things, they tried Shardul Thakur as the fourth pacer in overseas conditions and found success. He showed his all-round prowess in the Gabba Test, where India won. And Shardul proved his worth in the longest format of the game.

In 11 Tests, Shardul has scored 331 runs and scalped 31 wickets across different conditions.

Mukesh Kumar

A bowler in the mould of Shami, Mukesh is a hit-the-deck pacer and could be useful in Australian conditions. He has featured in three Tests for India, picking seven wickets. Mukesh will be an ideal seamer and is the perfect backup for someone like Shami.

However, if a toss-up does come between Mukesh and Shardul, due to their superior batting abilities, the latter could get the nod.

India will likely go with a four-pacer strategy alongside a spinner.

Who could be the reserve?

As witnessed on the last tour, India had major injury woes, so it would be ideal if they took pacers as reserves for this tour.

The candidates are Avesh Khan, who has represented India at the highest level with decent success, and Akash Deep, who made his debut in the home Test series against England. The latter showed he belonged to this level.


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