On the last tour of Australia, Jasprit Bumrah could do nothing wrong. Anything asked of him by the captain, he delivered. And Indians looked competitive. Not this time. And the health of India’s bowling has been exposed in the first 2 ODIs. And Bumrah – who was the darling of fans last tour has made an abysmal start to the tour with 1/73 and 1/79 in the two games.
Indian fans can only hope he finds his rhythm quickly before there are three whitewashes registered against the visitors and they go back home with sunken faces hidden behind masks, for their relief.
Australia has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series on Sunday after the comprehensive win the 2nd ODI. Having their main spearhead bowler so out of kilter, the Australians could wreck the visitors’ morale for the next 3 T20 games and 4 match Test series.
The Test series starts in Adelaide on Dec. 17 which will be the only Test Kohli is available for. Bumrah has awesome bowling record in Test matches against Australia with 6/33 figure jewel in his crown.
Bumrah, who is ranked 2nd in the world’s second ranked ODI bowler, has had horrendous 2 ODIs. His captain and vice captain are hoping he would find his form soon.
“He means a lot to this team and we know the value of Jasprit,” vice-captain KL Rahul said. “It’s about time a champion player like him will come back, deliver and get wickets for us.”
Bumrah and Mohammed Shami’s failure to strike early has allowed Australia to get off to flying starts, which Steve Smith and his middle-order colleagues have capitalised on.
The Indian vice-captain also alluded to the ease batsmen have on Australian pitches and thus bowlers – if not in form – suffer.
“You have to understand that in New Zealand and Australia, the wickets are so good to bat on,” he said.
After the first game, Kohli spoke about Hardik Pandya not being able to bowl was a problem. In the second game, he extracted four overs ouot of Pandya despite clear instructions for the manage to get Pandya to bowl only two overs. Pandya managed the prized wicket of Steve Smith./
“If he (Pandya) starts bowling, then it is a load off the skipper and the team. We need all-rounders for the team balance” Rahul said.
In addition to Bumrah, Mohammed Shami must deliver the goods on this tour. He comes in – not out of form although bowlers on away series can take a couple of games to acclimatize themselves.
Shami took 3 wickets in the 1st ODI and gave away 59 runs for his 10 overs with economy rate of 5.9 while Bumrah only managed 1 wicket for 73 runs at the economy rate of 7.3.
In the second ODI, Shami was bad. He was worse than the out of form Jasprit Bumrah and managed only one wicket giving away 73 runs in 9 overs at the economy rate of 8.11 compared to Bumrah’s 7.9 for one wicket.
Both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have done a lot better against Australia earlier. Shami’s best ODI bowling against Australia is 4/63 while Bumrah’s best against Australia in ODIs was 3/61.
With their current performance as bowlers in the first two games, there is hardly anything their fans can hope for before some divine interference. God help India!