India’s Transformation from Spin to Pace

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The world of cricket feared the spinner quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar, and Srinivas. The players’ names are Bishen Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. This quartet ruled the cricketing world and was one of the deadliest combinations in and around the late 1960s and early 1970s. They played 231 test matches and took a whopping 853 wickets and made India’s victories overseas even more heroic. They were massive contributors in the historic test wins acquired at the West Indies and England.

Another legendary spinner to hone the Indian national colors was Anil Kumble, who started playing for India in 1990. Regarded as one of the best spinners world cricket has ever seen, this player is the third-highest wicket-taker of all times in test ranking behind Shane Warne from Australia and Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. He was predominantly a right-arm leg break bowler who is the second person and yet the last one to achieve the legendary feat of taking all ten wickets in a single innings of a test match. This feat came against Pakistan in 1999. The other person to achieve this unimaginable feat was England’s Jim Laker.

Over the past few decades, India had many iconic spinners with the most recent duos being Ravindra Jadeja with Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal with Kuldeep Yadav. The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin has been one of the most successful duo for India in the longer format of the game overseas. Whereas, the duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, commonly known as “KulCha” has been more successful in the shorter format of ODIs and T20Is. All of these spinners have been players of the modern game, constantly proving them at the Indian Premier League (IPL) too.

Though spin is a constant, nowadays it seems that modern-day Indian captains are looking forward to using more of their fast bowlers. These days, spin is more of a backup plan than fast bowling. India had some phenomenal fast bowlers over the years. There is an endless list of the excellent fast bowlers’ team India has developed over the years. From the likes of Javagal Sreenath in 1991 to Ajit Agarkar, RP Singh, S Sreesanth in the 2000s, India has produced some fine bowlers in world cricket. Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra have been two of the most successful left-arm fast bowlers from India.

The current batch of fast bowlers includes Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar-all top-ranked bowlers in world cricket. The most recent addition to the pace lineup are players like Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Mohammad Siraj, and Navdeep Saini. Time and again Jasprit Bumrah has proven himself to be one of the best fast bowlers in the world with a very unorthodox way and runup of bowling. Ishant Sharma is now a veteran of the long format along with helpmates Umesh Yadav and the highly experienced Mohammad Shami. Mohammad Siraj and Navdeep Saini are the newest additions in the side for the test format and are doing quite well giving important contributions and performances for the team.

The squad is currently in Australia playing their three format series where the fast bowlers have played a crucial part in backing the overall team performance. Though two of their most experienced pacers Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav are out of the team due to injuries, newbies Mohammad Siraj and Navdeep Saini have replaced them with much professionalism. The team plays England on Indian soil in March which will be an exciting series to watch out for the fast bowlers.

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