When India lost against Australia failing to defend 208 in the first T20I in Mohali, big questions were raised over the bowling attack of the team. The bowling unit comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal looked looked substandard against Australia.
The Australian batters dominated hitting the bowlers all across the park. Not just in the T20I against Australia, Indian bowling looked weak in the Asia Cup too when the team lost consecutive matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In both the games, bowlers failed to defend the totals.
The issue with the Indian bowling unit: Speed is one of the big issues with the Indian pace attack. Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, the bowlers seldom clock 140 kmph, and against a mighty batting lineup like Australia's, pace is a big requisite.
Pacers like Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami and Umran Malik are not part of the T20I squad for World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah is included but he has been away from the game for quite some time.
Former Indian seamer Karsan Ghavri said that the team needs pacers like Shami and Siraj on Australian pitches, who can bowl fast, accurate and with right swing. In the absence of good bowlers, the team will not be able to win games in Australia.
Speaking to Times of India, he said: "I feel that our current seam bowling attack particularly Bhuvneshwar, Harshal and Arshdeep will get hammered in the T20 World Cup in Australia and we won't win many games. In Australia, you need someone who bowls above 140 kmph something which all these bowlers- Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj and Umran Malik can do, while maintaining accuracy and swinging the ball."
For instance, 34-year-old Umesh Yadav was smashed for four consecutive fours in his first over against Australia. Even in the second over, depsite getting two wickets, he was hit for a six and four.
Yadav had been away from the game for a while and he last played in a T20I against Australia in 2019.
The Bhuneswar Kumar worry: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India's lead pacer in T20Is, has been a big concern for the team. In the game against Australia, he conceded 16 runs in his 19th over. In the game against Sri Lanka at Asia Cup, in the 19th over, he went for 14 runs when Sri Lanka needed 21 from 2 overs. Against Pakistan, he gave 19 runs when they needed 26 of 2 overs. His economy in the 19th over is over 12.
The same happened in Mohali against Australia. In the last four overs, the Aussies needed 55 runs. Kumar conceded 15 runs in his 17th over and sixteen in his 19th over. His figures at the end of the match were 4-0-52-0.
Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan also expressed his worry over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's performance in the death over. He said: "Saying this again use Bhuvi for only one over in the last 5 overs."
Saying this again use Bhuvi for only one over in last 5 overs.— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) September 20, 2022
Even former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar said that its a big concern when somebody like Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going for so many runs every single time, when he is expected to bowl well.
It remains to be seen how Bhuvneshwar and the rest of the Indian pacers perform in the next T20I series against Australia.
The 2nd T2OI against Australia will take place tomorrow (September 23) in Nagpur.