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Statistical Analysis: India’s Pace Attack For The Test Series Against England

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India tour of England 2018

Virat Kohli’s men will have a real battle in their hands, when they take on England in a 5-match Test series starting August 1. The series could give bowlers plenty to work upon especially for the pacers as swing will be on offer in these conditions.
Kohli was served with a huge blow when the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah got injured and were ruled out of the first three Tests. Therefore, the onus will lie on Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma to have a real go. Doubts remain over Mohammed Shami’s confidence and fitness.
The conditions in England will be of help to Indian bowlers in a summer where temperatures have risen considerably. Can the Indian pace attack repeat the show they enjoyed in South Africa?
It will be interesting to see how the pace battery acclimatises to the surroundings there. There will be lateral swing and bounce and the Indian bowlers will have to step up to cash in on the same.
Here is an analysis of the pacers India has at its disposal and the attributes they carry to provide a challenge for the hosts.

Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma, the senior most pacer will need to shoulder the burden of picking key wickets (Image: BCCI)

The senior most of all the bowlers, Ishant has completed 10 years in the international scene. He has visited England in the last two tours. He therefore has the knowledge of what can be in store. Ishant has the capability to bowl at consistent lengths and be economical too. In England, he has enjoyed bowling and has delivered the goods. Now with all the experience in his side, it is time for him to lead the show.

  1. With 83 Tests to his name, he has 238 wickets.
  2. Has taken 25 wickets in seven Tests in England.
  3. Best overseas bowling figure is 7/74 against England at Lord’s.
  4. Out of his 238 wickets, 118 have come outside the sub-continent.

Umesh Yadav

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Umesh Yadav (Image: Hindustan Times)

Umesh hasn’t got a single game in England. The in-form bowler bowled well in the recent warm-up match against Essex. Umesh is a tireless workaholic and his ability to break partnerships is a plus.
His knack of picking wickets is a positive aspect of his game and he has grown as a bowler. His out swingers mixed with a good hold on the bouncer could serve him well.
It will be a big test for him given his last major assignment away was against Australia in 2014-15, where he picked 11 wickets in 3 Tests. Umesh is a different bowler now and experience has become a telling factor for him. He did well against Essex and looked like a bowler that can cause issues.

  1. Umesh has 103 Test wickets from 37 matches.
  2. Out of his 103 wickets, 30 have come outside the sub-continent.
  3. Best overseas bowling figure is 5/93 against Australia at Perth.
  4. Has 1 five-wicket haul overseas.

Mohammed Shami

India tour of England 2018
Virat Kohli needs to give some confidence to Mohammad Shami to bring him closer to his menacing best (Image: DNA India)

Probably the most versatile bowler in the Indian ranks at the moment. Shami’s ability to move the ball and also bowl yorkers at a nagging pace is something he offers.
Like Umesh, Mohammad Shami bears pace and can clock consistently over 140 kmph. Shami has toured Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand in his career so far. Importantly, success in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in his last 3 assignments will do him a world of good.
But can he get his confidence going? How is his fitness levels? Shami’s world turned upside down post the South Africa series and he needs to get his rhythm back.

  1. Shami has 110 Test wickets from 30 matches.
  2. He has just 5 wickets from 3 Tests in England.
  3. Out of his 110 wickets, 62 have come outside the sub-continent.
  4. Best overseas bowling figure is 5/28 against South Africa.
  5. Has 2 five-wicket haul overseas.

Shardul Thakur

India tour of England 2018
Shardul Thakur will look forward to getting a chance in the tour (Image: scroll.in)

The youngster hasn’t played Test cricket for India and is the back-up bowler in the squad for the first three Tests. Thakur has the energy and comes into the side after being in the limited-overs squad in recent times.
This is a major series for the bowler, as he would need the time to get accustomed to the red ball situation outside the sub-continent.
He played for India A recently in the UK and fared well. But in the only ODI where he was tried, he couldn’t quite come to terms. The warm-up game against Essex saw him pick 1/57 which would have given some knowledge of playing away from home.
It will be interesting to see how he comes in and plies his trade.

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