Former Delhi cricketer and Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma is concerned over the form displayed by Indian bowlers in the recent past. The Men in Blue failed to defend a huge target of 209 against Australia in Mohali on Tuesday (September 20).
It marked their third loss in four games while defending totals, with the previous two defeats coming in the Asia Cup 2022. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has struggled in Jasprit Bumrah’s injury-induced absence, while Harshal Patel made an underwhelming return from injury.
Rajkumar couldn’t understand how a country with such a deep talent pool when it came to fast bowlers now has to fervently search for options. Speaking to India News Sports, here’s what the former cricketer had to say about the team’s weak bowling line-up:
“About a couple of years ago, we had a pool of 9-10 fast bowlers. But now I don’t know where they have disappeared. The team is backing their experienced bowlers because they haven’t groomed others enough from that pool and now there is a vacuum in that area of Indian cricket.”
“We had expected Bhuvneshwar to step up in Bumrah’s absence, but he has been ordinary at the death. The time has probably come to make tough decisions.”
In their match against Australia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel conceded a combined 38 runs in the 18th and 19th overs. It enabled the Aussies to easily chase their target after initially needing 55 runs from the final four overs.
Rajkumar Sharma on Indian bowlers not picking wickets upfront
Team India, in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, have failed to strike early consistently in the powerplay. This has helped the opposition get off to a flying start. Australia scored 60 runs for the loss of just one wicket in the powerplay during the first T20I in Mohali.
Rajkumar Sharma believes the bowling attack seems to be highly dependent on Bumrah and stated that there is a desperate need for improvement.
On this, he stated:
“Not picking wickets in the powerplay is turning out to be a huge problem. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an experienced swing bowler and you expect wickets from him upfront.”
“We very well know how he was exposed at the death and the team is dearly missing the services of Bumrah. Our bowling currently looks very weak and has been exposed.”
India will hope to put in a better bowling performance in the second T20I to be played in Nagpur on Friday (September 23).