Will India win in semi finals against Australia at the SCG

bowler india


By Guarav Joshi

India has bowled more bouncers than any other team during the World Cup, or to be exact it is 212. India has taken more wickets with the short delivery than any other country. Every 10 runs conceded with the short ball has resulted in a wicket for the Indian fast bowlers. India’s leading wicket taker, Mohammad Shami has bowled the bouncer on 88 occasions in six matches that is nearly double the amount as Mitchell Johnson 47. But the statistic that is telling is the fact that 17 of the 70 wickets, staggering 25 per cent have been bouncers.

After spending nearly five months down under, it seems the Indian bowlers have devised a strategy to undo their opponents on the hard and large playing fields of Australia.

MS Dhoni during the course of the last year has been commending the use of the short ball. It won him a Test match in England and now it has been the secret weapon for the Indian bowlers during the World Cup.

One of the reasons Dhoni captaincy has received appraisal during the tournament if because of his willingness to attack a lot more. His most lethal attacking weapon has been the short ball. So delighted is the Indian captain, that even the 17 wides India has conceded for balls rising over the batsmen head that he is willing to still back his pace attack. “What they could have adjusted was the bouncers because they bowled quite a few bouncers that went for wide, but still, I’m not too disappointed because we are getting a lot of wickets out of the short paced deliveries”.

The bouncer has been a real success because of the long square boundaries at the grounds India has thus played on. Four of the five Indian games have been on MCG and the WACA, grounds where the boundaries ropes stretch over 80 meters.   Dhoni is aware of the fact that having three pace bowlers that can cross the 140km/h, it is not a simple task to clobber their bouncers over the ropes.

“Even if you give a few runs, that’s fair enough because most of the batsmen, they will find it difficult to clear the big outfields over here because some of the fields are just massive. You know, to hit a six will be a big challenge.”

But Indian bouncer strategy will need to be executed with perfection against Australia in the semi final. Not only, is the square boundaries at the SCG shorter than the MCG and WACA, Australia’s top order will cash in on another – in the bowlers half.

Apart from when Ireland’s William Porterfield, clobbered Umesh Yadav in the 2nd over for six in Hamilton, Indian bowlers are yet to confront opponents that will take on the short ball.

During the Test matches, Warner and Smith yielded abundance of runs against the short ball and were never dismissed by it. Only Watson fell prey to the short ball but that too when he had made 88 at the SCG.

Credit to the Indian bowlers, they have used the bouncer sparingly and wisely.   But against Australia they might need to be more cunning. It has worked to their benefit until now but if they overindulge in it or get carried away, India’s most lethal attacking weapon could well bring curtains to their World Cup campaign.







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