Former pacer Zaheer Khan on Friday (January 8) showered rich praise on India’s young fast-bowling attack, saying the group has enough variety to maintain its success at the highest level.
Australia were bundled out for 191, 195 and 200 in three out of the four innings of first two Tests at Adelaide and Melbourne, with pacers claiming 23 wickets.
In the ongoing Test at SCG, the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and debutant Navdeep Saini shared five wickets between themselves in Australia’s first innings.
The absence of veteran Ishant Sharma due to injury sustained prior to the tour, and the subsequent injuries to Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav don’t seem to have impacted the visiting side.
“It’s really heartening to see how Indian fast bowlers have performed in this series. Jasprit Bumrah has led the pace attack really well in the absence of Ishant and Shami. Then, Siraj has adjusted at the international level admirably, which shows the kind of talent that is coming up and pushing the senior guys,” Zaheer said in an exclusive chat with Firstpost.
The former left-arm seamer praised the country’s cricketing infrastructure and the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the development of the fast bowlers.
“I am happy with the overall fast bowling scene in India and how it has evolved over the years. I think credit must be given to the cricketing system in the country that has ensured that bowlers look a lot ready and have access to the right knowledge at the right time in their careers.
“Then, IPL has also played a major role in the development of bowlers. It has given youngsters an opportunity to rub shoulders with world-class bowlers which has really helped their development. All these factors have combined to play an instrumental role in the journey of fast bowling in India.”
According to Zaheer, Indian pace attack has enough variety even though it comprises entirely right-arm bowlers.
“Well, it is really surprising that we don’t have a left-arm pacer, but I believe that all bowlers are distinct in their own ways. Bumrah creates an awkward angle for the batsmen with his unique action; Ishant generates extra bounce with his height; Umesh swings the ball; Shami’s seam position is immaculate and he hits beautiful lengths.
“Then, we have newcomers in Saini and Siraj, both of whom have been impressive. Saini bowls out and out quick and has all the makings of a good Test bowler, and Siraj slipped into the role of the third seamer wonderfully in the second Test. I think this bowling unit is constantly pushing the bar and is striving for excellence. Their progress is truly satisfying to see,” Zaheer, who picked up 311 wickets in Test cricket, remarked.