T20 World Cup 2022: “It is a bit of a risk if you only take four pacers,” - Mitchell Johnson’s word of caution for India

Johnson feels that India might be a pacer short for the T20 World Cup 2022.

Team India | Getty

Former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson believes that Team India has played a little bit of a gamble by selecting only 4 specialist seamers in their 15-member roster for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Arshdeep Singh are all mainstays of India's pace attack, which is led by Jasprit Burmah. Hardik Pandya serves as the team's fifth pace bowling option. Deepak Chahar and Mohammad Shami were named as reserves.

Johnson, who is in India to compete in the Legends League Cricket, noted that the Men in Blue's roster combination seemed "a bit risky" and that they are likely "a pacer short" for the bouncy conditions on offer down under.

"If you got an all-rounder (fast bowling) and couple of spinners, four fast bowlers it is a bit of a risk. But India are probably looking at playing two pacers and an all-rounder (Hardik Pandya) and two spinners," he told PTI.

"In Australia, you surely need to play three fast bowlers, possibly four in certain conditions, for example, Perth. I guess they have a plan going in but it is a bit of a risk if you only take four (pacers),"  he added.

In the current bowling lineup of the Rohit Sharma-led side, only Jasprit Bumrah has the ability to clock 140 kph consistently. Johnson, though, believes that it is preferable to have a bowler who can complement the strike bowler rather than one who can bowl at those speeds.

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To further prove his point, he recounted how two medium pacers, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, supported him during the 2013–14 Ashes, in which they ran through England batters.

"During the 2013-14 Ashes, there was a lot of talk about me bowling fast and that was great but at the other end I had Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris who had their own strengths and could also hit 140s. So it is all about the balance in the team.

"The main thing in Australia is the extra bounce and pace and adjusting your length, you can get carried away and bowl a bit too short."  he added further.

Before the T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue will play a couple of three-match T20I series at home against Australia and South Africa. Finding the ideal playing lineup before the coveted competition will be the primary focus for them.



By Abhishek Ghan - 17 Sep, 2022

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