Decoding India’s Pace Attack for T20I World Cup 2021

After a successful T20I series against England, India’s confidence is sky-high. India outclassed England, especially in the last 2 T20I’s. What’s more important and satisfying for India in those two games was their bowling. India has immensely struggled while defending totals in the shortest format. Death bowling and bowling in Powerplay has been a major concern. Fortunately, Indian pacers didn’t disappoint the skipper Kohli this time around. They bowled hard lengths and also provided breakthroughs whenever needed.

Now, with the T20 World Cup not being far away, it’s time to look at India’s pace attack for the same. Players will also have an eye on the IPL 2021 which will be starting next month, to impress the selectors. Here’s a look at the confirmed bowlers in the pace attack:

The confirmed pace attack of India in the T20I World Cup:

Jasprit Bumrah:

Though Jasprit Bumrah missed the complete T20I series against England, he’s expected to be back in the squad for the T20 World cup. He’s India’s leading bowler, after all. Bumrah last played a T20I game a year ago against New Zealand in Bay Oval.

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Although he played IPL later, he didn’t play a T20I game for a year now. He was rested for the T20I series against Australia considering his workload. The 27-year-old had a fantastic IPL season. He took 27 wickets in the 15 matches which he played, at an economy of just 6.73. Even though he will be India’s lead bowler in the World Cup, he still needs to find his rhythm back coming after a break, to get fully prepared for the World cup.

Mohammed Shami:

Similar to Bumrah, Shami also missed the England series. Shami got injured in the first Test against Australia. He was ruled out of the remainder of the series and has been recovering since then. He’ll be back in action in the IPL 2021. Shami, accompanied by Bumrah, will lead the fast-bowling attack for India in the World Cup.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar:

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggled a lot with his injuries in the recent past. Fortunately, he not only came back in the T20I series against England but also came back in full flow. He was handling the new ball exceptionally well, which is his forté. Moreover, he was economical in the death overs as well which is a positive sign for India.

He will join Bumrah and Shami, being the preferred third pacer for the T20I World Cup.

T Natarajan:

T Natarajan is still living his dream, right from the IPL. Natarajan was outstanding in the IPL 2020. He was nailing the yorkers against giants of the game including AB de Villiers. He ended up taking 16 wickets in 16 games, more importantly, he bowled the highest number of yorkers in the season.

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This earned Natarajan a call in the Indian squad for the most anticipated Australian tour. In three T20I games which he played, he picked 6 wickets while bowling at an economy of 6.91. Moreover, he was the most economical pacer for India in the Australian series. This all was enough for him to fix his spot in the Indian squad. He’ll be used to add variety in the bowling department in the World Cup.

Shardul Thakur:

Shardul Thakur has emerged as the surprise package for India. He got the habit of picking wickets in the middle overs right from the Australian tour. By constantly providing breakthroughs to his skipper, he has almost confirmed his spot confirmed for the T20I World Cup.

He might not be in the playing XI, but will surely be selected in the squad.

These 5 bowlers will definitely be in the squad for the T20I World Cup. Still, there are certain players in contention for the same, and hence, IPL will be an important opportunity for them to prove their worth. Let’s take a look at those players:

Bowlers for whom the IPL 2021 is crucial

Deepak Chahar:

Deepak Chahar was an integral part of the Indian bowling attack in T20Is for a year or two. Having played 13 games, he operated the new ball efficiently more often than not. He recently played the T20I series in Australia. He didn’t seem in great touch in those 3 matches though. In fact, he ended up with an economy of over 9.20, which isn’t satisfactory. But, still, he’s a good new-ball bowler with the ability to swing it both ways.

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Unfortunately, he didn’t feature in the playing XI in the T20I series against England with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being of the same kind in the XI. He can still come back to the team, provided he gives a number of economical spells in the IPL 2021. Hence, it’ll be a very important season for him as far as selection for the World Cup is concerned.

Khaleel Ahmed:

Khaleel Ahmed was the part of T20I setup in 2019. Later, he gave a dreadful performance against Bangladesh conceding 7 consecutive boundaries in a T20I match. It eventually turned out to be his last series, he didn’t get the chance ever since. He too will be hoping to get a good performance in the IPL 2021.

Navdeep Saini:

Navdeep Saini didn’t get a game in the T20I series against England or Australia. He certainly has some serious pace on his side but has failed to control it. Saini’s lack of control was the talking point in the IPL 2020 season as well wherein he was bowling too many full tosses in the death. He needs to just work on his control without changing his pace, if he does that, he might get on the bus for the T20I World Cup.

Jaydev Unadkat:

Jaydev Unadkat made his T20I debut back in 2016. He was having a really good time on the field back then. He was having good rhythm with the new ball followed by superb off-cutters in the death. Although he still has that, the execution seems to be going wrong. That’s the reason, he was out of the scheme of things from 2018.

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With the speculations of Jofra Archer missing the IPL 2021, Unadkat might be the lead bowler of RR, accompanied by Chris Morris. Hence, he’ll have a significant role to play in the absence of Jofra Archer. And if he does well, he might be an addition to India’s pace attack.

Featured Image: Jasprit Bumrah | Instagram

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