Pace Bowling Attack Analysis: India vs Australia Test series

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India defeated the Aussies in their own soil for the first time ever in their history in 2018. One of the main reasons why they were able to conquer the frontier was because of their exceptional bowling attack. They didn’t allow the Aussie batsmen to score more than 326 runs in an innings in the entire series. That’s phenomenal if you restrict Aussies at their own backyard to not even a single 400-run score.

However, in that series, Australia had lost their main batsmen- Steve Smith and David Warner, due to the sandpaper-gate scandal. And at the same time, the Aussie bowling attack looked mediocre against the Indians. Now, with two of their main batsmen coming in and with an in-form Marnus Labuschagne. Could India replicate the same in this series too? Let’s see where the pace attack of each team stands ahead of the series:

Indian Bowling Attack:

India’s main pacers Bumrah, Shami and Ishant (doubtful for this series) played an integral part in destroying the Australian batting order in the previous series. However, with Steve Smith, David Warner and an in form Labuschagne coming in for the series, it’ll be a tough challenge for the Indian bowlers to replicate the same in this series. 

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah, Shami and Ishant (Image Source: Twitter)

Let’s see how the numbers of Indian pacers stack up against the main Australian batsmen in Tests:

Note: Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne are excluded because of the fact that Burns didn’t face a single ball against this bowling attack and Labuschagne has hardly faced many deliveries against this pace trio. 

Steve Smith vs Indian pacers: 

Bumrah vs Smith – Smith hasn’t faced a single delivery against Bumrah in Test cricket. 

Shami vs Smith- Smith averages 112 against Shami and has got out to him only once in his career. Smith currently has a huge edge over Shami in Test cricket. 

Ishant vs Smith- Smith averages 176 against Ishant and once has got out to him only once. Once again Smith has a huge edge over Ishant. 

David Warner vs Indian pacers:

Bumrah vs Warner- Warner hasn’t faced a single delivery against Bumrah in Test cricket. 

Shami vs Warner- Warner has scored 72 runs in 76 deliveries against Shami and Shami is yet to get Warner out in Test cricket. 

Ishant vs Warner- Warner averages 49.67 against Ishant and has got out to Ishant thrice in his career. Seems that Warner has an edge over Ishant in this battle too. 

Travis Head vs Indian pacers:

Bumrah vs Head- Head averages 32 against Bumrah and has got out to him only once. It seems that it’s a close battle, but you got to give it to Bumrah.

Shami vs Head- Head averages just 26 against Shami and has got out twice to him. Surely you have to give the win to Shami. 

Ishant vs Head- Head averages 18.33 against Ishant and has got out thrice to him. Well, once again an Indian pacer wins. 

From these stats, we find that both Shami and Ishant Sharma have struggled to knock Warner and Smith. Meanwhile, Bumrah hasn’t bowled to Smith and Warner in Test cricket. And Labuschagne, Burns or Pucovski haven’t faced Bumrah, Shami and Ishant a lot. So it’ll be an interesting clash between these two teams. 

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Smith and Warner (Image credit: Paul Kane/Getty Image)

Australian Pace Attack:

The Australian pace trio of Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood struggled a lot to break through the defences of the Indian batting order. But in this series, Kohli won’t be available for the last 3 Test matches and that’s a nail in the coffin for the Indian batting order. The pace trio has to face a much-weaker batting order with no Kohli in the side for the last 3 games. Let’s see how well they fare against the Indian batsmen.

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The Aussie Pace trio with Lyon (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

These are the stats for the main Indian Test batsmen against Australian bowling attack (Pujara, Rahane and Pant) 

Pujara vs Aussie pacers:

Pujara vs Cummins-  Pujara averages 53.5 against Cummins and has got out twice against him. The domination is clearly by Pujara on Cummins.

Pujara vs Starc- Pujara averages 84 against Starc and has got out twice to him. Once again it’s Pujara all the way.

Pujara vs Hazlewood- Pujara averages 50.25 against Hazlewood and has got out 4 times to him. Pujara has a slight upper hand. 

Rahane vs Aussie pacers:

Rahane vs Cummins- Rahane averages 42.5 against Cummins and has got out to him twice. It’s a tie between both of them.

Rahane vs Starc- Rahane averages 50 against Starc and has got out to him twice. This time though, Rahane wins the battle.

Rahane vs Hazlewood- Rahane averages 30.25 against Hazlewood and has got to him four times. It’s Josh for the win.

Pant vs Aussie pacers:

Pant vs Cummins– Pant has scored 34 runs in 57 balls off Cummins and has never got out to him. It’s Pant to save the day for India.

Pant vs Starc- Pant averages 80 against Starc and has got out to him only once. Bang!! From Rishabh Pant.

Pant vs Hazlewood- Pant averages 54 against Hazlewood and has got to him only a single time. That’s a great win for Rishabh Pant.

The Aussie quicks clearly have struggled a lot to bowl to Pant and Pujara. These were the ones who toiled them in the last series. Rahane, however, has an up and down case against the Aussie quicks. But with Kohli’s absence, will the batting order remain fantastic as in the last Test series?

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Pujara and Pant in a Partnership (PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Image)

It’s clear that the Aussie quicks have an advantage over the Indian quicks because of the fact that India no longer has its best batsman, Virat Kohli, on its side. It’s clear that the pacers will play a major factor in the outcome of the series as in the last one. Let’s wait and see whether India hunt their second series win in Australia or the Kangaroos win the series and continue to stay on the top of the Test Championship.

 

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