When you question India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey about working with a bowling unit that is finally at full strength, you can feel the relief. For the better part of three years, India has been dealing with an unusual spate of injuries; yet, Jasprit Bumrah’s return for the World Cup is a blessing that the country is starting to learn to live without.
“Ask me about it, man,” Mhambrey responded when asked how nice it was to have the entire band back together at last. He made no effort to hide his relief. “It’s been difficult. The past few years have been really difficult. It is difficult to be without someone such as Bumrah. In the last three games he has played, you have seen him. what he offers as a contribution. He bowls at a very high level. He provides you with the breakthrough you need to make the powerplays. He is an excellent, lethal bowler who is well-suited to bowl in the middle overs. We truly did miss him.”
A World Cup without Bumrah was a clear reality rather than just a dream or an idea. Bumrah’s return was attributed by Mhambrey to the medical professionals at both the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and the team.
“We must credit the staff back at the NCA, the medical department, the physios out there, and out here as well,” Mhambrey stated. “And for the past few years, they have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to get him from where he was to this place. Thus, they deserve praise as well.”
As Bumrah was recovering from surgery for a stress fracture in his back, Mohammed Siraj had the chance to establish himself as one of the best ODI bowlers in the world. Although Siraj hasn’t quite been as good as he was before the World Cup, the team management was pleased with the way he regained his length and turned things around in the match against Pakistan, even though he had given up 18 runs in his opening two overs.
Siraj may not have been at his best because these balls aren’t really swinging too much. The balls were moving for the quicks more frequently and for longer periods of time in the run-up to the World Cup, which made Siraj a real threat. His average of 50.66 and economy of 6.46 thus far in this competition stand in stark contrast to the other bowlers from India.
If India’s outstanding effort has been criticized in any way, it’s likely because Siraj has taken a while to get used to the lack of swing. India won’t likely go to sleep over it, though. First of all, since they can have one bowler go for runs thanks to their strong attack. Second, Siraj started to adapt in order to counter Pakistan.
Perhaps more crucially, the only locations where the ball has swung correctly this World Cup are those where India will play its next round of matches. They will play England in Lucknow and New Zealand in Dharamsala, two locations where fast bowlers have enjoyed some success. The match against Bangladesh will also take place in Pune, an open venue without any wind-blocking roofs or high stands.
“We choose the combination that works well on the surface. He’s been a fantastic lad that way. He’s a terrific team player, and he knows it. In the brief years that he has been with us, I have never witnessed him being grumpy or whining.”
Mhambrey Paras on R Ashwin
Mhambrey did mention that he had to bench Mohammed Shami, a bowler with one of the finest strike rates in One-Day International cricket and the ability to exploit the new ball. Mhambrey stated, “It is never an easy decision.” “However, I believe the discussions are ongoing; we had a clear exchange with him. Every time we choose a squad, we make it very apparent what we think. that we select the team we believe is best for that particular wicket.
“And occasionally, I believe you will miss out. He is not the only one who is losing out; Ash [R Ashwin] is also losing out. And that’s how we communicate with each other. We are rather explicit. It’s a tough choice, to be honest, considering the qualities that Shima offers to the team, the new ball, and death. However, since there are only 11 players on the pitch, you must make that choice.”
Shardul Thakur or Ashwin, who may also be a useful batsman, will remain the fourth specialist bowler. Pune may still be a ground that benefits from the extra seamer due to its small boundaries and generally flat pitch, even though Ashwin can take advantage of the breeze.
“It’s been a really tough one when you have a world-class bowler amongst your 15 and are unable to… we don’t get an opportunity to give him a game,” Mhambrey remarked on Ashwin. “You have to make that difficult decision; it’s a tough one. However, the team has always been the topic of discussion for us—not just before this game, but also throughout the past few years.
“We choose the combination that works well on the surface. He’s been a fantastic lad that way. He’s a terrific team player, and he knows it. I haven’t witnessed him being grumpy or whining once in the several years that he has been with us.
Thus, having a team player like that member is quite beneficial. He deserves all the credit. Even after all these years, he remains there, wants to do well for the team, shows up for practice each day, puts in the hard work, and continues to bowl.”