IND vs NZ: Team to have four pacers for upcoming Test in February 2020?

Updated: 26 November, 2019 08:29 IST | Debasish Datta | Kolkata

Possibility of fielding four fast bowlers - Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav - in opening Test against Kiwis at Wellington in February discussed at the end of pink ball game at Kolkata

Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami
Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami

Kolkata: Virat Kohli may have brushed aside suggestions that his team are comparable to the dominant West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s, at the conclusion of the pink ball Test against Bangladesh on Sunday.

But like the then West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, the India skipper has four fast bowlers, who he could field in a playing XI. Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have been a handful for India's opponents of late and future foes would shudder to think what kind of a devastating force the Indian pace pack can be once Jasprit Bumrah is back to peak fitness after enduring a stress fracture in his lower back. Bumrah is expected to return for the tour of New Zealand.

A source in the Indian camp revealed that the possibility of playing four pacemen in the opening Test against New Zealand at Wellington on February 21 was discussed in the dressing room after India trounced Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the day-night Test here on Sunday. "Ishant, Shami and Umesh form a triangle. Bumrah coming in will give rise to a rectangle and India are keen to thrive on their pace arsenal," said the source.

It won't be the first time that India will go in with four pacers. Kohli's team for the December 14-18, 2018 Test against Australia at Perth included the quartet. However, the tourists went on to lose that Test held at the new Perth Stadium. An all-pace attack can prove counter-productive as Australia learnt in their 2007-08 Test against India at the same venue where India won their first Test at the Western Australian ground known for its pacy conditions.

The Basin Reserve is known to favour swing bowlers and the Indians would be licking their lips in anticipation. It's a venue where they have registered only one win—way back in 1967-68—in seven Tests there. The emphasis was certainly not on fast bowling way back then as medium pacers Rusi Surti and S Abid Ali opened the bowling in the first innings while ML Jaisimha partnered left-armer Surti in the second innings.

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First Published: 26 November, 2019 08:15 IST

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