By Vishal Sangwan
India’s batting vs Pakistan’s bowling, the deciding factor of every encounter of the storied rivalry…YET!
As the Bob Dylan song goes “Oh! The times they are a-changing”
Indian team has always sported a boastful batting line up and it still has one of the strongest top 3 in the world cup but what makes this Indian team a contender for the world cup is its well rounded bowling attack.
The team is blessed with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, the two make the new ball talk and have developed a knack for picking wickets. They come back towards the later part of the inning and wrap things up at a paltry rate, checking off everything required out of fast bowlers.
Followed up by the spin-twins, Kuldeep and Chahal. The two spinners seem to be the hungriest for wickets, they draw every batsman to take a chance. Oftener than not having the last laugh.
Add Hardik’s bouncers and Jadhav’s barely bouncing deliveries to that and you have a complete bowling attack. Oh and there’s a resurgent Shami waiting in the wings to spit fire if anything goes wrong.
On the other hand, Pakistan, historically known for having some of the fiercest bowling attacks, is merely a shadow of its glory days.
The Pakistani bowling attack that would sting the best batting line ups across the world, barely defended a score of 348 but let’s not forget it was their batsmen who posted it.
One cannot count them out just because their bowling has slacked a little as their batting has stepped up remarkably in the past year to make up for it with their top 3, all averaging in excess of 50, followed by an experienced middle order (something the Indian team lacks) Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and their captain Sarfaraz. It’s almost the same batting line up that beat India in the 2017 champions trophy final. Pakistan would be looking back at their performance in that match for inspiration.
Who could have predicted that India will be the one with the more menacing bowling attack while Pakistan’s batting line up will look more settled and balanced? Makes one wonder, are we in a different timeline? Stranger things have happened on the field when the two teams have collided but the one constant at the biggest stage has been the outcome.