Dustbowls anybody? Umesh and Shami are destroying teams with pace

"The Indian pacers these days are oozing with confidence. They bowl to take wickets. They love to see stumps flying and they orgasm at the sight of batsmen fending for themselves with closed eyes"

Shivam Singh

Third test match, South Africa’s tour of India, the visiting side is following again. Quinton De Kock is at the crease, promoted to arrest some momentum for the Proteas. They had been trying tricks to get something going for them –they sent out Bavuma at the toss previously for some luck, didn’t work.

Umesh Yadav has the ball. He comes steaming in and in a fraction of second De Kock’s stump goes cartwheeling toward the leg slip. Kohli hastens to his pacer. They share a confident laugh, more like a smirk, something similar to what West Indians would do in their days, an air of condescension about it.

South Africans are 10 for 1. The ball goes to Shami, err.. ‘Second Innings Shami’. He runs in gun barrel straight, like one of those runners from a famous mobile game. He sends down a ripper that smacks into Hamza’s off stump. Gone! They are 2 down to two Indian fast bowlers. And guess what? The best one isn’t even playing!

It’s a familiar sight in test cricket -touring teams crumbling down on Indian pitches, just the weapon has changed. They can’t accuse us of producing dustbowls and cleaning them up with a barrage of spin anymore. We do have spinners, two world-beaters in Ashwin and Jadeja. But they have been quite underworked in the series. The Indian pace duo of Shami and Umesh has blown away the top order inning after inning. And what makes it more impressive is the sharp contrast in which Rabada and company have bowled. The famed South African attack hasn’t been able to cause even a dent in Indian line up. Indian batsmen have piled up 500s with consistency. When Rohit Sharma is hooking those short-pitched balls for sixes, the pitch looks like a flat deck. And the moment ball changes sides, wickets start tumbling to vicious bouncers (remember De-Kock’s dismissal from the first innings).

So what has caused the turnaround for Indian pacers? There is a lot to it. And while the work that has been going on behind the door cannot be neglected, it has more to do with the change in culture. The Indian pacers these days are oozing with confidence. They bowl to take wickets. They love to see stumps flying and they orgasm at the sight of batsmen fending for themselves with closed eyes. The sense of being part of a team that boasts to be the best in the world has contributed to this confidence. They are no more bowlers who complete quotas. They are predators who come out full throttle and attack the batsmen.

Indian team is in a great space at the moment, one that invites envy. The supply is far greater than demand. They are easily the team to beat in world cricket. They can just go anywhere in the world and you can be assured the hosts would be wary. They can’t produce green wickets, we have the swing. They can’t lay out bouncy pitches, we got pace. Spin is still our core strength. The only way to beat India these days it seems is to produce a flat deck and hope to out-bat them. Well, good luck with that.


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