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Champions Trophy bowling units

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Bowling_Analysis_CricketAt the end of IPL 10, Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond made a statement: “Bowlers are pretty much second-class citizens in white-ball cricket“. With Champions Trophy scheduled in England, all teams have tried to strengthen their bowling attacks. Selections were made to maximise use of English conditions. It will be interesting to see if the bowlers can contradict Shane Bond’s statement with their performances in Champions Trophy. Let’s have a look at the bowling combinations of different teams. 

India

Fast Bowlers: 5
Spinners: 4

India has 4 quality fast bowlers in their squad, each with a special skill set. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is likely to open the bowling as he has ability to swing the ball both ways. The English conditions are best for his bowling style. Opening with him is Umesh Yadav, who has been consistent with ball over entire season. He bowls in the mid 140s and has the capability to bounce the batsman. 

Mohammad Shami is making a comeback after a long time. He proved his worth in the warm-up game against New Zealand where he claimed 3 wickets. He is at his best when ball starts reversing. To complete the quartet India has Jasprit Bumrah. He is the death over specialist. To add to this power packed bowling line up, they have Hardik Pandya.

Spin department shouldn’t be a worry with 2 quality spinners - Ashwin and Jadeja. But Ashwin is coming back from injury and Jadeja didn’t have a good IPL with the ball. However, their experience of playing in the last Champions Trophy should be enough for them to support the quicks. Yuvraj and Kedar Jadhav will be effective part timers.

Australia

Fast Bowlers: 7
Spinners: 3

Australia has a fully charged pace battery and most options amongst all other teams. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were on complete rest. Now they are ready to fire. 

Like India, Australia too has got plenty of variety in their bowling attack. Starc and Hazlewood will be bowling in tandem and their left-arm, right-arm combination can be very dangerous. Pat Cummins had been brilliant in the IPL and will be playing for Australia after a long time. He has lethal bouncers and lethal pace. James Pattinson is also making a comeback. He will be looking to generate some pace and swing to justify his selection. Hastings, Henriques and Marcus Stonis have been selected as fast-medium bowling all-rounders.

Their spin department looks weak with Zampa the only full time bowler. Maxwell and Travis Head will provide part time support.

South Africa

Fast Bowlers: 6
Spinners: 3

Young Kagiso Rabada will be leading South Africa’s pace attack. He has been invaluable for South Africa and has filled in the shoes of Dale Steyn. In IPL and against England he showed his brilliance with ball. His Delhi Daredevils team mate, Chris Morris, has a responsibility to deliver with ball as well as with bat. Morris is South Africa’s go to man in death overs. 

Morne Morkel’s return to squad will be a huge benefit for South Africa. The lanky fast bowler has bounced out some of the best batsmen in the past. Wayne Parnell is a left arm fast bowler and will likely open the bowling with Rabada. Dwaine Pretorius is a backup for Morris, being equally talented with ball and bat. They have included Phehlukwayo, another bowling all-rounder. Just like Australia, their pace arsenal looks good on paper.

The spin department completely rests on the shoulders of Imran Tahir. He will seek to replicate his T20 success in one day cricket as well. As backup, they have Keshav Maharaj’s left arm orthodox and JP Duminy’s part time offspin.

England

Fast Bowlers: 6
Spinners: 3

England’s fast bowling looks a bit green but they rose to the occasion recently against South Africa, bowling really well at the death. Mark Wood and Jake Ball can bowl at the start as well as at the end of the innings. Liam Plunkett provides express pace. Then there is England’s most valuable player- Ben Stokes, if his knee allows him to bowl consistently. David Willey will have to wait for his chance, but being the only left arm quick might just make it to playing eleven against some teams.

Chris Woakes was another invaluable fast-bowling all-rounder, but his injury has meant Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones or Tom Curran will most likely take his place.

The spin department looks as weak as most other teams. Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and part timer Joe Root will spin as required.

Pakistan

Fast Bowlers: 5
Spinners: 4

Pakistan always has a surprise element with their fast bowlers. They have got 3 left arm quicks- Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan. Pakistan also has lots of variations in bowling line up. Amir will swing the ball upfront. Wahab Riaz will be fast, furious and looking to repeat his 2015 World Cup performance. Junaid Khan generates lethal pace to trouble the batsman. 

Along with these, they have Hasan Ali, bowling right arm fast, and Fahim Ashraf who can turn things around with medium pace bowling like he did with the bat in warm up games.

Pakistan have opted for 2 left arm slows- Fakhar Zaman and Imad Wasim as well as the young legspinner Shadab Khan. Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez provide part time offspin.

New Zealand

Fast Bowlers: 7
Spinners: 3

Along with India and Australia, New Zealand has the most balanced fast bowling unit. Their two southpaws- Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult - are seasoned campaigners. McClenaghan likes to hit the deck hard while Boult can swing it both ways with help from the conditions. With these two, they have rightie Tim Southee who is again primary bowler to give them breakthroughs upfront. This is the same bowling line up that New Zealand used in 2015 World Cup, when they ended up as runners up. 

Adam Milne adds some pace to complete the quartet. Apart from these, Corey Anderson, James Neesham and Colin De Grandhomme are all-rounders who will be handy for New Zealand.

Interestingly New Zealand have opted for Jeetan Patel who has lots of experience of playing county cricket. Santner is another spinner New Zealand has gone for. With only one of them expected to play in the playing eleven, captain Williamson might need to roll his arm if they need some off spin option.

Sri Lanka

Fast Bowlers: 6
Spinners: 2

Sri Lanka’s bowling still mainly depends on Lasith Malinga. Malinga’s experience and performance will decide Sri Lanka’s journey in Champions Trophy. Nuwan Kulasekara swings the ball both ways but is not the most reliable. Nuwan Pradeep and S Lakmal have a huge opportunity to rise to the occasion. They both have played Test cricket here during Sri Lanka’s last tour of England. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera provide fast bowling options as part timers.

Seekkuge Prasanna is a pinch-hitting legspinner to go with his counterpart, the only Chinaman bowler in tournament- Lakshan Sandakan.

Bangladesh

Fast Bowlers: 5
Spinners: 5

Bangladesh’s bowling line up has improved vastly. This is perhaps the best bowling line up in the history of Bangladesh. Mashrafe Mortaza is the most experienced bowler. Mustafizur Rehman is their death overs specialist. Along with these two they have Rubel Hussain, Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam as fast bowling options. 

Unlike other teams, all of Bangladesh’s all-rounders are spinners. Young Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mossadek Hossain and Mahmadullah bowl offspin and the experienced Shakib al Hasan bowls slow left arm orthodox. Also bowling slow left arm is Sunzamul Islam.

 

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