Former Indian cricketer Balwinder Singh Sandhu has blasted the Indian pacers for their mediocre show in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. Though the Indian fast bowlers did not give too much of a lead in the first innings, they went wicketless in the second innings. Balwinder Singh Sandhu noted that Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah looked like rookie players.
Ishant Sharma took three wickets in the first innings, while Jasprit Bumrah ended up wicketless in both the innings. Mohammed Shami did the heavy lifting in the first innings by taking four scalps and troubling the Kiwi batsmen more often. The fourth innings saw the Indian pacers deliver plenty of looseners, while Bumrah was unlucky not to get Ross Taylor’s wicket as Cheteshwar Pujara missed a simple catch at second slip.
On the other hand, New Zealand bowlers were profusely successful in their task as their four-pronged pace attack returned rich dividends. Kyle Jamieson, the man of the match, snared seven wickets in both innings combined and dismissed some of the key Indian batsmen to keep the opposition on the back foot. Furthermore, the likes of Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Trent Boult did their part immensely well.
You have to make them play off the front foot: Balwinder Singh Sandhu
Balwinder Singh Sandhu noted that India bowled at different lengths on Sunday and Monday, claiming that bowlers need to encourage the batsmen to play off the front foot in England. The 64-year old believes that pitching the ball is the only way by which bowlers could get wickets. Sandhu criticized Ishant Sharma for bowling like a rookie even after playing more than 100 Tests as Mohammed Shami did his role of leading the attack. He also felt that Jasprit Bumrah was disappointing as the ball was no seaming.
“The Indians bowled short of length on Sunday but on Tuesday they pitched the ball up. You have to make them play off the front foot. The bowlers may be rusty but you take wickets by pitching it up and letting the batsmen drive off the front foot. Even after playing 100 Tests, Ishant looked like a newcomer to me. He should be leading the attack but Shami is doing that role. Bumrah, too, was disappointing with the ball not seaming,” Balwinder Singh Sandhu said as quoted by Hindustan Times.