Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has opined on the bowling issues from the Asia Cup 2022 that India needs to address before the T20 World Cup that will take place in Australia next month. The Men in Blue failed to reach the final of the mega tournament after suffering defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage. They didn’t get the service of Jasprit Bumrah and T20 specialist Harshal Patel, who have now returned to the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “The venom was not seen in the bowling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is bowling well with the new ball. If you leave the 19th over, he has bowled well with the new ball for the last one year. But what about the death bowling? We are not getting anyone for the death bowling. Bumrah cannot be the answer to every question. If he is the answer to every question, then that doesn’t speak very highly of who we are. If you are saying that Harshal will come and manage, that is our belief, he has not done that in international cricket as of now because he has not played much.”
The Indian bowlers, however, have failed to defend targets of 182 and 174 against Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled in the 19th over on both occasions and failed to restrict the opponents as well.
Chopra added: “Spin bowling – wicket-taking options. We are not able to pick up wickets. We were unable to pick up wickets in the 2021 World Cup as well. You are struggling today as well that who will pick up wickets in the middle overs. Yuzi Chahal – I love him to bits, but in this entire tournament he had only one three-wicket haul and apart from that he had just one wicket – four wickets in the entire tournament. Whether Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin play – we don’t get wickets. So in my opinion, bowling is looking a little weak.”
He continued: “We can keep the Afghanistan match aside; we have lost wickets in clusters. When a wicket falls, one or two more wickets fall right after that. This has not happened once but every time, whenever the matches were stuck. You can see the first match against Pakistan, the second match against Pakistan or the Sri Lanka match. I will not talk about the Afghanistan match because we should not talk about that match, we shouldn’t talk about the Hong Kong match as well. So we are losing wickets in clusters in important matches.”
Aakash Chopra also highlighted that batting collapses saw the bowlers facing the key death overs as well. However, he said that India has a formidable batting lineup and believed a tweak in their batting approach slightly will help them do well.
“If we keep losing wickets in clusters, the bowlers are batting in the last two-three overs. Sometimes Bhuvi is batting; Ravi Bishnoi and Ravichandran Ashwin are batting at other times. We say batting is our strength, which is absolutely the case because (KL) Rahul, Rohit, (Virat) Kohli, SKY (Suryakumar Yadav), Hardik (Pandya), Pant/Dinesh Karthik – this is gun batting. But if it is gun, why there is no firing? It is not happening because you are losing wickets in clusters,” Aakash Chopra concluded.