Australia 2020: Fast Bowlers on Challenging Australian Tour


Modified Nov 24, 2020 1:01 PM IST

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The Australian tour is set to get underway, and the test series is possibly the most awaited event of the year.

The last few seasons have seen India’s pace bowling depth go deeper and deeper.

The Indian side now can play different fast bowlers across formats.

They have the likes of Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, and T Natarajan in limited-overs who can confidently fill in for the regular superstars.

The fast bowling has undoubtedly improved and is getting better with each tour.

The fast bowlers have been adding more value as they improved in skills.

The last time India visited Australia in 2018, the fast bowlers enjoyed a lot of success.

This time they go with a few more fast bowlers, who have been rested well due to the lockdown and had some match practice in the IPL.

Let us now look at the fast bowlers for the test series.

Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah is the spearhead among India’s fast bowlers

Jasprit Bumrah started his career in Australia and returned for a successful test series in 2018-2019.

He picked up 21 wickets in the previous test series in Australia.

With Bumrah’s unique action, he can create unique angles.

He remains the X-factor among India’s fast bowlers and compliments his partners nicely.

There have been doubts about Bumrah’s effectiveness in test cricket, but those doubts have been quickly cleared as he did well overseas.

He can reach a good pace and bowled a delivery at 153 km/h last time in Australia.

Like last time, Bumrah remains the spearhead of the attack and is definitely among the world’s best.

This time he will have to contend with a more robust batting line-up as Warner and Smith will be present.

His battle with the two batsmen is crucial if India is to stand a chance during the tour.

Mohammad Shami:

Shami has been around the Indian set-up for quite a few years now and is on his third test tour of Australia.

He is a bowler with lots of experience but has had many struggles in the recent past.

He has struggled with injuries in the past but has stabilized his career to some extent.

He took 15 wickets on his first visit to Australia in 2014, playing in three tests.

He was relatively new and raw at that stage and has grown into a mature bowler during his next visit.

He picked up 16 wickets in four Tests in the 2018 series and was one of the best fast bowlers.

He has developed the yorker and is a second innings specialist.

His second innings exploits have been crucial for India, while he can also bowl at a high pace and specializes in the reverse swing.

His reverse swing may be necessary due to the saliva ban and the heat in Australia.

Shami has also come off a good IPL season, where he showed his development as a limited-overs fast bowler.

His game has been improving with each season, and he is eagerly waiting for the test series against Australia.

Mohammed Siraj:

Siraj and Saini are the two fast bowlers to earn their first test call ups

Mohammed Siraj has been on the fringes over the last few years due to strong domestic performances.

He has been given a chance in limited-overs cricket but couldn’t replicate his domestic skills in the IPL or for the Indian team.

IPL 2020 turned out to be a breakthrough season for him as he had some strong spells.

His performance in the IPL helped the selectors highlight his domestic numbers as he has now earned a test spot.

Siraj is one of the fast bowlers on tour and has been added to improve the depth as the pandemic may not quickly bring in replacements.

He is a talented bowler, as mentioned, and can move the ball well.

He has suffered a personal loss on arrival in Australia, losing his father, but has decided to stay back and play for the nation.

Umesh Yadav:

Umesh Yadav is another bowler who has been a part of the Indian set-up for years.

He has been playing tests for India since 2011 and is on his fourth tour of Australia.

Umesh Yadav has seen and been apart of some of the disastrous tours like the 4-0 defeat in 2011, and his experience is crucial in the absence of Ishant Sharma.

Along with experience, Umesh Yadav has been one of India’s best fast bowlers in home conditions.

Umesh Yadav is a fast bowler who bowls at a good pace and has been the fastest among Indian fast bowlers.

His highest speed is 152.2 km/h.

Despite all the talent he possesses, Umesh Yadav struggles to make the first team overseas due to his lack of control.

He only played in one test on the last visit to Australia, but in the absence of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav’s experience will be necessary.

Umesh Yadav has picked up 27 wickets in eight tests played in Australia.

He has a friendly bouncer and a smooth action, which may allow him to use the bounce in Australian pitches nicely.

Navdeep Saini:

Navdeep Saini has been a star in domestic cricket and is finally on his way to make a test debut.

Saini has already played a handful of overs games for India and has been selected for the test series after showing good form over the last few seasons.

He is an aggressive fast bowler with a raw pace and can touch speeds above 148 with ease.

Navdeep Saini’s action may also help extract the bounce on Australian pitches, allowing him to be the prime candidate to bowl alongside Bumrah and Shami.

His pace is an example of how India’s fast bowlers have grown over the years and is still growing.

Navdeep Saini looks set to make his debut, but it will be tough to see who is the third fast bowler for the test series with competition among spots.

Ishant Sharma:

Ishant’s availability is still uncertain

Ishant Sharma has still not been named in the test side after an injury but is still in line for a return.

He has suffered a fair share of injuries over the last year, but his return will undoubtedly boost India.

Ishant Sharma is three tests away from being the second Indian fast bowler to play a hundred tests.

He has been around for a long time and has some famous spells in Australia.

In Perth, 2008, his spell is an example of his skill and ability to bowl in Australia.

Ishant Sharma’s height makes him a crucial bowler as he can hit the deck hard and get the ball in awkward spots for the batsmen.

Over the last year, Ishant Sharma has also formed an excellent partnership with fast bowlers Shami, Bumrah, and Umesh Yadav.

Each of them knows their roles well and complement one another nicely.

With Ishant Sharma bowling long and accurate spells, he makes it easier for the others to come in and bowl in short bursts.

Ishant Sharma has picked up 30 wickets in thirteen tests played in Australia.


Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are likely to be the frontline pacers, with Ishant Sharma uncertain.

Incase Ishant Sharma is not fit; the discussion for the third pacer will be a tough one.

It is likely to be a toss-up between Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini, while the limited-overs matches may prove to be an audition for both Saini and Siraj.