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Check out India ideal bowling attack for Asia Cup 2022

With the exclusion of pacer Jasprit Bumrah, the things have gotten little difficult at India bowling front, with the announced squad lets take a look at the probable best bowling attack for India at Asia Cup

Aug 12, 2022

Check out India ideal bowling attack for Asia Cup 2022
Check out India ideal bowling attack for Asia Cup 2022

In a little over two weeks time, one of cricket's great rivalries will see its next instalment: India vs Pakistan.

The Asia Cup 2022 begins on August 27, featuring two pools of three which each play down to two teams that will enter the Super Four phase. India and Pakistan have been drawn together alongside a qualifier, and will face off in the second match of the tournament, on August 28.

With Pakistan boasting a star-studded batting line up, including two of the world's top three batsmen at the moment, India will have to choose their bowling line up well. Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan will be eager to feast on India's bowling like they did nine months ago at the 2021 T20 World Cup, but the men in blue will be equally determined to make amends.

Having played 21 T20Is so far in 2022, and used 15+ different bowlers in their playing XI, India are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking their best bowling attack for the Asia Cup 2022.

Below, we analyse India's bowling options and present our best picks for India's opening match against Pakistan.

Injuries Force a Revised Pace Attack

Of the many different bowlers India have used so far this year, 11 have been pace bowlers.

However, the side find themselves in a little bit of trouble two weeks out from their first game of the Asia Cup 2022, as several of their first choice options are ruled out with injury.

Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the best short-form bowler in the world when he's playing consistently, has been ruled out of the Asia Cup 2022 with a back injury. Though he's only fronted for one of India's T20Is this year, there's no doubt he would have been part of India's plans for the 2022 T20 World Cup, and his injury is a setback heading into the Asia Cup 2022. Harshal Patel, who has picked up 23 wickets in 16 innings this year, is also ruled out with injury.

That leaves Bhuvneshwar Kumar as India's premier fast bowler for the Asia Cup 2022. Having picked up 23 wickets in 18 innings at an economy of less than seven runs per over, Kumar is a world-class bowler, ranked within the top ten of the ICC Men's T20I Bowler Rankings. The question is, who will join him in bowling at the death?

Former Indian coach R Sridhar believes Mohammad Shami should get a recall, and there's merit to that argument given his experience. However, Arshdeep Singh is shaping up as the best fast bowling partner for Kumar, with his Player of the Series performance against the West Indies this month. In the six matches he's played for India following his breakthrough IPL, the fast bowler has taken nine wickets at 6.33, showcasing his excellent yorker.

Expect Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Patel to spearhead India's pace attack.

Spoilt For Choice With All-Rounders

Everyone knows that great T20 sides are built off the back of world class all-rounders.

In this department, India are spoilt for choice, with three of T20's best all-rounders in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin.

Expect at least two of these three to feature in India's bowling attack this Asia Cup 2022, if not all three. Hardik Pandya is a sure thing, with his right-arm fast-medium providing excellent support to the fast bowling duo of Kumar and Singh. As the first Indian to take 50 wickets and score 500 runs in T20Is, Pandya bolsters both India's bowling and batting.

Ravindra Jadeja is also likely to feature, with his experience and ability to contribute through bat and ball. With 422 runs and 50 wickets, plus incredible athleticism in the field, the spinner adds depth to the Indian side. He is competing with the likes of Pandya and Karthik for a spot in the batting line up, and Axar Patel in the bowling line up - but the combination of both his strengths should see Jadeja stave off the competition.

Ravi Ashwin is the most likely of India's all-rounders to miss out on a spot in the XI, as he contributes less with the bat, without being significantly stronger as a bowler than the likes of Ravi Bishnoi or Ravindra Jadeja.

One Specialist Spinner or Two?

The questions that remains for India, is whether they include one specialist spinner or two in their bowling line up.

Yuzvendra Chahal is the premier spinner and assured of a spot in the XI, given his performances this year. Ranked 22 in the ICC Men's T20I Bowler Rankings, Chahal is India's leading wicket taker in T20Is, and was the Purple Cap winner in this year's IPL. He formed part of India's winning 2018 Asia Cup team, and is sure to retain his position for the opening game against Pakistan.

This leaves Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel as India's other specialist spin options. Do they chose one of these ahead of Ashwin, or even opt to only take five bowlers in order to bolster their batting line up even more?

Ravi Bishnoi is a good wicket taking option, with 15 scalps in his first nine T20I matches for India, including a 4/16 just a few days ago against the West Indies. Axar Patel on the other hand offers a good economy rate, and the ability to contribute with the bat as well.

Expect Ravi Bishnoi to be ahead of Axar Patel in the race for India's second specialist spinner position, but they both may well lose out to Ashwin or an extra batter.

Our Pick for India's Asia Cup 2022 Bowling Attack

Here are the six bowling options we think India will select to make up their bowling attack in the opening match of the Asia Cup 2022 against Pakistan:

  • Hardik Pandya
  • Ravindra Jadeja
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  • Yuzvendra Chahal
  • Arshdeep Singh
  • Ravi Bishnoi

India's bowling attack all depends on how they choose to combat Pakistan's batting firepower.

Will India choose a wicket taking option like Ravi Bishnoi, or a run-scoring option like Ravi Ashwin; or even, opt to only take five bowlers, in order to select another specialist batter like Deepak Hooda or Dinesh Karthik?

Given that two of India's key bowlers, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, both have the ability to bat at number six, there's a good chance India will opt to take a second specialist spinner in Ravi Bishnoi.

All will be revealed in a fortnight from now, when the playing XI's are announced for India vs Pakistan on August 28.