India’s Grey Clouds Of Depression

ALSO READ: Bhuvneshwar ruled out of first three Tests against England

But now, both Bhuvi (lower back) and Bumrah (thumb) are out with injuries. While the UP seamer won't be available for at least the first three Tests, Bumrah is definitely out of the series opener in Birmingham and there's a possibility that he may miss the second Test as well. It will mean that India will have to go back to the likes of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami to provide the breakthroughs.

In England, seam bowlers generally get ample assistance and Bhuvi, who has the ability to move the ball around both in the air and off the seam, would have been the man India could bank on to provide the early breakthroughs. In addition to that, there are sessions in that part of the world when there's a sudden cloud cover and the ball tends to do that extra bit. Bhuvi has shown over the years he is good at making the most of such conditions with his swing.

Bumrah, on the other hand, comes from an awkward angle and he showed in South Africa that his pace can be handy, especially on tracks which have a bit of an up and down bounce.


While the Indian fans are worried whether the trio of Umesh, Ishant and Shami would be able to make the kind of impact that is needed to take 20 wickets, former India paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji sounds more confident. "If you have noticed tall pacers, if they are hitting a good length, always do well against England. There's often a spongy bounce on English tracks around this time of the year that comes in handy for tall pacers. Ishant won a Test match at Lord's (in 2014) and I think it's the discipline that's going to matter," Balaji, the Chennai Super Kings bowling coach, said.

In that Test match, Ishant troubled all the English batsmen with the short ball and the entire middle-order capitulated trying to be aggressive against the lanky paceman. Four years have passed since then and Ishant is not always an automatic choice in the Indian line-up these days. "But in England, his experience will come in handy. And don't forget, pacers have to be consistent and bowl for long periods there and Ishant, in the longer format, can do that," Balaji added.

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