In Jasprit Bumrah, India have the world’s number one ranked bowler, but this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has shown their attack is about more than one man.
Bumrah was brilliant once again in the 125-run victory over the West Indies at Old Trafford, taking 2/9 from his six overs.
However, it is the rest of the attack, from Mohammed Shami, who took four wickets for the second straight game, to Hardik Pandya, emerging as viable fifth option, as well as spin pair Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, that has made India such a formidable proposition.
For the second successive game, they were forced to defend a relatively small total, 268 on this occasion, and they did so convincingly.
And for wrist-spinner Kuldeep, the way the attack is coming together as a team can only bode well for the remainder of the competition.
“Jasprit has been bowling really well and has been for a couple of years since his international debut,” said Kuldeep, who took 1/35 including the crucial wicket of Nicholas Pooran for 28.
“Then you have Shami, who was only playing his second game and bowled really well. We’ve got a good fast bowling attack, as well as spinners.
“We’re just looking for the team combination. We’re doing really well as a bowling attack and that is important. In the last game (against Afghanistan) we defended 225 and showed we can defend a total like this.”
Although the final result was one-sided, the West Indies seemed very much in the hunt at the halfway stage.
Kemar Roach’s three wickets had helped them put India into a pressure situation, but MS Dhoni (56 not out) and Pandya (46) made telling contributions, with Kuldeep thrilled at the way the team came through a tricky situation.
And it’s another huge confidence boost ahead of a showdown with England at Edgbaston on Sunday
He added: “We played really well. At one moment we were looking at 250 and then Mahendra and Hardik gave us a good total.
“270 was really good on this track. Later the ball was spinning a bit and that gave us momentum. Shami picking up two early wickets was huge for us, then Hardik got one and I got one so it was a really satisfying performance.”
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