WTC Final: Indian veterans Roger Binny, Balwinder Sandhu raise eyebrows over India’s bowling in the ultimate Test: The uneventful end to the World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand with the Kiwis win by 8 wickets has brought Team India’s performance under the scanner. While the batting fiasco continues to invite criticisms, the Indian veterans of the 1983 World Cup- Roger Binny, Balwinder Sandhu took a dig at the bowling unit.
WTC Final: Despite the swing conditions at its peak due to the gloomy weather in Southampton, the show from speedsters was still disappointing. With only Mohammed Shami rising to the occasion on Day 5 scalping four crucial New Zealand’s wickets in their first innings, the remaining seamers seemed to be in dry pits.
As India didn’t take advantage of the swing conditions, veterans and analysts opined of missing the swing services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
WTC Final: Kumar could have been handy in England, feels Binny
Former Indian player Roger Binny reckoned that Kumar could have deemed fit to the conditions in England. Further, he backed the bowling line-up with Shardul Thakur.
“Bhuvi is your best bowler in England. He and Shardul Thakur would have been effective as they are seamers, landing the ball on the seam and at the right lengths.”
Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Binny’s teammate critiqued the lengths that the Indian bowlers bowled to the Kiwis during both innings. “The Indians bowled short of length on Sunday but on Tuesday they pitched the ball up. You have to make them play off the front foot. The bowlers may be rusty but you take wickets by pitching it up and letting the batsmen to drive off the front foot.”
Sandhu feels that despite being the veteran of 100 Tests and scalping 300 wickets, Ishant Sharma still lacks lustre. Instead, he would have picked up Mohammed Siraj in Sharma’s place.
“Even after playing 100 Tests, Ishant looks like a newcomer to me. He should be leading the attack but Shami is doing that role. Bumrah, too, was disappointing with the ball not seaming,” Sandhu said.
WTC Final: Virat Kohli and co. struggled with the bat, says Sandhu
Sandhu deliberated how disgracefully the Indian batsmen played, who seemed to be struggling badly. He compared India’s batting struggles viz-a-viz the ease with which the New Zealand batsmen played.
“Watching the Indians bowl on Sunday (the third day of the Test), it was not the way to bowl in a Test in England. It was an absolute disgrace. What did the opposition do to you? Virat Kohli was struggling to get off the square. All the batsmen struggled. How many times were Kohli and Rahane beaten? The pitches in England always have something for you, especially when you are seaming the ball.
“And, when New Zealand come to bat, they are happily scoring against you. What sort of a performance was this? They are playing a Test match. When you bowl, you bowl in the batsman’s half. You don’t bowl in your half. They have to play the shots. The shorter you bowl, the more the ball seams. You have to attack to take wickets, not bowl defensively. The Indian bowlers were bowling to contain them. I was very surprised with the way they bowled in a Test in England. The opposition knocks you over with seaming balls. All you have to do is watch them bowl and bowl the same way. You pitch the ball up.
Sandhu then went onto question Team India’s poor strategy who seemed to have closed their eyes as to how the Kiwis executed things with the ball.
“The Indians had poor strategy. The wicket was doing something. And, the Indian bowlers are not freshers. You are sitting and watching the NZ bowlers bowling to your batsmen. That is how you learn. Weren’t the Indians watching them how they did it? I am expecting better performance from the Indian bowlers.”
Bunny acceded to what his team-mate Sandhu said and further raised eyebrows on Team India’s bowling tactics.
“They have to change their tactics. They cannot go to a match this way. They have to bowl to the conditions. If the conditions demand you to bowl shorter length, bowl shorter length. You have to be attacking straightaway after having 217 on the board.
“I think they did not pick the right bowling line-up. You have to have someone who seams the ball, do a little bit with the ball. That’s what New Zealand did. They are not quicks. They kept bowling the right line and length. You cannot get batsmen out at 90 and 100 speeds but with seam and swing.”
The two teammates- Roger Binny and Balwinder Singh Sandhu basked Team India’s glory in their emphatic 1983 World Cup win. Binny, who was the highest wicket-taker in the 1983 World Cup in England with 18 scalps served Team India as an allrounder in 27 Tests and 72 ODIs.
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