Home > Features > Facts and figures >

India’s fast bowling department: Jaw-dropping stats since the 2011 World Cup narrates a sorry tale

image_20130115084034

Zaheer Khan’s poor form has hurt India the most. In nine ODIs since the World Cup, he has just nine wickets at a staggering average of 47.44 with a best of 2-39 © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

It has been a rocky passage for the Indian ship since the 2011 World Cup. There have been moments when they pulled off jaw-dropping triumphs, but some of the shocking defeats have taken the sheen off those moments and exposed the glaring chinks in the armour. The pace bowling department in particular has been the Achilles heel, with an unsettled make-up to the whole line-up. To make matters worse, Indian spearhead Zaheer Khan’s form also plummeted, leaving the attack without a guiding force.

Since the end of the 2011 World Cup, a number of pacers have featured in ODIs for India and none of them have established themselves in the long run. There has been a lot of chopping and changing.

Here are the records of all the fast-bowlers who have played for India since April 2011:

Bowler M Wkts Avg Eco 4 wkts 5 wkts Best
Vinay Kumar 20 26 30.88 5.43 1 0 4/30
Irfan Pathan 13 21 28.38 5.40 1 1 5/61
Praveen Kumar 20 20 43.00 5.27 0 0 3/37
Umesh Yadav 14 17 41.88 6.33 0 0 3/38
Munaf Patel 8 10 32.00 5.64 0 0 3/35
Ashok Dinda 8 9 42.66 6.27 0 0 2/47
Zaheer Khan 9 9 47.44 5.33 0 0 2/39
Ishant Sharma 6 8 38.00 5.15 0 0 3/34
Varun Aaron 4 6 26.00 5.53 0 0 3/24
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4 5 34.20 4.88 0 0 2/27
RP Singh 3 4 35.50 6.45 0 0 3/59
Abhimanyu Mithun 3 3 38.66 6.44 0 0 2/32
Shami Ahmed 1 1 23.00 2.55 0 0 1/23

 (Note: Part-timers haven’t been included)

Shocking stats

A shocking fact is that Indian fast-bowlers have recorded only two four-wicket hauls and a solitary fifer after the World Cup final. The averages are also on the higher side and that shows that there has been a lot of inconsistency.

India have played 40 ODIs since April 2011 and this table shows that Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar are the only ones who have played at least 50 per cent of those matches. A lot of bowlers have come and gone in the said time interval – almost as if a game of musical chairs was in progress. As a result, there has been a lot of disturbance and the team has had to contend with new faces every series.

Consider this example, in Sri Lanka last year, India’s fast-bowling attack was: Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda. Out of the quartet, only Dinda made it through to India’s next ODI assignment – which was against Pakistan. Irfan and Yadav got injured, whereas Zaheer was dropped. Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed came in to replace the other three.

The most recent example of poor handling has been Shami. He did well on debut against Pakistan at Delhi and yet found himself out of the side for the next ODI. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also been very impressive and has got a longer run. But, what will happen to all these bowlers once the more established bowlers recover from injuries. Will they make way for Irfan and Vinay?

Praveen is another bowler who has been a victim of poor handling. He had been fairly consistent and was providing the early breakthroughs. During the disastrous tour to England, he did his reputation no harm. However, things changed once India went to Australia – where he didn’t have a very good run. A below par performance in the Asia Cup was enough for the selectors to axe him.

Rudra Pratap Singh was a surprise inclusion for the England tour as the team struggled with injuries. Initially he looked out of place, but when it looked like he was getting into his rhythm – he was dropped. Nurturing him then would have made more sense as he was settling into his role.

In the two years leading up to the 2011 World Cup, India more or less had a settled pace unit. Ashish Nehra played majority of the games and led the attack. Praveen too was a regular feature and although India tried out a few options, the core of the fast-bowling department didn’t change. Zaheer was wrapped in cotton wool and taken care of with an eye on the Cup.

With two years to go for the next World Cup in Australia, India have to ensure they have at least two bowlers who would be settled in the line-up. They certainly wouldn’t want to go into that tournament with an uncertain attack and have to adopt a strategy similar to the one they employed before the previous event.

Injuries and poor form are inevitable. However, it is in the team management’s control to handle the players better and get the most out of them. Indian cricket needs a revival and all the departments have to take charge.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 6, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 7, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 62 runs

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Birmingham

India won by 9 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England, 4th ODI at Edgbaston

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan complete comprehensive series win for India with 9-wicket win in 4th ODI

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

N Srinivasan faces a two-month wait as Mudgal commission prepares final report

Norman Gordon passes away at 103

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Ajinkya Rahane becomes first Indian opener to score an ODI hundred against England in England

VVS Laxman congratulates India on winning ODI series against England

Michael Clarke hamstring injury: Scan reveals some damage

Kevin Pietersen disgusted after cricket experts say England can’t win World Cup 2015

India played a perfect game against England in 4th ODI, says MS Dhoni

Sachin Tendulkar’s Playing It My Way: What cricket lovers would expect from his autobiography

Ajinkya Rahane strengthens his case to open in ODIs; but will Rohit Sharma’s return push him back to No 4?

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI: Highlights

38 entries from cricket’s obsolete lexicon

Australia vs South Africa 5th ODI at Harare — Highlights

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

628 Posts | 7 Fans

Thilan Samaraweera finds an unusual way to get stumped

100 Days of Modi Government: Top 5 controversies

Lenovo A536 affordable Android KitKat smartphone launched in India, priced at Rs 8,999

Australia beat South Africa by 62 runs; reach tri-series final

Latest Ebola News: Death toll in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaches 31

Sony QX1 E-Mount lens camera press photos leaked, to bring interchangeable camera lenses to your smartphone

What is endometriosis?

Hrithik Roshan not doing Hollywood film Step Up 6?

Happy New Year song Indiawaale: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s dance anthem is addictive!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here