If either of the regular bowlers get injured, India has Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the ranks © AFP
If either of the regular bowlers get injured, India has Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the ranks © AFP

India is termed as a nation that produces batting gems time and again. Everyone talks about the flicks, hand-eye coordination and sublime timing. Rarely does the cricketing fraternity bets money on India’s pace unit. And it is understandable why the experts do not praise the Indian pacers often. That does not mean India does not produce talented bowlers; they simply do not deliver on consistent basis. The tides have turned for India with a new chapter to look forward to. While the two names are new to the international circuit, one is familiar. Selectors’ decision to pick up Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya has changed India’s fortunes in no time. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup T20 2016 Final at Dhaka

India’s leading bowler Ashish Nehra has been displaying remarkable performances in the last few seasons of Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL). He has been bowling impeccable line and length in the power play and deadly yorkers in the death overs. To swing a bowl and hit the right areas is not an easy task. But Nehra does that with ease and grace. Nehra has been MS Dhoni’s go-to bowler in IPL. And it is evident why he has been the pick of cards for Twenty20 International (T20I) matches! To make a comeback at the age of 36, in the shortest format of the game, is an inspiring story. Ever since his comeback, he managed to bag 12 wickets in 9 matches. To add to the fire, most of his wickets have come in the batting powerplay. As a matter of fact, numbers and stats cannot do justice to his effort on the field. This being the only reason India opens the attack of their innings with Nehra and spinners making their way after the powerplay, until Dhoni considers to bring some change of attack as per the team they play against.

The new addition to India’s bowling unit, Jasprit Bumrah, has taken the cricketing world by storm. His unusual bowling action is not his only forte. He can angle the ball in, as well as seam it away from a batsman. If not with the new ball, Dhoni uses him right after Nehra and sometimes at death overs as well. We saw him rattling the mighty Australian batsmen with toe-crushing yorkers Down Under. This has been a forte which he has picked from his Mumbai Indian team mate Lasith Malinga. To have such weapon in your armory is a blessing in disguise. His class and consistency has impressed everyone, and is one of the bright aspects of Team India.

The pressure of an international game can change normal dynamics, as witnessed in India tour of Australia with Hardik Pandya. He bowled 3 consecutive wides in his very first over. And like every impatient Indian cricket fan, we questioned his place in the side. However, as the ever-improving Pandya unleashed his true potential, our opinions eventually changed. His speed clocks in mid 130s (kmph), hits the deck hard, swings the ball away from a right-handed batsman and bowls an occasional bouncer. He is the kind of an all-rounder India has been looking for. What Stuart Binny couldn’t do, Pandya did it in a matter of 10 games. He has won captain cool’s trust.

If either of these bowlers get injured, India has Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the ranks. In the match against UAE, he fired the banana in-swingers he bowled in his debut match against Pakistan. He swung the ball and pitched it up, rather than hitting short lengths. Bhuvneshwar seemed to have regained his mojo.

India has lost only one T20 match this year. Unquestionably, the credit goes to the Indian pace attack. It is the reason Team India has been in upward surge. It contained the onslaught by the aggressive batters and provided crucial breakthroughs in tough times. Will they continue their stellar performance in Asia Cup T20 2016 and ICC World T20 2016, is a question that only time can respond to.

(Kaustubh Mayekar is a reporter with CricketCountry)