India's batsmen revelled at Bengaluru but Sri Lanka made it look like their turn to bat was at another venue. Sad but true, Sri…
Since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, India have played over 20 ODI matches.
But they have not defended a total below 300 since August 2019 against the West Indies.
The bowling attack looks devoid of confidence, failing to defend high totals with only Jasprit Bumrah being able to hold his head high in what is mostly a one-dimensional attack lacking quality and variety.
So who can change India’s bowling fortunes in the one-day format with the next ICC Cricket World Cup in less than two years’ time?
Here are a few names India must give a long rope to.
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (left-arm orthodox)
List A stats – 33 matches, 54 wickets, 23.5 average, 31.1 strike rate, 4.52 economy
Standing at 193 centimetres, the finger spinner from Tamil Nadu has been taking wickets for fun in domestic cricket.
Sai Kishore’s biggest quality is his ability to turn the white ball at varying speeds.
Unlike most Indian finger spinners who fall into a negative mindset under pressure, Sai Kishore backs himself under pressure and doesn’t bowl negative lines.
He can bowl in all situations and can deliver with the ball on flatter wickets.
Add in Sai Kishore’s abilities with the bat and India will not be lengthening their tail should Sai Kishore play for India in ODI cricket.
Axar Patel (left-arm orthodox)
ODI stats – 38 matches, 45 wickets, 31.31 average, 42.4 strike rate, 4.43 economy
If there’s anyone in Australia who knows how good Axar Patel is right now, it would be Ricky Ponting.
Having coached Patel over the past few seasons in the IPL, Ponting will know how much of a dangerous customer Patel is with the ball.
Patel bowls in a similar trajectory to Ravindra Jadeja, but he attacks the stumps more often and his average speed is slightly quicker than Jadeja.
As his ODI economy shows, Patel offers great control when he isn’t picking up wickets.
He hasn’t played an ODI since late 2017, but now’s the time for a recall for the all-rounder from Gujarat.
Mayank Markande (right-arm leg spinner)
List A stats – 79 wickets, 22.88 average, 30.0 strike rate, 4.57 economy
After Sai Kishore, Markande is another incredibly unlucky spinner not to have made his ODI debut for India by now considering the bowling woes in the Indian team.
A leg spinner who made a name for himself on IPL debut for dismissing MS Dhoni in 2018, Markande has not had a chance to express himself in the IPL post 2018.
However, he has been toiling hard at state level for Punjab, taking wickets for fun.
Markande’s strengths are his variation of pace and not overdoing the googly, something Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi have been guilty of in the recent few years.
Just like Patel and Sai Kishore, Markande can whack a few with the willow.
The West Indies series is the perfect time for Markande and the finger spinners to be called into the Indian ODI team and stamp their authority.
Prasidh Krishna (right-arm fast)
ODI stats – four matches, nine wickets, 25.88 average, 23.3 strike rate, 6.65 economy
I haven’t seen an Indian quick bowl as rapidly as Prasidh Krishna has in the recent few years.
Krishna can play the role for India similarly to what express quicks Jofra Archer and Lockie Ferguson have done in ODI cricket.
While Krishna has been expensive in his short ODI career so far, he played a crucial role for India, winning the ODI series against England last year.
A long rope for Krishna will do his confidence a lot of good and the Indian ODI team will reap its rewards.
Express quicks who can take wickets in the middle overs are rare to come by. Krishna cannot be mishandled by India.
Ishan Porel (right-arm medium fast)
List A stats – 30 matches, 47 wickets, 24.91 average, 29.5 strike rate, 5.05 economy
Part of the Indian 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup winning squad, Porel’s transition into senior cricket has been nothing short of outstanding.
His performances for Bengal and India A in first-class and List A cricket have seen the Bengal quick called up twice to the Indian team as a net bowler over the past 18 months.
A tall quick who can generate good pace and bounce, Porel’s ability to adapt from a back-of-a-length bowler to someone who pitches it fuller has seen him succeed in domestic cricket.
Porel’s ability to pick up wickets with the new ball will ensure someone like Jasprit Bumrah doesn’t have to waste his overs with the new ball and can focus on bowling in the latter parts of the innings.
Since the beginning of 2020, India have lost all their away ODI series outside of the subcontinent.
A huge factor for this has been their bowling and the World Cup will have mostly good batting wickets.
The time for players such as Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is over in ODI cricket.
With talented players available, who are constantly performing in Indian domestic cricket, it’s time these players got a long rope and remained in India’s bowling core for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
My 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup probables squad for India
Batters – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Baba Indrajith
Keepers – KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan
All rounders – Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja
Spinners – Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Mayank Markande
Quicks – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Ishan Porel, Prasidh Krishna