'Stick with current set of bowlers'

Former Australian pacer Fleming backs beleaguered Indian quicks

'Stick with current set of bowlers'

 The Indian bowling might have come under heavy criticism from all quarters after the 2-0 Test series loss, but former Australia cricketer Damien Fleming insists that sticking to the present bunch of bowlers will be beneficial in the longer run.

“I will want to keep this fast bowling unit together and keep them learning. Ishant Sharma looks like he is starting to get consistent. In Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron they have two bowlers who can bowl at 90-plus and can swing the ball at the same time. There are not a lot of bowlers around who can do that. So I will be looking to play them as much as possible,” Fleming said.

“Mohammad Shami is handy but he is not one or other, not too fast and doesn’t move the ball too much, he is just about there. And then India have Bhuvneshwar Kumar up their sleeve who is a gifted swing bowler and in the right conditions India will play him,” added the former medium-pacer.

Bowlers like Mohammed Shami and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin did pick up a bunch of wickets on a couple of occasions but the scalps came at a price and Fleming opines that it’s time they pull up their socks. “The bowling has been so inconsistent that it leads to an overall inconsistency in their game plans. I think their bowlers lack mental toughness. There is a bit of immaturity in their attack. They want too much too quickly and that is probably a generation thing with the current bunch of cricketers. Test cricket rewards patience and that is missing from their bowling,” he said. Fleming opines the visitors should have taken a leaf out of the home bowlers book. “You need them to improve their lengths. They need to see where Ryan Harris bowls most of his deliveries, for example, and they need to consistently hit that spot. He makes the batsmen play a lot, and so India need to make sure they are bowling off-stump,” he said. “Overall India have a group of players that should be able to win at home easily. But they need to learn to play better to win away from home and that is what all teams in world cricket – including Australia – are trying to do at the moment,” he added.

On day four of the final Test at SCG, India conceded 213 runs in the final session of play to literally throw away the advantage. It highlighted the key problem of this bowling attack even as Ashwin took four wickets and didn’t find enough support to restrict the Australian batting.

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