'Death bowling has improved'

'Death bowling has improved'

 There is no doubt that Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah have added teeth to the Indian bowling. More so, it has eased the pressure on Ravichandran Ashwin and allowed him to attack freely. Ashwin was glad that India, unlike in the past, are able to bowl well in death overs.

India are on a roll in the Twenty20 format with their dominating performances in the ongoing Asia Cup preceded by triumphs Down Under and against Sri Lanka at home. Ashwin said Nehra and Bumrah have added sting to the bowling.

“It’s good if we can punch as a group. We know Ashish is an experienced candidate. He has got good ability to do well in the death and Bumrah is able to bowl yorkers which we might have been missing in the past few years and that definitely has given extra sting to our bowling line-up. Our death bowling is much better than it was in the past,” Ashwin said.

The off-spinner, however, didn’t make much fuss about the seamer-friendly conditions and preferred to focus on bowling on right areas. “As international teams, we should be able to adapt to whatever conditions we are given. We have been happy with the way we have come out on top and it’s given us a dress rehearsal for the batsmen lower down the order, the fast bowlers and it’s given everyone a good outing ahead of the World T20,” he said,

“It’s important to know what conditions are thrown at you since you can’t try and beat the conditions. It’s important to understand that it will not spin a lot (here). So it’s more imperative for you to put the ball in right areas and get away with the overs and not go for wickets because in Twenty20s, often the wickets are captured by the pressure rather than the skill of the ball. Where there is a window to attack, I will definitely do it.”

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga is a doubtful starter for Tuesday's contest but Ashwin said they were wary of the island nation because of their ability to punch above their weight in big matches. “We have played some great T20 cricket in the last two months and it’s more about us getting better and better as a team,” he said.

“Malinga is a champion bowler and it will help any team playing Sri Lanka without him. You are familiar with all the teams in international cricket since there are only about 10 teams. One thing we are wary about Sri Lanka is that they will always punch above their weight and in big games – they raise their standard and they are a very good team.”

When reminded of their shock defeat to Sri Lanka in Pune last month, Ashwin was candid in admitting that they had miscalculated the par score.

“The mistake we did in Pune was that we miscalculated the par score and played a few shots in haste. That’s something we will keep in mind because in such wickets, if you lose one, you have to rebuild again,” he said.

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