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WI series: India’s bowling depth set to be tested

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Virat Kohli’s Team India will be remembered for its bowlers. India have had some extraordinary batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in limited overs cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara in Tests and Kohli himself across formats, but the spine of India’s successes over the past couple of years, especially in series away from home, has been their bowlers.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal managed to push Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja out of the picture in limited overs cricket and have ran through entire batting lineups on a number of occasions. Mohammed Shami overcame fitness issues to go from being on the verge of permanent exile from the national team to taking a World Cup hat-trick to win a match for them.

The rise of Jasprit Bumrah has been the most striking among all this. He has taken no time in establishing his credentials of being one of the best pacers in the world since he burst on to the scene in limited overs cricket and subsequently made his Test debut.

Bumrah helped India not feel the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose injuries seem to have interrupted what was otherwise a burgeoning international career. The 25-year-old has been tossed the ball by Kohli whenever India needed a wicket and he delivered.

It will hence be interesting to see what India’s bowling performances will look like in their tour of West Indies. Kuldeep and Chahal Bumrah is not playing the limited overs series while Kuldeep and Chahal have been rested for the three-match T20 series while Bumrah is only playing in the two Tests that follows the limited overs leg of the tour.

The standout quotes from Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri’s press conference before the team’s departure for the tour may have been about the purported rift between the Indian skipper and Rohit. But Kohli did speak about this change in the bowling department.

“When I met the selectors the basic message from them was to try out a few players they had in mind. I am particularly excited for the three T20Is because of the new guys coming in,” he said.

Off the new faces in the team for the T20Is, 26-year-old Navdeep Saini and 19-year-old Rahul Chahar are making their debuts. Deepak Chahar has played one ODI for India — the tied Asia Cup 2018 game against Afghanistan, Washington Sundar has one ODI and seven T20Is under his belt while Khaleel Ahmed has played eight ODIs and nine T20Is.

Apart from the newbies, Ravindra Jadeja could play his first T20I since July 2017. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is in the squad as he tries to get back to his lethal best.

This means that when India start out their T20 series at Lauderhill, Florida, they will be without their three biggest sources of wickets over the past couple of years.

The selectors drew a lot of flack for the batsmen they chose for this tour and it has been inferred that India are not starting their preparation for the 2020 World T20 with this series. However, one could argue that the selection of new bowlers coupled with experienced heads trying to rediscover their mojo means that the think tanks are shuffling their cards a bit to see what lies beneath their usual lineup of dependable bowlers.

It means that this series, particularly the T20s, will be one of those rare occasions when all eyes will be on how the Indian bowlers fare. Some of these players could be looking back on this series many years down the line as the one that changed their career — for better or for worse.

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Mistrust seeping into Team India dressing room?

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Skipper Virat Kohli decided to finally speak on the issue of rift in the Indian team before the teams’ departure to the US on Monday. Rather than clearing the air, he ended up pointing fingers at the media for “disrespectfully bringing personal lives into the picture”. He went on to add that media personnel should enter the dressing room and witness for themselves the kind of healthy atmosphere that’s there. But sadly not all players seem to think on Kohli’s line.

The leak of the news that one of the senior players had his family stay with him for longer than the stipulated period and the further clarification that it was done without the permission of skipper Kohli and the coach has created an atmosphere of mistrust in the dressing room.

Speaking to IANS, a member of the team management said that it was appalling to see media headlines wherein a player was said to have broken the ‘family clause’ during the World Cup. He went on to add that the timing of the news raised quite a few eyebrows.

“How is it that no one received any information about someone’s family exceeding the permitted time spent with the player during the tournament? Wasn’t the team manager aware of it when we were in England? How did this emerge only after the first story on WAGs got published? Was that not disrespectful? Was that not breaching the trust of the team members?” he inquired.

A former player said that having issues and ego clashes aren’t something new and have happened even when legends have played together, but to come out and speak about it in the media is something that should have been avoided by the skipper.

“He (Kohli) would do well to not delve into this topic and bring more attention to this as there are a few incidents that may prove to be embarrassing.

“Which team hasn’t had issues and ego clashes? These are sportsmen who have been fighting it out against the best in the world and these tiffs are common when you stay together over a period of time. It has happened even in the past and will again happen in the future. But the captain didn’t need to come and speak on it,” he told IANS.

The fact that Kohli was seen clicking pictures with the rest of the teammates even as Rohit spent time with opening partner Shikhar Dhawan — before the team’s departure — has got people speaking on social media, but the captain said: “If I don’t like somebody, it shows on my face.”

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Team India Manager Submits His Report on Kohli-Kumble Row

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India captain Virat Kohli has got an all clear in administrative manager Kapil Malhotra’s report on his differences with coach Anil Kumble, which primarily led to the former leg-spinner’s exit after the Champions Trophy.

While the administrative manager’s report is mandatory after every home or away series that India plays, it is usually perceived as a formality.

In the wake of Kumble’s resignation though, the BCCI had specifically instructed Cricket Club of India (CCI)’s Malhotra to report any incident of discord between Kohli and Kumble when the team was in England.

However, it has been learnt that Malhotra’s report does not have mention of any controversial incidents.

Also Read: New India Coach to be Selected on July 10

“Kapil Malhotra has submitted his report. At least there is nothing in the report which suggests that skipper Virat Kohli was ever rude to the coach or mention of any incident which could be termed as a breach of discipline,” a BCCI source said on condition of anonymity.

When pointed out that coach and the captain were not interacting with each other during practice sessions, the official replied: “He was specifically asked to mention any incident worth reporting which may have affected the dressing room environment or morale of the team. Nothing of that sort is there in the report.”

It must be noted in this regard that BCCI has also sought reports from Anil Patel, who was the administrative manager during the 13 home Tests that India played during the season.

Malhotra is currently with the team in the West Indies and this will be the last assignment of any state unit official as administrative manager.

The administrative manager for West Indies tour was supposed to be Milind Kanmadikar of Madhya Pradesh CA but it was decided by the Committee of Administrators (COA) that Malhotra would continue for the West Indies leg.

It is expected that the board will hire a full-time manager, abolishing the convention set by the old guard of handing overseas ‘junkets’ to the state unit officials in order to keep their vote bank intact.

The BCCI is all set to conduct the coaches’ interview in Mumbai on July 10 with Ravi Shastri emerging as the favourite to come back.

The other two high-profile names are Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody. Richard Pybus, Venkatesh Prasad, Dodda Ganesh are the other candidates.

Source:News18

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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