Fast and furious contingent
"There’s nothing like failure in science, we experiment & we gain,” tweeted Team India captain Virat Kohli on Chandrayaan-2 losing contact with its lander-rover. The cricket world is somewhat different and one in which success and failure is common enough. The build-up that Kohli’s team got before the World Cup may have been matched only by that of the moon mission in which success seemed to have been assumed by India’s trusting one billion-plus only for a bit of disappointment to ensue. The pursuit of sport, much like science, is also a continuous process in which Kohli’s men redeemed themselves in crushing the West Indies in the Caribbean in an impressive manner to vault into the lead in the all-new world Test championship. It might have made news had Team India not won in the Caribbean where they romped through in white and red ball cricket. The remarkable aspect of the Test series triumph was the fact that it was engineered by the pace bowling segment of the team, led by the able Jasprit Bumrah.
The fact that Team India has a full complement of quick bowlers to draw from is a grand achievement by itself. Besides Bumrah, who ran through the West Indies batting even more quickly as he discovered his outswinger, Ishant Sharma, now the stalwart in this line-up and Mohammed Shami, resourceful operator, India also has the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and a host of young quicks ready to wear the colours or the flannels for India. Back in 1987, Australian legend Dennis Lillee helped set up the first full-fledged programme that produced a number of fast bowlers. After Zaheer’s retirement, Team India has only now got together a full contingent of fast bowlers capable of bringing about Test triumphs in Australia as well. This is a sea change for Indian cricket post retirement of its first modern fast bowling great, Kapil Dev.