India would be looking to settle their bowling unit with majority of the spinners. India will be going in with four pacers for the series against England. Two out of Hardik, Ishant, Shami and Umesh would have to fight it out to get to make the final XI.
Bowling in tests – Career
Ishant Sharma is back in the side after an Injury. He is one amongst four Indian pace bowlers to have bowled in 100 innings for India in tests. Ishant Sharma’s best bowling figures in an innings came against England at Lord’s 7/74.
Mohammed Shami was the leading wicket taker for India among the pacers, in the recent series against New Zealand. Shami was the only fast bowler to play all the matches against New Zealand.
Umesh Yadav had a poor outing in the test series against New Zealand. He took only 2 wickets from the four innings he played in this series. But he came back strongly in the ODI series picking up 8 wickets. He also managed to become second leading wicket taker of the ODI series.
Hardik Pandya might make his debut against England. He took three wickets in his ODI debut 3/31 against New Zealand. Since then he couldn’t pick wickets at regular intervals and had an economy of 5.4. What made people take notice was his pace. He bowled much quicker than he used to, and would certainly be quicker than a Stuart Binny. He can also wield the bat when necessary, though he did not prove himself when given the chance in the ODI series.
Indian Pacers against England – Test
Kohli will look to change his bowling combinations against England. With Hardik Pandya in the squad Kohli might go in with either one of the three bowlers Ishant, Shami and Umesh along with Pandya. Pandya can bowl with the new ball as he did against New Zealand in the ODI series.
If Kohli thinks of playing an extra batsman he will go in with the same strategy of 2 pacers (Shami and Ishant/Shami and Umesh) and 2 spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja).
When there is no help in the pitch, pacers simply have to be able to break through their opponents using their pace and bounce. Ishant and Shami will be able to give break through on these kinds of tracks. Shami would be an immediate choice for Kohli as he is the only one who can consistently get the old ball to swing.
Bowling with new ball (1-15 overs since getting new ball) in India since 2013
What would worry India is that Ishant Sharma, their most experienced fast bowler has not had a good bowl in the last three years in the sub-continent. Before they had Zaheer Khan to lead the attack, but there are still doubts surrounding Ishant if he is cut out for that role.
Indian Bowlers in the subcontinent
Kohli might look to go in with three spinners Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra. Spinners were the leading wicket takers against New Zealand in both Test (Ashwin) and ODIs (Mishra). This strategy of playing three spinners might trouble England, since they lost 38 wickets to spin and only one wicket to pacers against Bangladesh in the recent test series.
Indian bowling against New Zealand (Last Series)