T20 World Cup: India’s bowling combination better suited for Guyana than England, says Robin Singh

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T20 World Cup: India’s bowling combination better suited for Guyana than England, says Robin Singh

New Delhi:  Robin Singh, the former India all-rounder, believes the bowling combination in the Rohit Sharma-led side will suit them more as compared to England when the two teams clash in the second semi-final of 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, on Thursday.

The England-India semi-final is a repeat of the meeting in the last four stage of the 2022 edition, when the Jos Buttler-led side won by ten wickets at the Adelaide Oval. In the ongoing tournament, India have been the in-form side in both batting and bowling departments, and haven’t lost any match so far. England, the defending champions, had to get past rain and uncertainty to enter the semi-finals.

“I still think India has an upper hand on this venue. The bowling combination that India possesses actually would suit this venue much more than England. The important factor for England is probably Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid. If India are able to counter those two guys, I think we can make some inroads into this England bowling attack.

“From an Indian perspective, I think they’ve got most bases covered. The spinners have bowled well, they have really good attacking bowlers in the middle, and Kuldeep Yadav has done exceptionally well. The two other spinners (Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja) have been really steady.

“Of course, you have the Bumrah factor, as he’s someone who can bowl at any stage of the game. So that’s going to be another key component, as well as in the other fast bowlers have stepped up. So, it’s going to be fun actually,” said Robin in an exclusive interview to IANS.

In defeating Australia by 24 runs to finish as the top-ranked team from Group 1 in Super Eights, India’s spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav took a combined 3-45. Kuldeep, who wasn’t included in the playing eleven for India’s Group A games in New York due to conditions being fast-bowling friendly, has been at his best in controlling the middle overs, apart from taking seven wickets in three Super Eights games.

“I think they (all three spinners) all are important. It’s not just Kuldeep. It’s not just about one bowler, but it’s about having a combination of bowlers who can put pressure on the batsmen that allows the other bowler to actually maximise. At the end of the day, it’s a collective effort, and it doesn’t matter who gets wickets, right? But it’s important as a team to strangle opponents,” added Robin, who played 136 ODIs for India.

Fast-bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh have formed a lethal combination with the new-ball for India in the competition. Left-arm pacer Arshdeep is India’s leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets, while Bumrah has been at his impactful best with his bagful of variations fetching him 11 scalps at an economy rate of 4.08.

“Bumrah has made a massive difference already and that goes without saying. So what is important is to understand that the conditions are very different to what it was in 2022. I think India has the armory and they have the team to suit these conditions far better than England. Any left-arm fast-bowler is important in the game, as they come into it at any given point in time.

“The good thing is he (Arshdeep) is actually swinging the ball and is picking up wickets quite early, so that makes a massive difference, which is the key to winning a game in T20. If you can make inroads in the first six overs, then you hold the trump card. Critically, you need to have bowlers who can take wickets in the middle of the game.

“I think India has that, with people like Kuldeep, Axar and Jadeja. You still have Bumrah who can come in the middle and bowl, with Hardik coming in and playing his role. So, you can mix and match your bowlers, and you have options, which is very, very crucial and critical in the game,” elaborated Robin.

For England, both Archer and Rashid have picked nine wickets each. But leg-spinner Rashid is tipped to play a huge role in deciding the match’s outcome by controlling the middle overs and Robin reckons India’s left-handed batters would be crucial in countering him.

“We have to be smart when we play him. The good thing is, I think, if you have Suryakumar (Yadav) playing spin well, you have (Shivam) Dube who was shown that he can play really well and you have two left-handers (Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel).

“So I’m pretty sure one of the left-handers will probably try to handle him. If not one, maybe two guys, because we have at least four left-handers in this setup. But it is a very, very big difference in the game,” he signed off.

 


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