"Will Probably Struggle in Australia"- Pakistan Legend Wasim Akram's bold prediction for India's veteran pacer in T20 WC
The Indian team is currently playing warm-up games in preparation for the T20 World Cup. They are playing with West Australia XI in two games, then they will face Australia and New Zealand on October 17 and 19, respectively. However, Team India will open their account with a match against archrivals Pakistan on October 23.
As of now, the biggest concern for the team is their pace bowling, which is leaking runs at a higher economy. Star pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out already, and in-form bowler Deepak Chahar was the latest to get injured. Thus, all the onus is on the remaining bowlers of the team.
But the issue with the team is that even veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has got runs in the games he has played. The prime aspect is that the team is lacking a real fast bowler, as Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, and Bhuvi are all medium pacers.
That's what former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram reckons. He has also pointed out that if the conditions do not favour Bhuvneshwar, then he will become a liability to the team because, with his pacer, batters tend to target him, which might cost India in the tournament.
In a recent interview with Khaleej Times, Akram said that despite all the skills of a pure swing bowlers, Bhuvi could proved to be an easy option to target for the batters due to slow pace.
Akram said, "India have Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he is good with the new ball, but with that pace, if the ball is not swinging, he will probably struggle there. But he is a very good bowler no doubt, swings both ways, has the yorker. But you need pace in Australia."
Furthermore, Akram said that the current Indian bowling attack is looking a bit vunlurable in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. Because they don't have a like-to-like replacement for the pacer. It will be a big task for India to fill the shoes of the ace pacer.
The Pakistan legend believes that Indian batting is the strongest area of the team, but the bowling department will be a concern. India is placed in Group 2, along with Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifying teams from the first round. Mohammed Shami has flown to Australia.
But the biggest concern with him is fitness. Since recovering from COVID, he hasn't played any games until now. But it looks like he will play both warm-up games against Australia and New Zealand before the first match against Pakistan.