Jasprit Bumrah has been laid low with a stress fracture to his back but his return could boost the Indian pace bowling that is doing brilliantly thanks to Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav have been brilliant in the ongoing Test season at home. Shami, in particular, has emerged as the leader of the attack with his ability to generate pace and bounce as well enhancing his performances in the second innings. The performance of the trio has been exemplerary and they have shattered the myth that India's pitches are slow and low which assist only the spinners. In the Indore Test against Bangladesh, India's pacers took 14 out of the 20 wickets while in the South Africa series, the pacers dominated.
The attack is missing the services of Jasprit Bumrah, who has been the star bowler for India during their overseas tours of England, South Africa, Australia and West Indies. Bumrah, who has suffered a stress fracture in the back, is expected to be back for the New Zealand Tests and once he is back, Kohli said the Indian attack will be potent and teams will find it hard to counter them.
"Fast bowlers are at the top of their game. It looks like a different pitch when they bowl. Right now, Jasprit is not a part of the attack. So, when he comes back it will be a one heck of an attack to counter. It's a dream bowling combination for any skipper. Even the slip fielders are ready as they know the ball can come any over, having strong bowlers is the most important thing. The numbers and the records are there for everyone to see," Kohli added.
The Indore Test, though, will be remembered for the brilliance of Mayank Agarwal as he notched up his second double ton in Tests. Agarwal blasted 243 and the knock included 28 fours and eight sixes and it totally put Bangladesh out of the equation. When asked about Agarwal, Kohli had nothing but high words of praise for him.
"The mindset is simple, when you see a young guy coming in to bat in Tests I know how much time it took me to get those big hundreds, so I know the importance of getting big runs. It's important as a senior batter to let them know to keep going. I want them to not make the mistakes I made as a youngsters to make them world class cricketers," Kohli said.
The action now shifts to Eden Gardens, Kolkata and it will be a historic Test match as the match will be played with the Pink Ball. Kolkata will become the first venue in the sub-continent host a Day-Night Test for the first time and Kohli is excited by the prospect. "The pink-ball Test is going to be exciting, will be a challenge for the batters. With the older ball, it doesn't swing that much so the bowlers will have a challenge. We're just happy to be among the first to play pink-ball cricket for India," Kohli added.