The Indian cricket team is blessed with a plethora of class pacers in its ranks. With the ICC T20 World Cup to be held this year in Australia, India will need variety in. ranks up their sleeves. Next up for India is a limited-overs series versus South Africa at home and recently, the BCCI named a 17-member squad for the T20I series. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season has witnessed several Indian pacers do well and impress their respective sides. The selection for the South Africa series was somehow based on the form of bowlers in IPL 2022.
Players like Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, and Umran Malik were all selected based on how they went about things in the IPL. Now coming to the T20 World Cup, India would be selecting up to 4-5 pacers in a 15-member squad as required for global events. We feel India need at least 5 pacers to mix things around, given the nature of pitches in Australia. On the same note, we present the seven pace-bowling options for India, keeping the ICC T20 World Cup in mind.
He is a must in this Indian cricket team across formats. Bumrah is the first name that comes to mind when picking any Indian side for a series across formats. He is a bankable customer both upfront and at the death. The prolific Indian pacer picked 15 wickets in 14 IPL matches for the Mumbai Indians this season. Overall, Bumrah has managed to claim 145 scalps in 120 IPL matches. In T20Is, the right-arm pacer has claimed 67 wickets. He is the second-highest wicket-taker for India after Yuzvendra Chahal (68). Notably, Bumrah has been rested for the T20I series versus SA.
Another name that comes to the mind instantly is Shami. He has already shown his mettle as a regular wicket-taker in the IPL. Also, Shami’s canny pace and swing make him a prominent name in this Indian side. He is a white-ball specialist and is perfect in knowing what he has to offer as per situations. In 14 IPL games this season. He finished with 19 scalps at 23.94. Overall in T20Is, he has claimed 18 wickets in 17 games. In the IPL, he has 98 scalps in 92 games. Like Bumrah, he was rested for the T20Is versus SA.
A T20 specialist, Bhuvneshwar knows all about the trade and what he has to offer. An economical bowler, Bhuvi is a death-over specialist. He would be an impressive performer in Australia, given his knowledge in terms of variations and swing. He has excellent full deliveries and pin point yorkers. In IPL 2022, he picked 12 wickets from 14 games and had an economy rate of 7.34. Overall in the IPL, he has taken 154 scalps. For India, he has taken 58 scalps in T20Is from 59 T20Is.
The Purple Cap winner from IPL 2021, Harshal Patel, has rapidly increased his stocks. The RCB pacer followed suit with a decent show in the IPL 2022 season as well. He finished with 19 scalps from 15 matches. Harshal has been a part of India’s T20I squad of late and was included in the series versus SA. He will hope to show his credentials and why he deserves a place in this Indian side. Overall in the IPL, he has scalped 97 scalps from just 78 games. For India, he has taken 11 wickets in 8 games.
Umran Malik could make it into the Indian side on the plane to Australia. The Jammu and Kashmir pacer was a net bowler last season at SRH and got lucky to come into the side after T Natarajan got injured. He showed pace straightaway, becoming the fastest Indian to bowl in the IPL. SRH retained him, and he delivered the goods in IPL 2022. Umran finished with 22 wickets this season at 20.18. He has already been selected for the South Africa series, and one would hope to see him get some game time. The trajectory for Umran would be to learn and express himself. He can be crucial in Australia, given his extra pace.
The left-arm pacer did a reasonable job for SRH this season. He took 18 scalps from 11 games and bowled with a plan. He had made his presence felt in IPL 2020 by claiming 16 scalps as well. Post that, he was given a chance in India’s T20I set-up. In 4 matches, he claimed seven wickets for India. However, injuries got the better of him. He is a handy left-arm pacer with accuracy and intelligence on offer. India would be pondering upon a left-armer, and that’s where Natarajan comes into play. He has been ignored for the SA series, but one can still back him to perform.
A promising name, Prasidh Krishna can be a handful in Australia, given his height and bounce. He has already established himself as a quality figure and has played ODIs for India, impressing right-away. He has been selected for the India vs South Africa T20Is and will be keen to showcase his strengths. In IPL 2022, the RR pacer has 18 scalps in 16 games. In the 70 T20s, he has taken 66 scalps. Krishna is a viable bowler who can be counted upon. He was also selected in India’s Test squad for the England match.
Other bowlers who may have an outside chance –
Avesh Khan: The LSG bowler has done well since the IPL 2021 season and has seen his stocks rise. He has been included in T20Is for SA. Avesh can provide a handful mix up front and at the death too.
Mohsin Khan: LSG unearthed this talent in the IPL 2022 season. He has been superb at picking wickets, besides keeping a check on that economy rate. A player with huge potential both in IPL and Team India.