The vulnerability of Indian batting to the left-arm seam is well known and World Cup teams with a quality left-arm seamer at their disposal will look to exploit it against India’s top order.
Be it Trent Boult in Manchester during the 50-over World Cup semi-final in 2019 alongside Matt Henry or Shaheen Shah Afridi in Dubai and Melbourne in 2021 and 2022 respectively. The left-arm seamers have been a thorn in the flesh of the Indian team.
Apart from Mitchell Starc, Boult and Shaheen, who pose an obvious threat to Rohit Sharma’s team with the ball, let’s take a look at some other bowlers who can trouble India with their left-arm spinners in the 2023 World Cup.
Rhys Topley (England)
ODI career: 26 matches| 38 wickets| Average 26.81| Economy 5.21
It is safe to say that were it not for an unfortunate injury sustained in the IPL during andHaving played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Topley’s career was on the rise.He was on his way to becoming an elite bowler. The 29-year-old will be one of the main threats in the matches against England. He is quick, strong and can swing the ball around. He also has the ability to hit strong long shots regularly, which can make a batsman move forward and contemplate whether to play the ball or leave it.
Topley has a terrific record in matches against India, taking 12 wickets at an average of 16.42. Who will forget his six wickets in the game against India last year at Lord’s while defending just 247 runs? He scored with the new ball and then returned to the middle overs to break the partnership and finish off the tail, showing that he is a threat in all phases of the game.
However, there is a positive for India: they will meet defending champions England in Lucknow. This pitch is not known to swing much, but can help the bowlers, oblwith good slow ones. All we have to do is wait and see if once the field is rebuilt, it will start to swing and twist a bit like it used to. If that happens, Topley will have a tough time dealing with Rohit and co on such a surface.
Shoriful Islam (Bangladesh)
ODI career: 21 matches, 33 wickets, average 24.84, economy 5.37
The Bangladesh bowler exploded with the new ball in the game against Pakistan in the Asia C.up, having given up just 193 runs, was a delight to watch. The line and length of his bowling under the lights that day was flawless. He has nothing to boast about in the wicket column though – both Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman found it difficult to lay his bat on the ball.
Shoriful can not only swing at the new ball but also bowl at a fast pace – around 135 KPH. Against Sri Lanka in the Super 4 match in Colombo, he was not effective with the new ball, but he came back with the old ball in the second over and scored two wickets in the middle overs with a pomwith his deceptive slowballs.
India will face Bangladesh in Pune. The surface here traditionally favors seamers with the new ball. Shoriful is yet to play an ODI against India and will make his World Cup debut against the hosts. India also traditionally play poorly against bowlers they haven’t faced before. Considering all these factors, Shoriful could give Indian batters a real test.
Sam Curran (England)
ODI career: 26 matches, 28 wickets, average 36.78, economy 5.89
While not an orthodox bowler, Curran can also swing at the new ball. However, his forte is the old ball and the death ball where he can utilize slow balls, yorker and the sharp bouncer that rushes batters. He is not gifted with high pace like his fellow Englishman Topley, but has unique skills and abilities. Despite all these techniques, Curran has not yet been able to perform at his best against the Indians. In three matches (all in India) he has taken two wickets at an average of 69.00 against the Blues. That’s pretty average for an experienced player like him, who is also in the IPL and understands the conditions of the game. Nevertheless, he is still a quality bowler and was the Man of the Tournament at the 2022 T20 World Cup for a reason and the Indian think tank should be wary of him.
Marco Jansen (South Africa)rica)
ODI career: 14 matches, 18 wickets, average 38.22, economy 6.23
The tall lanky bowler is familiar to Indian cricket fans from his performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. The 6’8 bowler knows how to utilize the bounce regardless of the pitch he plays on and is deadly with the new ball. Adjusting to his pitch point is what Indian bowling will have to prepare for before the game.
However, Jansen is yet to score a single puck in the two matches against India. But India will be hosting South Africa at Eden Gardens. On this pitch, the new mThe yacha swings well, so Jansen may be able to get a lot of use out of this coverage. However, the catch is that any damage he can do will have to be done with the new ball, as once the ball gets older, the cover in Kolkata will be the best for the game. Also, apart from his skills with the new ball, Jansen will have to work on bowling in the middle overs and at the death if the surface doesn’t help him.