The world cup so far has been high-scoring and batsmen have set standards for an unimaginable total. There have been times when 300+ would guarantee a win, but now 350 looks possible as teams with batting line-ups as bad as Pakistan also managed to reach the score. That being said, bowlers have looked helpless on the grounds especially during death overs. In the final 10 overs, batsmen are trying to hit every ball outside the park and this fierce striking of the ball has been a concern for bowlers and their economy.
Few lethal bowling sides which specifically include South Africa and Australia have also faced these problems. 350 was scored against them. Which means that on a bad day, a score above 400 looks possible against weaker bowling attacks.
Australia reckoned the fact that India could use the strategy of bowling bouncers on these pitches. West Indies used this very plan Australia and Pakistan and it did make a difference considering the fact that West Indies don’t have a promising bowling attack. In a press conference prior to the clash of Indian and Australia, Ricky Ponting said that India will use a similar strategy against Australia as it has worked for all the teams so far. With Dhoni behind the stumps and Kohli leading the team with his aggression, it won’t be surprising if Shami makes it to the team and bouncers rain from 4 bowlers.
Ponting critiqued the entire bowling line-up. Bhuvneshwar and Hardik being the slower ones will look to bowl wider and swing the ball. On the other hand, Bumrah will mix it up with his quicker bouncers and angles to trouble the batsmen. Shami should be the key bowler on any pitch which is green and favors the bowling conditions. In fact, this applies to all the bowlers with similar skills throughout this tournament, Ponting added. With coaches reading the game so well it is clear that the upcoming games will be played with refined strategies most of which would look to restrict the scores below 300 and chase them down.
The Australians are known for their pace attack and it should continue to be their strength. A couple of bad matches shouldn’t let them down and the team must remain confident of the skills they possess. Stoinis is not very old but he is a complete package and he will surely shine with Starc and Cummins.
The freestyle gameplay of batsmen is a challenge for bowlers. Sadly pace, Yorkers, and bouncers seem to be the only weapons because once these batsmen are set, swing and seam are simple terms. While most people are under-skilled to bowl quick Yorkers, bouncers in the beginning and end of the innings comprise more than 60% of the balls. Hopefully, there will be more matches with closer encounters and less with sub-par high totals.