What is the secret behind the phenomenal success of the Indian fast bowling trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav who took 14 wickets between them to help their team defeat Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in the first Test in Indore?
According to Ishant, a part of the reason for the success is the chemistry between the three pacers under there is no junior-senior mindset and each bowler helps the other.
"I am not treated as a senior, we don't have anything like that [junior/senior mindset]. We always enjoy each other’s success, speak with each other and try and share our plans.
It’s healthy competition," Ishant told Star Sports TV channel. Ishant stressed Indian bowlers don't attach too much importance to the hierarchy within the fast bowling department but instead help each other improve.
"But at the same time, if you enjoy each others' success and whatever you spot of the others' bowling you go and tell them, things become much easier as a team," he said. Agreeing with Ishant, Shami sheds light on the friendship between the three bowlers. "We keep trying to pump each other up and keep pushing each other. It's a difficult job but we push each other, we joke with each other, that feels very nice.
When we are on the ground together, we never feel like we aren't enjoying others' success. That's special." Umesh Yadav, who was playing only his third Test this year, performed equally well in Indore, supporting Ishant and Shami with his economical and incisive bowling. The 32-year-old feels that bowling together and sharing plans has helped the seamers change the face of Indian fast bowling.
"Earlier pacers would bowl only a few overs and then the spinners would come on with turning tracks. But the way all the bowlers are bowling together, we know what our strong point is, what our areas are and we plan that way," he said.
"We try for the first 10-15 overs or how much ever we bowl, if we can each take a wicket, then it'll be better for our spinners. And our confidence is high since we'll get to bowl again. If we take wickets, we'll get more bowling, which is good for us."
Never before India had such a group of such talented fast bowlers operating together. In late 1970s and 80s, there was just one and only Kapil Dev whom no other Indian bowler could match. Then came Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad from 1990s followed by Zaheer Khan. But all of them came in isolated phases and India never had a bunch of quality pacers playing together at a given span of time.
No wonder, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was effusive about his pace bowlers after India’s crushing victory over Bangladesh in the Indore test terming Ishant, Shami and Umesh as a “dream bowling combination for any captain. The fast bowlers are on top of their game and it does not matter which pitch they are operating on.”