How Bumrah, Arshdeep and Pandya can mimic Australia’s successful slow-cutters plan against Bangladesh

android, how bumrah, arshdeep and pandya can mimic australia’s successful slow-cutters plan against bangladesh

India have Jasprit Bumrah, who doesn’t mind going the slower-cutter route like the Aussies even with new ball. (AP)

India have Jasprit Bumrah, who doesn’t mind going the slower-cutter route like the Aussies even with new ball. (AP)

Till the end of the eighth over, Bangladesh batsmen seemed at ease. At 57/1, with Litton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto set, they were beginning to consolidate their position on a slow Antigua pitch that was gripping, offering some turn. It’s then that Australia’s seamers switched to the cutters and slower ones, even as leg-spinner Adam Zampa capitalised from the other end. Bangladesh innings never took off from then on as they managed only 140/8, which Australia overhauled comfortably by 28 runs via DLS as rain put full-stop to their chase.

If India were watching it, they couldn’t have got a better live demonstration of what they should be expecting from their next two opponents Bangladesh and Australia. India are scheduled to face Bangladesh at the same venue on Saturday and going by this game, it has all the making for a slugfest in these conditions. Having learned their lessons the hard way, Bangladesh won’t be any pushovers, particularly if the left-handed seamer Mustafizur Rahman puts his cutters to good use like Pat Cummins did in the second-half of the innings to complete the job started by Zampa. In Rishad Hossain, Bangladesh also have a leg-spinner with wicket-taking abilities in the middle-overs.

Also Read | Why Virat Kohli has to open and Rishabh Pant fits better at No 3 on sluggish tracks

India have Jasprit Bumrah, who doesn’t mind going the slower cutter route even with a new ball as he showed to take out the attacking opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz on Thursday. It wasn’t the delivery that Gurbaz was expecting, but Bumrah doesn’t do the expected or the extravagant; he solves problems with the best delivery suited to the situation. In the fifth over, Bumrah slipped in another offcutter to induce a leading edge from the left-handed Hazratullah Zazai. Afghanistan’s back was broken. India also have Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya to bowl the cutters. Hardik in particular prefers the slow bouncer with that cutter, and Arshdeep can do all lengths with that type of delivery. So, Bangladesh’s batsmen have their hands full, especially after their torrid time against Australia. At least they should expect it now.

android, how bumrah, arshdeep and pandya can mimic australia’s successful slow-cutters plan against bangladesh

Jasprit Bumrah used his slower cutters with the new ball to rattle Afghanistan on Thursday. (AP)

Jasprit Bumrah used his slower cutters with the new ball to rattle Afghanistan on Thursday. (AP)

Since the 2021 T20 World Cup, Australia’s template on slow conditions has been on predictable lines. After their new ball bowlers go full throttle, the likes of Cummins, Stoinis, Mitch Marsh or Cameron Green – who all bowl cutters – rotate with Zampa at one end. Unable to force the pace against the seamers, batsmen try to go after Zampa. It is what Das did on Friday, going for a sweep to the quicker one that the leg-spinner sent and ended up losing his stump. And that started the slide for Bangladesh.

By the end of the next four overs, where Glenn Maxwell dismissed Rishad and Shanto, Australia were on top. Mitchell Starc was already bowled out. But for the death overs, in these conditions, Australia preferred Cummins cutters rather than Starc’s yorkers. That even Josh Hazlewood used the cutters at the death alongside his yorkers, just showed how much Australia value the slower deliveries.

After delivering the 14th over, Australia would hold Cummins back till the death. And even in the 18th and 20th overs, all that Cummins did was to deliver those cutters, which were banged into the pitch. With a spongy bounce on offer making stroke making difficult, Cummins did not even come close to conceding a boundary in those three overs. And more importantly, he bagged a hat-trick spread across two overs with Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hassan and Towhid Hridoy being the three scalps.

Once the pitch settled, like in the game between West Indies and England at Gros Islet, the ball came on nicely in the second half in North Sound as well. Unlike Australia, Bangladesh seamers seldom used the cutters as David Warner and Travis Head got the head start which put them in the driver’s seat when heavy rains halted the chase in the 12th over. At that stage Australia were placed 100/2, 28 runs ahead of the DLS score.

Like Bangladesh, these cutters have been problematic for India’s batsmen. They were choked by the same Australian attack in the last year’s World Cup final and Mustafizur has a history of strangulating the Indian batsmen in the past. However, this time around, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav have been prepared to take the aggressive route in the middle-overs, almost leaving India with not much to do in the end overs.

So far in this World Cup, a drop in intent level from the batting sides in the middle-overs have proven to be the biggest undoing as a fall of wicket has led to new batsmen struggling to adjust to the pace. If India needed a lesson, Bangladesh and Australia have provided them with one.

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