The emergence of a ruthless, fit, menacing, consistent fast bowling unit has been at the heart of Team India’s success in Test cricket in the past 24 months. During this peri0d, the fast bowlers have not only bamboozled the opposition batsmen in the favourable conditions of South Africa, Australia or England but have also done the same on the subcontinent pitches.
The year 2019 belonged to the Indian fast bowlers. Not only did they take hattricks for fun- Mohammed Shami [ODIs], Jasprit Bumrah [Tests] and Deepak Chahar [T20Is]-but the unit hunted in a pack with sustained hostility. And, former Indian fast bowler Irfan Pathan has hailed its emergence as one of the success stories of the year 2019.
While Mohammed Shami finished in the top-five bowlers with most international wickets [77 wickets] in 2019, Jasprit Bumrah, despite his injuries, ended up as the second-highest wicket-taker (42 wickets) for India this year. Along with the aforementioned duo, the likes of Ishant Sharma [25 wickets] and Umesh Yadav [23 wickets] too chipped in at various stages.
“This year we saw India’s fast bowlers bowl beautifully for the country and it’s been one of the best fast bowling line-ups that we have seen. We saw the intent with which they bowled, they came in, bowled hard-swinging deliveries, new or old ball it didn’t matter. I have really seen the growth of Indian cricket especially in terms of fast bowling which has been the highlight for me this year,” Irfan Pathan was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Winning a Test series in Australia was my dream- Irfan Pathan
Like most of the cricketers of his generation, Irfan Pathan too had a dream of winning a Test series in Australia. The southpaw, who played a crucial part in India’s historic win in Perth back in 2008, made his debut on the Men in Blue’s 2003-04 tour of Australia where he made an immediate impact knocking over Adam Gilchrist.
The Indian team on the tour came agonizingly close to breaching the Aussie barrier, but couldn’t. And so, with Virat Kohli and his side fulfilling his wish of seeing an Indian team return victorious from Down Under, there was no way that Irfan was going to miss out in naming the 2018-19 series win in Australia as his favourite moment of the year.
“It’s been a very good year for Indian cricket but being a Test cricketer, my dream always was to beat Australia in Australia but I was not able to achieve that in my career. I’m so glad that this Indian team under Virat’s (Kohli) leadership has beaten Australia for the first time in their favourite and which is my favourite moment of Indian cricket in 2019,” the left-arm pacer added.
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