Indian top orders need to be careful against left-arm pacers


It seems like the top order of Team India is facing a significant challenge when it comes to facing left-arm fast bowlers. This issue has been persisting for some time, and it has been a source of concern for India’s top-order batsmen. Facing left-arm fast bowlers has proven to be a formidable challenge for them, and it has been a recurring problem in recent years. This is certainly a situation that needs attention and improvement in order to strengthen India’s batting performance against such bowlers.
Team India’s top order has struggled against left-arm fast bowlers from various teams, including Australia’s Mitchell Starc, Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi, New Zealand’s Trent Boult, Marco Jensen, England’s Reece Topley, and Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman. This issue dates back to 2017, when they faced Mohammad Amir’s swing in the Champions Trophy, and they have been unable to overcome this weakness since then.
Left-arm fast bowlers pose a unique challenge to right-handed batsmen, acting as double-edged swords. Their deliveries naturally move inward, but those who can also generate away movement can be particularly troublesome. These bowlers maintain a fuller length early on, making it difficult for batsmen to react quickly by moving forward or backward while dealing with the swing.
Mitchell Starc and Shaheen Shah Afridi focus on bowling fuller deliveries in the early overs, and this strategy has brought them success, especially against India. Starc troubled India’s top order this year, notably in Visakhapatnam and Mumbai. Shubman Gill struggled against him with his movement, and Suryakumar Yadav faced difficulties dealing with Starc’s pace. Trent Boult had already made a strong impression on Team India before the last World Cup during India’s tour of New Zealand. His bowling prowess had left a lasting impact, making India wary of him during the World Cup. In that tournament, Boult focused on bowling fuller lengths to the top-order batsmen, while his partner Matt Henry attempted to dismiss Rahul and Rohit Sharma, successfully removing both openers.
Boult’s typical strategy involves bowling fuller lengths to the top order but relies more on short and slower balls when facing the lower order. Shaheen Shah Afridi was highly effective against India in both the Asia Cup matches in Pallikal and Dubai, as well as the T-20 World matches two years ago. In those encounters, he managed to dismiss Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli on both occasions.