Since the start of the year, Indian bowlers — especially the pacers — have been exceptional in foreign conditions and time and time again, they have given the team a chance to win the match in tough overseas conditions.
But one thing that has caught the eye this year is bowling unit's ability against the southpaws. Because of this, India have been able to bundle out the opposition in their own backyard — something which used to be quite rare in the years gone by.
Coming back to the Pataudi Trophy, three Indian bowlers have been particularly good against left-handers — Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami. They have dismissed southpaws more than right-handers so far.
The likes of Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings and Ben Stokes have all struggled against the Indian attack and it is young all-rounder Sam Curran who surprisingly leads the chart of most number of runs scored by a southpaw in the series by an Englishman.
So far, India have played seven Tests in 2018 — three against South Africa, one against Afghanistan and three against England. The batting average of left-handed batsmen against Indian bowlers has been a paltry 19.02, which is the second-lowest in a calendar year (minimum five Tests played) since 1984 (16.92 from 5 Tests).
Indian bowlers have also maintained a very high balls per dismissals record against the southpaws this year — 42.13 (which is the best since 2010). Moreover, the batting strike-rate of 45.15 of the southpaws against Indian bowlers is second worst in this decade after 2016 — 44.27. The Indian bowlers have also managed to stop the flow of runs by cutting down boundaries as the ratio of balls per boundary of 16.44 is the fourth worst.
alastair cookengland vs india 2018India vs Englandishant sharmaKeaton Jenningsleft-handersmohammed shamiR Ashwinsam curran
First Published: August 24, 2018, 7:39 AM IST