Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra feels that the current Indian team has a formidable pace-bowling unit, with 6-7 fast bowlers who has heaps of talent and can lead the bowling in the future.
“We have a huge number of options, but the more important thing is quality. We have 6-7 fast bowlers and one or two come in behind also and they have quality,” said Nehra on Friday.
He was mighty impressed with Ishant Sharma, who took seven wickets in the first Test match, including a 5-fer, albeit in a losing cause.
“In the first Test match we managed to pick 20 wickets and, more importantly, somebody like Ishant Sharma – leading from the front after playing so many Test matches – that was good to see,” added the World Cup-winning bowler.
Nehra also believes that the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini will be among the next pool of fast-bowlers, who will play for India.
“Mohammed Shami was struggling with injuries, not easy to come back, and bowled his heart out (in the first Test). We have Umesh Yadav, who has heaps of talent. You have Jasprit Bumrah, who has done so well, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who has been injured, but in One-Dayers he is your number one guy.
“Another two guys I see coming up are Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. They both have been part of India A squad (and) I have (also) seen them closely in RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore). All of them have heaps of talent,” he said talking of India’s fast-bowling tank.
“We have an experienced bowling attack on this tour. All in all, we have a very good fast bowling unit.”
The 39-year-old, who despite having 12 surgeries fought his way back into the Indian team in 2010 and also represented the country in many T-20 tournaments late into his career also spoke about Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder from Baroda has improved as a bowler, said Nehra but has a long way ahead before turning up as the best.
“I personally feel when he (Hardik) is playing as a fifth bowler (in Tests), or in even T20s or One Dayers, then we need some cushion behind him. Because he is not somebody who is bowling 10 overs consistently. At times we have six batters but nobody bowls.
“He (Hardik) has done well, shown some improvement in his graph, but he has not reached that way (position) that he is your fifth bowler in 50 over (game),” observed Nehra.
But in Leeds, captain (Virat Kohli) gave him the new ball ahead of Shardul Thakur, so the captain is showing faith in him. As a bowler, he is improving, but still there is a long way to go and you cannot say he is your certain fifth bowler,” he added.