Highlights

  • Indian pacers looked off-colour in Centurion Test
  • Jasprit Bumrah found little support from Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna

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Irfan Pathan urges India to strengthen pace bowling bench in 2024 | IND vs SA

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan underscored the need for a bigger pool of fast bowlers, highlighting how Mohammed Shami's backups didn't come to the party in the Centurion Test.

Irfan Pathan urges India to strengthen pace bowling bench in 2024 | IND vs SA

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has highlighted the need for India to bolster its pace bowling reserves in 2024. This recommendation comes in the wake of India's performance in the Centurion Test, which revealed significant weaknesses in their pace department, particularly in the absence of key players like Mohammed Shami.

In the recent defeat against South Africa in the opening Test of the series, Shami's absence was noticeably detrimental to the team's performance. Additionally, Jasprit Bumrah, despite being a pivotal figure in the bowling lineup, lacked adequate support from fellow pacers Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna. Bumrah's susceptibility to injuries further underscores the necessity for a deeper pool of fast bowlers.

Discussing India's focus areas for the upcoming year with Star Sports, Pathan emphasized the importance of developing a robust fast bowling unit. "India needs to prepare a good fast bowling unit in 2024. We saw what happened in South Africa, the backups were not ready. Shami was missed," Pathan explained. He also stressed the potential risks associated with Bumrah's injuries, saying, "If god forbid, something happens to Bumrah as we have seen in the past, injury can happen to him. If we don't prepare a big pool, we won't get quality pacers like them (Bumrah, Shami). You need to have 7-8 pacers ready for the highest level."

Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian captain, also expressed his views on the team composition. He advocated for a balance between young talent and experienced players. "The biggest focus should be on having a good blend of youth and experience," Gavaskar said. "You need to have a wise cool head to temper the excitement of the younger blood."

Pathan further mentioned the necessity for India to develop future leaders. He noted the successes under Virat Kohli's and Rohit Sharma's captaincies and the need for grooming new leaders to ensure continuity. "Leadership is another area we need to focus on. We need to have 2-3 leaders ready as this year we can see many changes," Pathan added.

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