Bowling combination has been an age-old worry for India but they somehow have always found their balance right in the World Cup, with Haryana’s Mohit Sharma showing early promise in this edition of performing his duties as per his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s demand.
The third seamer has been the most important cog in the Indian bowling wheel over the years. In at least three editions, third seamer’s role has been very crucial.
Be it Roger Binny or Madan Lal, who shared the third seamer’s duties after Kapil Dev and Balwinder Singh Sandhu during the historic 1983 World Cup campaign in England or Ashish Nehra complementing Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan in the 2003 edition, India have always found their ‘Go-To’ Man.
Even Munaf Patel, who completely transformed himself from a quick bowler to steady wicket to wicket bowler, did play his part in the 2011 edition.
Similarly, Mohit, in this edition, is a late entrant into the team after Ishant Sharma’s departure due to hamstring injury.
Even before he was inducted into the main team from stand-by list, Mohit impressed everyone with his length and movement against England in Perth, and Ishant’s injury opened the World Cup doors for him.
His two for 35 coming in as a change bowler was pretty impressive. He has been consistent with his steady career economy rate of 4.87 in 90.1 overs that he has bowled in international cricket.
“So far Mohit has been really consistent with his line and length, which I feel is the key for him. He has that variation of pace. He uses the bounce so well. So far he has proved himself,” the 26-year-old got the vote of confidence from his skipper, who praised him after the Pakistan match.
Dhoni is aware of Mohit’s strengths. “He’s (Mohit) not someone who gets a lot of bounce, but he’s quite consistent with his line and length. I felt if he bowled well with the new ball, if we get more wickets with the new ball, we can put pressure," Dhoni had explained.