2021 was a monumental year in Indian cricket as they won an overseas series in Australia, took a lead in England and have started strong in South Africa. The dominance of the team is due to the world-class bowling lineup Virat Kohli has at his disposal. An attack that comprises world-class talents like Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin has added to the pool with the resurgence of Mohammed Siraj.
This bowling lineup has made life extremely difficult for opposition batters in world cricket. The Indian bowlers are on their mark with every spell and in this piece, we’re looking at five such magical spells from 2021 in Test cricket.
MOHAMMED SIRAJ | 5/73 vs AUSTRALIA, THE GABBA
It’s time for the finale in Australia and suddenly India finds itself with a bowling lineup that has the combined experience of a handful of Tests. We’re at the Gabba, Australia’s fortress and Mohammed Siraj who is just into his third Test is the leader of the Indian attack.
The Australia tour was a steep learning curve for Siraj both professionally and personally. He lost his father before the start of the tour but still chose to stay back to fulfil his father’s wish of him playing a Test match for India. It seems like the big stage gets the best out of Siraj and when it came calling at the Gabba, Siraj delivered. He picked up a five-wicket haul in the second innings at Brisbane and what followed has been talked about in great detail in the past.
JASPRIT BUMRAH | 5/64 vs ENGLAND, TRENT BRIDGE
When we talk about the best bowlers going around in world cricket, the image that pops straight in your head is that of Jasprit Bumrah. He is the leading bowler for Indian in all three formats and India’s dominance has plenty to do with the growth of Bumrah as a bowler.
He was uncharacteristically off-colour in the WTC final but we saw the best of Bumrah in the next match straight away. India began a tough tour of England in Nottingham and needed its big players to step up early. Bumrah picked up four wickets in the first innings and followed it up with a fifer in the second. He decimated the English top order with swing and pace. The match was drawn as rain saved England on the final day but Bumrah’s exploits were enough to set a marker for the rest of the series.
AXAR PATEL | 5/60 vs ENGLAND, CHENNAI
Axar Patel had a breathtaking start to life as an Indian Test cricketer. In the five Tests he has played this year, Patel has already taken over 30 wickets. But it all started in Chennai in the second Test between India and England. After losing the first Test, India came back fighting in the second one at the same venue. They introduced Axar Patel to Test cricket and what an impact he had on the series.
In the second innings of the second Test, Patel went on to pick 5 for 60 and bowled the English out for 164. India went on to level the series and Patel went on to dominate the English in the next few matches.
R ASHWIN | 4/8 vs NEW ZEALAND, MUMBAI
It seems like R Ashwin makes it every year’s top spells list by an Indian. It wasn’t a five-wicket haul that made it to the list this time around but a quickfire four-wicket haul that was enough to get him a spot. In a game where Ajaz Patel scripted history by picking up all 10 Indian wickets in the first innings, Ashwin went on to pick four wickets in each innings and went on to become India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.
MOHAMMED SIRAJ | 4/32 vs ENGLAND, LORD’S
To finish the list, there couldn’t have been a better spell than Mohammed Siraj’s four-wicket haul at the home of cricket, Lord’s. The image of him running in celebration after having knocked over James Anderson’s off stump. Every time Siraj ran in to bowl at Lord’s on that afternoon he gave it his all. He is a wholehearted cricketer who has plenty of skills to back his passion now.
India went on to script yet another famous win at the Lord’s as Siraj’s four-wicket haul came in handy in bowling England out for just 120.
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