One might miss Jasprit Bumrah's pace and deception after he made himself unavailable for selection owing to a stress fracture late September.
Though the World No 4 Test bowler did not play against South Africa and now Bangladesh, at home, the Indian pace attack hasn't looked any less menacing.
Umesh Yadav, who replaced Bumrah, was under immense pressure. Having last played a Test against Australia in Perth, almost a year ago, the twin Tests against South Africa in Ranchi and Pune were a litmus test.
Yadav silenced his critics, bagging six wickets in the Pune Test and five in Ranchi. He has started well against Bangladesh, returning figures of 14.3-3-47-2.
India skipper Virat Kohli has heaped praise on Yadav and Mohammed Shami. After the third Test in Ranchi, which India won by a record innings and 202 runs, Kohli had said, "If you look at these two guys, their strike rate is probably the best in Indian conditions in history, which tells you that these guys hit the stumps and the pads more than anyone else before them.
"It's again a great sign of the kind of intent that the bowlers are running in with now. The fitness levels have gone up, so your brain is supporting what you want to do because your body also will support that workload."
Shami shines through
Shami's reverse swing and ability to pick wickets in the second innings has emerged as a potent weapon for the side. Former India fast bowler-turned coach Subroto Banerjee, in an earlier interview with Sportstar , had talked about the 29-year-old's technique and what makes him so dangerous in the longer format.
"He can swing the ball and his seam position is excellent. He can be compared to somebody like Waqar Younis. His length is a bit up, he may get hit for a few boundaries more than others but he is an excellent red-ball bowler. He bowled well in the World Cup because of the rhythm. He can reverse the ball very well because of his seam position. He has troubled enough batsmen with reverse swing," Banerjee had observed.
Shami had bagged 13 wickets in the Proteas series, with his best performance of 5/35 coming in the Visakhapatnam Test.
Shami was also the pick of the bowlers after the first day's play in Indore, pocketing three wickets. Social media went especially crazy after Shami sent both Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedy Hasan back to the dressing room off consecutive deliveries. During the innings, Kohli had even signalled the 11,000-strong crowd to cheer for Shami.
Ishant comes good
Test specialist Ishant Sharma's return to the scheme of things was labelled as "Ishant 2.0" among fans. Between 2010 and 2017, Ishant played 60 Tests and took 172 wickets at an average of 37.22, striking once every 68 deliveries. However, things changed drastically after that.
Since the start of 2018, he has played 13 Tests clinching 52 wickets at an outstanding average of 19.78. At the end of first day's play against the Bangladesh in Indore on Thursday, Ishant had bowling figures of 12-6-20-2.
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