India have often struggled overseas but they addressed the problem by producing a group of quality fast bowlers which makes Virat Kohli and his men “the real deal now” in world cricket, feels Australian legend Allan Border.
India Sunday retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a comprehensive 137-run win in the third Test at the MCG on Sunday, taking an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
“They’re the real deal now, they’re the No. 1 team. They’ve been a great side to watch and they deserve this win,” Border told foxsports.com.au.
“They’ve had their struggles away from home, but they’re starting to improve because they’ve had some good fast bowling.
“Now they can combat Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – countries that produce those fast, bouncy, seaming wickets. They used to struggle on those, but they don’t struggle on those now.”
Jasprit Bumrah has emerged as the best bowler in world cricket now with 48 wickets in his debut Test season. He is part of a lethal pace trio involving the veteran Ishant Sharma and the wily Mohammed Shami.
The trio have collectively taken 134 away wickets (Bumrah 48, Ishant 40 and Shami 46) in a single calender year, eclipsing the 34-year-old record that stood in the name of the fearsome West Indies trio of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Joel Garner (130 wickets in away tours in 1984).
Border heaped praise on India’s pace unit, saying: “It’s as a good an Indian bowling attack as I’ve ever seen.
“They’ve had some fantastic individual bowlers over the years, particularly famous for their spin, going back to when I first started with Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar.
“Now they’ve settled on a fantastic fast bowling group, plus they’ve got a couple in the wings that are pretty handy, plus they’ve got a couple of good spinners and their batting is very, very good.”