CHENNAI: The Australia versus New Zealand game at Auckland, which many believed was a dress-rehearsal for the World Cup final, had a nail-biting finish. For a change, bowlers dominated the proceedings.
“It was a wonderful day for the bowlers. After a long time, we saw good fast bowling by both sides. As a bowler you always yearn for a wicket that helps you display your wares. Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc were fantastic,’’ observed former India seamer L Balaji.
“Generally, bowlers are at the receiving end. When we get wickets with some life, it becomes a good contest between the bat and ball. Boult’s performance was good as he could make inroads into the powerful Australian line-up. He was sharp, nippy and used the conditions to his advantage,’’ added Balaji.
So was Starc. “That’s the beauty of the Australian team. They are very good fighters and will fight till the end. Starc was accurate, consistent, hit the right length and bowled with good pace. The way he is bowling, he can be one of the best bowlers of the tournament,’’ complimented Balaji.
In hindsight, does India miss a left-arm seamer? “It is always difficult for a batsman to play a left-right combination. Yes, India had Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, who were match-winners on their day. We had three-four left-seamers at one time—RP Singh and Irfan Pathan too were around. But now I do not see any left-arm seamer making an impact in domestic cricket. In contrast, Australia is producing quite a bit of left-arm seamers and that’s why their attack is potent,’’ opined Balaji.