India’s stellar bowling prowess garner praise from Michael Atherton in ODI World Cup
Former England captain Michael Atherton praises India’s remarkable performance and exceptional bowling prowess in the ongoing Men’s ODI World Cup, hailing their dominance as they secure a spot in the semi-finals.
India secured their place in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup semi-finals after a staggering 302-run win against Sri Lanka. Former England captain Michael Atherton hailed India as the standout team in the competition, attributing their dominance to a superior bowling attack.
“The best team by a country mile, their bowling attack stands out,” stated Atherton on The ICC Review podcast. He particularly highlighted India’s seamers, emphasizing their early breakthroughs against Sri Lanka and their consistent support to the spinners.
The recent Wankhede Stadium match showcased a sensational display by Bumrah, Shami, and Siraj, reducing Sri Lanka to just 55 runs in 19.4 overs. Atherton praised Bumrah’s early lbw dismissal of Nissanka, Siraj’s remarkable swing and seam performance leading to three wickets, and Shami’s stellar performance claiming 5-18, becoming India’s highest ODI World Cup wicket-taker.
India’s victory marked their seventh consecutive win in the tournament, with three instances of dismissing Sri Lanka for scores below 100 this year.
Reflecting on India’s bowling strength, Atherton commended the quality and depth of the pace attack, comparing it favorably to earlier eras. He acknowledged the past contributions of Srinath, Prasad, and Zaheer Khan but acclaimed the current trio backed by spinners as a top-quality, well-rounded attack.
India, at the top of the points table with 14 points, gears up for their next match against South Africa, a clash Atherton anticipates as a preview of the potential knockout stage battles.
Atherton also discussed England’s plight in the tournament, deeming their performance as a disastrous defense of the title. He pointed out crucial errors in crucial games, highlighting the impact of players’ form and the team’s struggle to regain confidence.
Atherton attributed England’s challenges to the lack of peak form among key players and highlighted critical mistakes in decisions, particularly referencing Jos Buttler’s toss decision in a must-win game against South Africa.
He emphasized that a team’s dominant phase in sports takes time to build but can rapidly diminish with a few defeats and a loss of confidence.