Mohammed Shami India
Harbhajan Singh believes Mohammed Shami lacks consistency in his bowlingReuters

During the tri-series between Australia and England, the worrying bit for India was that their batsmen failed time and again, unable to quite compensate for the extra pace and bounce that was there on offer on the Australian wickets. India's hopes at the ICC World Cup 2015, after all, rest on their batsmen, because everyone, including that Eskimos in Antarctica, knows the Men in Blue's bowlers are the weak link.

The batsmen will, most often than not, need to score those 20-30 extra runs if they are batting first to give their bowlers a chance, with the pacers, in particular, time and again disappointing with the cherry.

Harbhajan Singh, of the 2011 vintage, is another one of the scores who agrees that India's bowling needs to improve.

"Save Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar], I don't think other bowlers have been consistent enough," said Harbhajan during a News24 conclave in the capital. "The likes of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have a lot of talent but they haven't bowled to one line.

"They have sprayed deliveries on both sides of the wicket. At this level, if the batsman gets 2-3 hittable balls every over, it becomes difficult for the bowling side."

Consistency, undoubtedly, is the key to bowling, and, worryingly, even Bhuvneshwar Kumar has struggled more often than not so far in this Australia tour, even if that might be largely down to injury.

"Lack of practice is the reason for Indian bowlers being inconsistent," added Harbhajan. "No one can bowl all six deliveries in the right areas, not even a great bowler like Glenn McGrath. But at least you bowl on the right areas at an average and that is not happening with the guys."

MS Dhoni needs to get the best out of his bowling once the World Cup reaches its business end. They might be able to paper over the cracks in the group stage, but once the knockout rounds come knocking, the bowlers will not be able to hide.

India's spinners have the ability to do a decent job, keep things tight enough and even pick up the odd wicket or two, but the key in ODIs remain the first ten overs and the last ten – bulk of which will invariably be bowled by the faster bowlers.

If Shami, Yadav, Bhuvneshwar, Ishant Sharma, who is a major doubt for the World Cup with a knee injury, and even Stuart Binny can produce good balls more often, then India's position will be strengthened considerably, assuming, of course, that their batsmen get back into form at the right time.

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