The Indian cricket team is going through a golden phase, in large part due to their great pace bowling attack. Never has there been, in the history of Indian cricket, a pace bowling attack as deadly as the current one. Some people have even gone to the extent of saying that the current Indian pack of fast bowlers is the best in the world.
This is where Australian fans may have an issue. Their pace attack, consisting of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and, occasionally, of James Pattinson also has a reasonably good claim to the apex position among fast bowling attacks.
So, which one is better? The Australian pace battery or the Indian fast bowling unit? Let's try and compare the two.
The Indian pace attack possesses genuine speed. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, all can generate good pace. Ishant Sharma is the only one who is not express but he too is capable of ramping up his speed past 140.
The same could be said about the Australian bowling attack. Mitchell Starc has serious pace, so does Pat Cummins. Josh Hazlewood though, isn't known for his pace but his metronomic accuracy. However, even he managed to break the 150 kph barrier during the 2017/18 Ashes in Australia.
So, when it comes to speed, both the bowling attacks seem to be on a level footing.
When it comes to accuracy, Australia seem to have an edge. Their main new ball bowlers, Cummins and Hazlewood hardly bowl a bad ball in matches. Starc is the erratic one in the line-up while Pattinson is also reliable.
Indian bowlers have also become quite disciplined with Ishant Sharma being the most consistent of the lot. In fact, the accuracy of the entire Indian bowling line-up has improved over the last couple of years.
But, Australia do have a slight edge in this department.
Skills and adaptability
What makes the success of Indian pace bowling attack especially admirable is that they play most of their cricket on flat, unhelpful wickets. To be fair, the Australian pitches, of late, have also been quite lifeless, but they do have good bounce.
Indian pace bowlers have succeeded in England, South Africa, Australia, West Indies and, recently, in India also.
Compared to that, Australian fast bowlers have also proved their mettle in England and South Africa. As far as bowling in Asian conditions are concerned, Hazlewood has a six-for in India while Starc bagged a lot of wickets in Sri Lanka. So, here also both sides are evenly matched. However, the Aussie pacers looked quite innocuous against India at home in the 2018/19 series.
Here, the Indian have an edge.
In the end, it can be said that both the pace attacks are quite evenly matched. It's very hard to choose one over another. All we can do is wait for the next edition of Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The bowl out between the two teams' fast bowlers would be a treat for the fans.