Ramiz Raja was effusive in his praise for India’s bowling attack ahead of the World Test Championship Final. The former Pakistan cricketer credited the team’s head coach Ravi Shastri for bringing in a culture change within the dressing room.
India’s pace battery has been richly lauded in recent years, with the fast bowlers impressing in both home and away conditions. Complementing that by the spinners, many feel India have the most rounded bowling attack in Test cricket.
Speaking to The Quint, Ramiz Raja agreed with the same assessment, explaining how Ravi Shastri seems to have taken a leaf out of Pakistan’s playbook.
“A different culture can be seen among the Indian pace bowlers with the way they operate, and a lot of it would be because of the kind of culture Ravi Shastri has built. Ravi always used to say that he was fascinated by Pakistan’s aggressive approach. And now, I can see that how the environment around the Indian team has changed a lot. Any new boy, who comes into the team, simply fits in without any hesitation,” Ramiz Raja said.
With a strong blend of youth and experience, India have envious strength in depth when it comes to their pace attack. The same is the case with their spinners, with Indian bowlers consistently taking 20 wickets despite missing senior bowlers due to injury. That has prompted Ramiz Raja to label India the best bowling attack in the world.
“They have got the passion and variety in their (pace) attack. They’re always willing to bowl any spell with the mindset of winning. The accuracy, execution and confidence of their bowlers makes them the best attack,” Ramiz Raja mentioned.
Ramiz Raja on the Jadeja vs Ashwin debate
Both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are likely to start the all-important World Test Championship Final against New Zealand. However, many feel there is no need to play two spinners in English conditions, with pundits suggesting Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur or Mohammed Siraj could play instead.
While Ramiz Raja did not go into the selection debate, he admitted Ravichandran Ashwin should play in case India decide to go with just one spinner for the final.
“Jadeja is magical, but I would prefer a regular spinner like Ashwin. I will consider Jadeja only as an all-rounder, but in Test cricket, you need specialists like Ashwin. The left-arm angle will be a bit easier for the Kiwis,” Ramiz Raja concluded.
The ICC showpiece event is just a few days away, with India taking on New Zealand in the WTC Final in Southampton on June 18.