Two wickets in six Twenty20 matches from regular seamers. That was how the things went for Nepal’s regular pace attack during the ACC Twenty20 Cup in a batting track at the TU Stadium.
Very few might have noticed the fast bowlers’ stats in the ACC Twenty20 owing to a power-packed performance with the bat in a tournament that saw Nepal amass their highest ever Twenty20 score (210-5 against Singapore). Batting enthralled all with five half centuries – two each from Pradeep Airee and Paras Khadka and one from Binod Bhandari.
But Twenty20 has been a game that is won by bat and for 50-over format, it is always a huge test. A huge test awaits our bowlers, batsmen and fielders in Bermuda where Nepal will begin their journey to the 2015 World Cup through the ICC World Cricket League Division-III.
Chandra Saud was the only regular pacer to strike for Nepal in the ACC Twenty20, Amrit Bhattarai went wicketless. However, both batsmen impressed with some good lines that pushed batsmen to backfoot in a batting tack. Skipper Paras Khadka – who is also a good turner of the ball – compensated for regular seamers picking up four wickets. But, Bermuda is going to be a different situation.
Nepal have got enough spinners who can tighten screws over any of the opponents in Twenty20 format and they can even do that in 50-over game. But, for how long? Their consistency cannot be expected for full 50-overs.
A good example will be Nepal’s ACC Trophy Elite match against Kuwait last year.In the group stages, a maiden century from Paras lifted Nepal to a huge 280-4. The total was huge because we have seen how Nepal used to defend their total of 150 against teams like Kuwait.
But it was not to happen against Kuwait again as they chased down the total in just 46.2 overs losing six wickets. Nepal were playing the match – later the whole tournament – without regular seam attack and against Kuwait even the spinners went for runs.
Nepal will have to prepare themselves to counter these situations and it could be done only if any of the two seamers – Chandra and Amrit – complete their job. Any of the two seamers will have to bowl their full 10 overs and ease any kind of pressure that could be exerted in the spinners.With openers showing the resilience that is needed in a 50-over match and middle order doing very good, the onus will now be on the fast bowlers to prove themselves. The spinners will once again need to be there to win tournaments for us.
Before leaving for Jaipur, Paras was confident that fast bowlers will come hard for Bermuda.”I don’t think we have to be very much concerned regarding the form the fast bowlers went through in the ACC Twenty20. We know what they are capable of and there is always a room for them to improve and they will do that,” Paras had said.
All right skipper, its time for the fast bowlers to complete their full 10 overs.