Indian cricket has seen an incredible transformation over the past few years. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, the Indian team has been a dominant Test side -- thanks to an almost revolutionary change in the side's bowling attack.
An extensive focus on fitness has also aided the Indian team in being a dominating force in global cricket. As a result, India now boasts of a richly talented pool of players at all levels, which also allows for a healthy rotation and appropriate rest for cricketers.
Former Indian bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji said that in the past, rotation wasn't a concept in the Indian team and second-choice players only received a chance when a first-teamer was injured.
“In the previous eras, injury for one gives an opportunity for another. With an exceptional first-class record, you played for India ‘A’. Some have finished as only as India ‘A’ players. You waited and waited for an opportunity till someone got injured," Balaji said, as qutoed by CricketNext.
"Today, it is about rotation. You have a wider circle, a lot of players get to experience international cricket. They are also thriving on that. It is about the right talent getting the right opportunity at the right time during the peak of their careers. It is not anymore about getting selected prematurely or after their prime,” stated the CSK bowling coach.
“This is a major transformation of the current crop of fast bowlers in India. Earlier, nine out of 10 youngsters wanted to become a Virat Kohli or a Sachin Tendulkar or an MS Dhoni. Nowadays, they want to be like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Shami or Zaheer Khan."
Further highlighting on India's incredible progress as a fast-bowling unit, Balaji gave the example of T Natarajan being included in the Test side during the Gabba match earlier this year and aiding the side to victory, in the absence of all first-choice pacers.
“The importance of fast bowling is defined with Bumrah’s pace, Shami’s modern-day skill sets, Ishant Sharma’s huge experience. T Natarajan, in recent times, has gone from a remote place in Tamil Nadu to playing international cricket, filling in the void of a left-arm seamer. All these are a result of the evolution of fast bowlers and which is why India is able to take 20 wickets in Tests consistently,” added Balaji.