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Virat Kohli, let’s unleash all four fast bowlers against Pakistan

India have four talented, in-form fast bowlers to choose from in this ICC Champions Trophy 2017, with all four of them giving Virat Kohli a wicket-taking option. So, when it comes down to choosing the bowlers for the big game against Pakistan, India's opener, which will be played at Edgbaston, the captain will have a difficult choice to make.

Mohammed Shami showed his potency with the ball in the first warm-up match against New Zealand, picking up three wickets.
Umesh Yadav has been India's outstanding fast bowler for the last nine months and can take wickets with the new ball, with his ability to swing the white cherry. After a good spell in the opening practice match, Umesh was fantastic against Bangladesh at The Oval on Tuesday.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is accurate, can move the ball both ways, has increased his pace and is a great death bowler. Add the fact that he took bucketloads of wickets in both warm-ups, it makes him undroppable.

Jasprit Bumrah is arguably India's best fast bowler at the moment in limited-overs cricket. While he might not get you early wickets, he is a force of nature at the death and cannot be dropped.
To top that, Kohli has two world-class spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.

How difficult is it going to be to drop one of them from the playing XI?

If India decide to go with three fast bowlers – and against Pakistan they should – then one of Jadeja and Ashwin might have to sit out.
Hardik Pandya, India, Champions Trophy, Pakistan, Bangladesh

Hardik Pandya could be the unlucky one to miss out, if India decide to go with five bowlers against Pakistan

The other option would be to drop either Kedar Jadhav or Hardik Pandya and go in with five pure bowlers. That would put the India batting under a little bit more pressure, and against a strong Pakistan bowling attack, that could prove to be troublesome.
What Kohli does have with all these bowlers, though, is options.
Bhuvneshwar, who has been overlooked too many times in the past, and Bumrah should play against Pakistan, leaving Kohli to choose from one of Shami and Umesh.

While Shami was outstanding against New Zealand, considering how well Umesh has bowled of late, the latter might just get the nod.
Dropping one of Ashwin or Jadeja will not be that easy.
Maybe, India should just back their six batsmen – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav – and just play the five pure bowlers.

Hardik played a special innings with the bat against Bangladesh, but Jadhav is the more reliable option with the willow, and if India decide to go with five bowlers – three pacers and two spinners, or maybe even all four of the fast bowlers along with one of Jadeja and Ashwin – then Hardik is the man likely to be the unlucky one to miss out. India used the four pacers and Jadeja for the warm-up against Bangladesh, and that might have been a hint of what to expect against Pakistan.

However you look at it, India look good going into the opening match against Pakistan. If all their bowlers come to the party in Birmingham on Sunday, the defence of that Champions Trophy title will get off to the best possible start


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