Muscat: "For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack"
Rudyard Kipling's iconic lines from The Jungle Book could be the ultimate summation of the metamorphosis of India's now veneered fast bowling attack.
And especially so, away from home where they have been on a rampage since 2018 breaching fortresses on their way to catapulting India to become the World's No 1 Test nation.
The rise of a certain Jasprit Bumrah and his almost beast like instincts unheard and unseen in Indian fast bowling parlance for decades. The control over pace, the precision of lines and lengths, accuracy of seam positions all working in tandem as the Ahmedabad-born player transformed the character of Indian fast bowling.
Bumrah has featured in 25 Test matches for India and 23 of those Tests have been away from home. With a bowling average of 21.04 away from home and 102 of his 106 wickets coming on overseas tours, Bumrah has been nothing short of a revelation.
Barring New Zealand, where he has played only two Tests, Bumrah has been an outstanding performer in the rest of the SENA (South Africa, England, NZ, Australia) nations.
In SA, the Mumbai Indians bowler has scalped 19 wickets in four Tests so far with an average of 22.05.
He has been most impressive in Australia claiming a whopping 32 wickets in seven matches played there with an average of 21.25 troubling the Australians to no end in India's now famous back-to-back series wins in 2018 and 2021.
Bumrah was the shining light in England too where in seven Tests he bagged 32 wickets at an average of 25.93 to maintain India's stranglehold over the English since 2018.
In the current series in SA, Bumrah made all the difference in the second innings of the first Test as the wickets of Rassie van der Dussen, Keshav Maharaj and Dean Elgar demonstrated.
If Bumrah is the leader of the pack, Mohammad Shami is a relentless pursuer of a batsman's defensive fragilities and has augmented India's pace department.
SHAMI LENDS THE EDGE
Mohammad Shami, who is five years senior to Bumrah, has over the years had an up and down sort of a career but in the last couple of years has matured to become Bumrah's most able ally.
Shami has a striking average of 19.47 in South Africa where he has played 9 Tests since 2013 and picked up 42 wickets. The Bengal bowler has been a thorn in the flesh for the Proteas.
Although, his average in other SENA nations is not that impressive, Shami's mastery over his craft has ensured India's fast bowling attack is ever potent.
The emergence of the young, restless and fearless Mohammad Siraj and his brilliant performance with the ball Down Under in the 2020-2021 series has completed the fast bowling pack like never before.
Siraj's sheer hunger, enthusiasm and passion to rattle the opposition batsmen and create something out of nothing has made him a dangerous proposition.
The Hyderabad lad picked up 13 wickets in three matches with an average of 29.53 on the Australia tour where the cricketing world took notice of him.
Siraj was equally good on the England tour last year when he scalped 14 wickets in four matches with an average of 30.71 as he took India to the cusp of a series victory.
With the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj operating at the helm of affairs, one could safely India's fast bowling attack is truly working like a wolf pack.
One picks up wickets and creates pressure for the opposition batsmen. The others are unrelenting as well and eventually they hunt their prey down with alacrity.
They are one for all and all for one.