India captain Virat Kohli has said his fast bowlers' performance in the Hyderabad Test has raised his hopes that they can succeed on foreign soil. While their numbers during this home season haven't been as imposing as those of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the likes of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have chipped in with incisive spells at key moments.
Umesh's spell on the third morning was described by Shakib Al Hasan as the best spell he had ever faced. Ishant picked up two wickets in the second innings while Bhuvneshwar impressed Kohli with his work with the old ball.
"It is always a good thing to have good fast bowlers in the team especially in Test cricket," Kohli said. "If you can have 3-4 seamers in your squad who are attacking bowlers and can pick you wickets at any stage during the day, then it is a bonus for any side. When we start going away from home, it is going to help us big time. The more the guys understand how to pick up wickets and how to set batsmen up, it is going to be really good for us.
"Sides will know that these are not easy runs for the taking, they will have to work hard given the way our fast bowlers are bowling. It gives us more strength as a team having fast bowlers in rhythm and confidence and that's something we always believe in doing in the team, giving our bowlers more importance and telling them they are the match-winners."
Kohli said that like Umesh in the first innings, Ishant stood apart among the bowlers during the second innings. Ishant took the key wickets of Sabbir Rahman and Mahmudullah after the sixth-wicket pair had added 51 in 18 overs.
Ishant removed Sabbir with a delivery that came back in subtly; the batsman's review of the leg-before decision was more out of hope than anything else. Soon after, he banged one in short to get Mahmudullah caught on the hook. Bangladesh's back was broken in their quest to save the Test.
Kohli said the quality of India's spinners ensures that the fast bowlers play a more aggressive role. He said Ishant breaking the partnership was crucial.
"In the first innings it took a bit of patience for us to get wickets," Kohli said. "I thought Umesh [Yadav], Bhuvi and Ishant Sharma were brilliant but Umesh stood out. In the second innings, all three bowled really well and Ishant stood out. I said in the post-match [presentation] that the quality of our spinners allows our fast bowlers to attack because of the way spinners bowl and contain runs, the pacers can really attack as soon as it starts reverse-swinging. I thought today Ishant's spell was really good, bowled with pace and had to put in effort to take wickets at that stage and he took both the set batsmen out. That was really good for us."
Kohli also said Bhuvneshwar Kumar's improvement in the last few matches has added to India's pace bowling stocks. While Bhuvneshwar took only one wicket in the game, his spells with the old ball, particularly on the fifth day, didn't let Bangladesh settle down for the rest of the day.
"[Mohammad] Shami, Ishant [Sharma] and Umesh [Yadav], we all know. They've done it with the old ball many times. The way Bhuvi has bowled in the last few games he has played, with the old ball - it's all because of his fitness levels having increased.
"Having more strength in the body, he's been able to put more pace in the ball which is key for reverse-swing. The other three guys, naturally, have more pace than him. I think Bhuvi has stepped up the game with the old ball too."