India’s pace bowling worries

30 Jan 2010 by Mahendra Prasad in Indian Cricket Team

India has had it all when it’s come to the number of pacers in their ranks but, none of them with the exception of Zaheer khan has been able to perform consistently and more importantly economically at the international level. In the last ten years we have seen these cricketers sweat it out without much success:

  • Praveen Kumar
  • Ishant Sharma
  • Munaf Patel
  • Ashish Nehra
  • S Shreesanth
  • Irfan pathan
  • L balaji
  • Sudeep Tyagi
  • Ashoke Dinda
  • RP Singh
  • Ajit Agarkar
  • VRV Singh

All these bowlers be it after injury or after a certain lay off seem to have either lost their pace or swing or their length. Something has definitely gone wrong. India has used all these bowlers in the last 5 years. None of them are a permanent fixture in the Indian team currently. To add to this Abhimanyu Mithun (taking nothing away from the youngster) has been added to the squad for the South African series. Starting right from the beginning

Praveen Kumar: This young man has a good set of skills in his kit bag. However, the only thing missing is the pace. He is still a handful and is perhaps the only bowler out of the above who can swing the new ball both ways. As far he is concerned more consistent performances in the domestic level along with pitching the ball up to the batsman could help him.

Ishant Sharma: This young lanky pacer burst on to the scenes in Australia troubling the likes of Ricky ponting and Matthew Hayden. However, after that golden year of his he seems to have lost out on all the pace he had. The nip back in to the batsman seems to be missing and the rhythm is just gone so much so that he was dropped for most part of the 2009 season in the Indian sub-continent. He needs to get his focus right and that will only happen if the training gets more intense.

Munaf Patel: Perhaps India’s most steady bowler. But, the thing that’s hitting him the most amongst competition is his inability with the willow in hand along with his miserable fielding performances. I still believe that Munaf would have been a regular in the Indian XI had his fielding been of decent standards. Munaf needs to come up with a couple of striking performances so that he is back in the reckoning.

Ashish Nehra: He played his last ODI in about 4 years in September 2005 against arch rivals Pakistan. After that he has suffered several ankle injuries hits and misses. He finally with his good performance with the Delhi daredevils in the IPL West Indies in the absence of Zaheer khan and assumed the role of the strike bowler pretty well. He provided good performances until the back end of the year where his form started to drop and he started to leak runs

S Shreesanth: India’s antic boy—S shreesanth has shown a lot of promise but delivered very little. Barring his performance in South Africa in 2006 shreesanth hasn’t made one series his own. The pacer needs to calm his antics down a little and pay more attention on getting his out swingers going at decent pace.

Irfan Pathan: India’s lost wonder boy. No one knows where he is—after one of the best debuts he could ask for irfan pathan has found himself wanting and is clueless what to do next. After showing himself as India’s next big thing Irfan pathan’s actual performance on the field has left a lot to be desired. The sad thing for irfan is that the selectors have lost hope in him and was seen missing from India’s top 30 squad for the champions trophy. Pathan seriously needs to get his act together and come up with a strong performance in this year’s IPL and show not just the selectors but the entire nation that he is still world class.

L Balaji: Balaji has seen misfortune like no other. After a wonderful start to his career down under that took shape in Pakistan in 2004-2005 balaji looked one for the future. However, after his wonderful tour of Pakistan he was hit by an injury spade which has haunted him ever since then. He did manage to make a comeback which perhaps was his last go and that failure certainly does not hold good for him. His future unfortunately looks a grim one.

RP Singh: RP Singh very similar to Irfan Pathan lost his swing and pace after a decent start to his career. However, the good thing for RP has been his performances in the IPL which has helped him gain a spot not once but twice although he seems to throw it away after that. Another good IPL performance should hold him in good stead and RP must make sure he grabs the next Indian chance he gets which might not be too far considering his colleagues bowling form.

Ajit Agarkar: Once, India’s young and only bowling prospect. Agarkar delivered for a lot of years. He has always been a wicket taker but his backdrop has been his leakage of runs which in this era will not do. Agarkar was a pretty handy bat down the order too with a top score of 95. The selectors seem to have look past Agarkar and its up to Agarkar who has to come up with some strong performances in order to be back in the reckoning.

Sudeep Tyagi, Ashoke Dinda and VRV Singh: the three of them put together have only played a handful of matches. Out of the three Sudeep Tyagi looks the most likely for an Indian future and rightly so. The young pacer very similar to Ishant Sharma has to make sure that the pressure and success of international cricket doesn’t get to him. As far as the other two are concerned they need to continue the good work and give good performances in both the IPL and the ranji trophy.

India have their batting sorted; but the bowling continues to be a big worry. Zaheer khan seems to be the only one to be missing in the list due to his continual strong performances in spite of all his injuries. The long and short of it is that: You need 20 wickets to win test matches on a continuous basis. In comparison to top ranked teams Australia seem to have a super pace battery with Johnson , Lee, Clark, Bracken, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, McKay, Tait and now Harris all rearing to go and firing on all cylinders when fit.

As experts say gyms and training is all worthwhile but the only thing that helps bowlers is spending hours and hours at the nets doing nothing but BOWLING!!!


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