Home > Features >

Bhuvneshwar, Shami should be handled with care; BCCI needs a plan for its fast bowlers with an eye on 2015 World Cup

Bhuvneshwar, Shami should be handled with care; BCCI needs a plan for its fast bowlers with an eye on 2015 World Cup

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (in picture) and Shami Ahmed have proved their worth for India by doing well in the absence of the experienced Zaheer Khan © PTI

By Prakash Govindasreenivasan

The sight of a young Bhuvneshwar Kumar swinging the ball both ways and setting up the opposition batsmen was truly heartening. A feisty spell from the 23-year old Shami Ahmed on his debut against Pakistan and a hard-working Parvinder Awana’s splendid domestic record are reasons enough to believe that an Indian bowling attack, sans the experience of Zaheer Khan, can finally power through. But does the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have a plan for them?

India has not been known for producing fast quality bowlers. The country is known for producing legendary batsmen and master spinners. The repercussions of a poor line-up of fast bowlers showed in two of India’s most horrendous tours abroad in 2011. While it is encouraging to see youngsters like Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Awana get international opportunities based on their domestic record, there needs to be a plan in place to ensure that they are in the scheme of things for the 2015 World Cup.

The Indian team came a long way from their first-round exit in the 2007 World Cup to triumph in the 2011 World Cup. The team saw a monumental change in almost every aspect of their game, but the shortcomings in the fast bowling department remained, if not heightened.

The problem has not entirely been the lack of genuine fast bowlers. It has also been the way the board has handled them in case of injury or dip in form. A closer look at the career graph of the likes of Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and even Shantakumaran Sreesanth will show similar trends. All of them have suffered injuries and inconsistency, something that every fast bowler faces at some point in his career. But on their return, the BCCI failed to treat them well. The ones who were once considered a future prospect were struggling to find a place in the team. Sreesanth, despite his antics, deserves to be taken seriously. He bowls with a lovely seam position that makes him a threat on foreign conditions. After being a part of the team in the fateful tour of England in 2011, he was sidelined by an injury and was out of contention for national selection. After almost a year-and-a-half he has regained full fitness and is playing for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy. But does he have a future in the Indian side? Looking at past records of selection patterns, the answer is a sad NO.

The BCCI really needs to chalk out a plan with an eye on the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, where fast bowlers could make the difference. In the current scheme of things, the exciting likes of Bhuvneshwar and Shami will be long lost before India even starts defending their title. A plan needs to be drafted that will allow the board to monitor their growth. With the number of talented bowlers coming out from the domestic circuit, the board can make a pool of quick bowlers and give them enough opportunities to prove their worth before picking the best for the tournament in 2015.

The board has showed great intent by infusing youngsters into the national side after dropping the axe on veteran Zaheer. The most crucial move now would be to stick by the young guns irrespective of the result in the One-Day International (ODI) series against England and give them a long rope as India welcome Australia in February-March. This decision will be crucial in shaping the team for the tour to South Africa towards the end of the year. If they pull this off, it will be a giant leap towards improving the team’s performance in foreign conditions and build a strong side for the World Cup.

(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

NGOs pursue education for all

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Katrina Kaif beats Deepika Padukone to win Maxim India’s HOT 100 list, 2014!

Bangladesh outclass Zimbabwe by 68 runs in 2nd ODI; take 2-0 lead in series

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Nigaar Khan leaves the house, says she is shocked by Gautam Gulati and Puneet Issar’s hatred towards her!

सौन्दर्य टिप #43: मुँहासों से छुटकारा पाने के लिए शहद से बना पैक लगाकर देखें

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here