Home > Features >

Indian fast bowlers need to up the ante

Indian fast bowlers needs to up the ante

Praveen Kumar © Getty Images

A fierce pace battery has always been a chink in the armour for Indian cricket. The late 80s to early 90s was the only period when India had a formidable operating duo of Kapil Dev-Manoj Prabhakar. But after Kapil’s retirement, Prabhakar lost his sheen as a reasonably good swing bowler. Javagal Srinath has arguably been the best produce in both Test and one-day cricket as far as the pace department is concerned. However, the pair of Srinath and the tall  Venkatesh Prasad never really sent shivers down the spine of opening batsmen in the late 90s.

Zaheer Khan spearheads the current Indian fast bowling armoury. He has been the most consistent Indian fast bowler now for a long time. But the lack of proper support from the other end has only added to his burden. The likes of Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, RP Singh and S. Sreesanth have always promised a lot without delivering to the expected level. Ishant Sharma emerged as the most exciting pace prospect during his intimidating spell that troubled Ricky Ponting and eventually got him out during India’s last tour to Australia. But since then, he has been marred by consistency problems. Likewise, Sreesanth has also been a great casualty with respect to consistency. On his day he may be lethal with his outswingers as we recently saw on the second day of the third Test between India and South Africa, but when his morale is low he gets taken off for plenty.

Apart from Zaheer, Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar have now been the mainstay of Indian new ball attack for sometime, at least in the one-dayers. Their recent performances in the limited-overs game have won them serious accolades. However, the two also have their share of shortcomings. Praveen, who predominantly thrives on swing, needs to step up his speed. Nehra’s career has been lacklustre because of his injury woes and hence has been in and out of the Indian scheme of things.

India might be the No 1 in Tests and No 2 One-Day International rankings in the world, but in the run-up to the World Cup next month, the fast bowling department needs to up the ante. There is no denying the fact that spin will be the dominant factor considering the conditions in the subcontinent, but India cannot afford to be complacent as far as fast bowling is concerned. The subcontinent pitches will serve as a heaven for the batsmen and the matches will surely be run feasts. In such a scenario, the initial few overs bowled by the seamers will be highly crucial.

India is touted to be a serious contender for this year’s World Cup. And with the home conditions behind them, the battle will become even more interesting provided Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men go out there with all guns blazing, be it batting, bowling or fielding.

(Shuvait Koul, a Post Graduate Diploma holder in Journalism from Times School of Journalism, New Delhi, is a freelance writer from Delhi)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Shaminda Eranga ruled out of 2nd Test against South Africa due to hand injury

England retain Alastair Cook as captain; Jos Buttler replaces Matt Prior

Sachin Tendulkar says he predicted India’s victory against England in 2nd Test at Lord’s

Sachin Tendulkar expected to play special part Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey help India A clinch victory against South Africa A

Ishant Sharma: The enigma who takes key wickets

Statistical highlights of India vs England 2014, 2nd Test at Lord’s

Ishant Sharma’s email inbox after the Lord’s Test match against England

Ishant Sharma’s house targetted by fans after expecting another failure

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Know Your Exercises – Double leg butt kick

Sachin Tendulkar expected to play special part Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Ram Naik sworn in as UP governor

Telecom stocks ring in gain; Nifty zooms 84 points

Jaguar XJ manufactured in India launched for Rs 92.10 lakh

Nvidia Shield Tablet powered by a Tegra K1 processor announced

Diet Tip #23 – Switch to rice bran oil for better health

Rahul Bose brand ambassador of biggest school contest

Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara: Monica Khanna aka Payal in a secret relationship?

Sachin Tendulkar says he predicted India’s victory against England in 2nd Test at Lord’s

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here