Thursday, July 14, 2011

Upcoming/Lost Indian bowlers squad.

Hello people,

As the England series is here, most of the talk is about England having superior bowling along with a lot of bench strength. Yes they have an enviable line up. Tall fast bowlers are always an asset. But one thing that they should keep in mind is to stay put with feet on the ground. If they consider guaranteed about greatness, they will fall off the way swiftly. 

I feel that’s what happened or is happening with India’s bowling arsenal. India is really looking for a back for Zaheer Khan after he retires. May be Ishant Sharma is the answer with his impressive comeback against the West Indies. But we can’t be sure as he too has been among the ‘self-proclaimed’ superstars who have lost direction.
Here I give a list of bowlers who are international quality or have the potential to be successful at the top level.
Most of them have played for India in some form, but could not cement their place. Reasons could be anything. Arrogance to lack of good coaching to injuries. Even selection sometimes has been a reason as someone like Pankaj Singh went on the Australia tour of 2007-08 and didn’t play a single test. 

1. IrfanPathan : he was heralded as india’s answer to Wasim Akram. But stardom and pressure to be next Kapil Dev + Akram rolled as one has let him drift away. His strength was swing and he could bowl at low 140s which is dangerous with swing. But too much coaching led to remodeling of action, reduced speed and he lost all his zing. Any one remember the 90Mph in swinger that led to comparisons with Akram? I have no videos, but I dont need them as its so fresh in my mind.

2.  MunafPatel : He came in as the fastest Indian bowler with speeds over 150Kph. But then again, some dumb said he looked like Mcgrath and therefor he had his pace reduced and now as Andy Roberts called it, he is spinning it. [Cant say upcoming about him, he is 28].

3. RP Singh: RP Singh has in my view similarities with Pathan. An extremely talented swing bowler, who can bowl in the high 130s to 140s, has his name on the Lord’s honours board. But again lack of hunger and lack of discipline together with lack of form has somewhat thrown him out. His regress has been relatively mysterious. But he still can be Indias future if given proper care. He has got talent.

 4. P Kumar: He has grabbed every opportunity by both hands and as of now is not among the ‘failed’. But his lack of pace even at this age of 23 is not doing any good to his career. He can swing it anywhere anytime, but his pace has to be increased if he has to consistently play and trouble batsmen.

5.  A Mithun: Mithun is still young and it would be harsh to count him among the failures. He also has somewhat been shabbily treated by the selectors as he is not getting continuous opportunities. He also need to raise the pace a bit to be successful, but sure has some potential.

6. VRV Singh: He, when he came in first showed promise. Tall muscular bowler, who could regularly bowl 90Mph. But he had technical faults and bowled no-balls consistently. Lack of coaching led to his ousting. He may never come back and it is a loss.

7.  S Tyagi: Another tall bowler who was hyped up big time. But he has now drifted away with all the stardom getting to his head. Lack of temperament has led to another promising bowler’s downfall here. His arrogance is evident when he takes a wicket and you can fill a bucket full of profanity.

8. PankajSingh: Another 6 foot plus bowler who bowled in the mid-140s. I think the selectors either thought he would be like Ambrose straight away because of his height. But for whatever reason after for whatever reason they picked him, they didn’t play him a single test in Australia. He is slugging it out in the Ranjis now.

9. L Balaji: Here is one bowler who lost out not because of his own reason or any other persons, but an injury at the right time has virtually ended his international career. Anyone remember the Pakistan tour 04? He was brilliant and it seemed with Zaheer + Nehra + Balaji + Pathan, India had a decent attack [but not fearsome]. 

10. A Mishra: Lastly a couple of spinners. Amit Mishra has toiled for almost 10 years in domestic cricket to get his place in the squad. He immediately grabbed it as he took a 5 for on debut against Australia. His experience was supposed to make him feel at home. But surprisingly he turned very predictable after that and was using his googlies unimaginatively without flighting it enough. The spin stronghold of India is not able to help him yet. He has made a comeback of sorts against West Indies, but cannot in anyway be believed to have settled in.

11. P Chawla: Another leggie who bowls more googlies than his leggies. Fact that artists like Bishan Bedi can’t help Chawla is really a sad truth. They even come from the same state! He is still young and given direction can shoulder spinner’s responsibilities. Now no one can forget this delivery can they?

12. R Aswin: The guy has talent. But the problem is he has a mystery ball as well. He has to be careful not to overuse it. Mystery bowlers are sure to be sorted out as Mendis found out against India. So he should just concentrate on his off spin and control and such stuff.       

13. S Sreesanth: Sreesanth has been an enigma. Arrogant and caught by stardom I would say. He has the best seam position for an outswinger, at least from India. He can reverse the ball both ways. But the thing he lacks is temperament and control. Recently, Indian bowling coach has said, if he can control himself and not try to bowl 6 different deliveries, he will be really good. But he is 28 and what beckons for him, only God knows.
14. P Ojha: Pragyan is rated by none other than Kumble. He has got a few opportunities as well. But he will struggle to get opportunities outside the subcontinent as only one spinner plays and his fielding capabilities are well, no capabilities there. The problem he faces is his fitness and if he doesn’t reduce his waistline, he can end up being a Romesh Powar.  

15. Ishant Sharma :  Lastly, the man most likely to take the baton from Zaheer. Ishant has reemerged of sorts during the West Indies tour. When he came on to the scene, he was a tall erratic bowler who bowled 8 ball overs regularly, and looked like young Srinath. After which he had a dream spell in Australia and he troubled Ponting in India as well. But because of too much T20 and ODI cricket perhaps, he lost his rhythm. I just hope he has come back for good and carries the baton from Zaheer. He could be best ever fast bowler from India with time on his side.[ He is only 22!]

I have not counted  any bowler who is over 29 as this list is one which includes either up coming or 'could have been' upcoming bowlers. 

Some notable commissions

3. D Kulkarni [ another case of ridiculous selection. Didnt play a single game in NZ in 09]

 IPL every year means, every year some bowler or the other is hyped up as the next best. Those include Umesh yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Sharma, Sidhart Trivedi, Varun Aron, Kamran Khan, Ashoke Dinda, MS Gony etc etc. But I have not seen enough of those guys to rate them. There are also others who were promising once, like these guys above, but lost out on a decent career like Ashish nehra, Ajit Agarkar, Tinu Yohannan, Abey Kuruvilla etc. Then there are others like Avishkar Salvi[2004, was dubbed as McGrath!] who were ridiculously hyped up when they took a couple of wickets against Bangladesh. 

Reasons can be anything. Injuries, lack of temperament, arrogance, stardom, even fans. We pace starved Indians, rate a bowler pretty highly when ever we see him bowling at 140+. This adds the pressure on the bowler to straight away burst through a batsman with his pace. But when he cannot do that, he tries to change stuff. Then his coach tries to change stuff. Finally he loses the trick somewhere. I cant decide on one particular thing as I feel its different for every player.

Finally, so is it lack of talent in India in the bowling department being a country of batting superstars or is it some other combination of things? 



  1. da...u have overlooked sreesanth again....

  2. Yes, dont know how I missed him... :) may be an accidental delete ...

    He is there now ..., :)

  3. May be Varun Aaron deserves a mention. I know he has done nothing yet. I just hope (beyond hope) that he keeps up his pace.

  4. Balu: Excellent research from you man. Hats off

  5. @mudith
    No research da. Just memory! Nammal ithu thanne allayirunno krishi! ;).

    Varun Aron -required - Pace AND FEET ON THE GROUND.


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