What Happened To India’s Seamers?




India is a nation famous for its spinners rather than its pace-bowlers is a well known fact. But not to forget the quality seamers it has produced over time. From the days of Kapil Dev to Javagal Srinath and now to Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, fast bowlers have been an integral part of India’s success at home and overseas. Though not express speed like their Australian or African counterparts, they have managed to give the opponent batsmen a run for their money. Looking back at the England debacle, you start to wonder what happened to the fast bowling talent in the country and why the reserve speedsters couldn’t step up and perform even in the English bowler-friendly conditions!

What happened to India’s seamers?

What happened to India’s seamers?

We all remember a 19 year old debutant in Irfan Pathan causing worries to the mighty Aussie batsmen during India’s tour of Australia in 2003 and him being named as the ICC Emerging Player of the Year in the following year but now he has just faded away owing to injuries and poor form which is rather a disgrace to the promise he showed. Another example is RP Singh who tormented the English batsmen during India’s tour of England in 2006 where the left-armer’s angle he worked at Lord’s proved too much even for the home batsmen who had grown up playing in those conditions leading him to be called as RP ‘Swing’ by the cricketing experts. Counting on that he was selected for this year’s England tour when the lead bowlers were out with injuries and he came up, a cropper. S. Sreesanth who had a dream run in South Africa 5 years back with the ball and not to say with his antics also, let his temper get the better of him and his bowling talent and has been struggling ever since to retain his place in the side. The year 2006 was a magnificent year for India’s pacers after which has come the decline with only a few sporadic high points.

Injuries are one of the major speed-breakers to a fast bowler. Ashish Nehra is one who learnt this the hard way when it took years for him after he was down with injuries, to recover and re-establish himself only to be down with a finger and rib fracture again. India lacks a fast-bowler reserve is one very obvious fact proven by the selection of raw talent and sheer pace of Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Sreenath Aravind who have been selected for England’s tour of India later this year. All the 3 players have been selected mainly due to performances in the IPL. How they cope with the pressure at the highest level is yet to be seen. With big names out of action and Indian wickets being more spinner friendly, it is going to be a big task for these young guns to make a mark. It is up to the BCCI and the Indian selectors to have better facilities to enable these speedsters get a speedy recovery process and programs for grooming and nurturing young talent together with an excellent rotation policy to help India overcome this period of slump in its pace bowling repertoire.

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