Bowling in docile and unresponsive pitches affecting Indian fast bowlers: Mitchell Johnson

The veteran pacer warned the youngsters not to get carried away and sweating in the gym for long hours.

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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Left-arm speedster Mitchell Johnson who is currently a member of the Mumbai Indians squad revealed why the Indian fast bowlers are not able to bowl fast throughout their career. Johnson feels that is the docile and unresponsive wickets in India doesn’t allow the bowlers to bowl fast on a consistent basis. He conceded that it plays on the mind of a bowler and it is simply impossible to bend their backs on unresponsive wickets time and again.

In a generation where bowlers try out different variations to bamboozle batsman, Johnson has been a bowler who loves running in fast and intimidating batsmen with his ferocious deliveries. He has made star-studding batting line-ups look foolish in front of his menacing pace and swing and was simply exceptional during the Big Bash League playing for the Perth Scorchers.

“Over the last four years, there’s been a huge improvement in the physique of Indian fast bowlers. One of the things that lets Indian fast bowlers down is playing on docile wickets. Wickets should be like the Gabba and the Waca”.

“Ishant Sharma is a good example. When he entered the scene, he was bowling at 150 km/hr. He just couldn’t keep it up because he was bowling on flat wickets day in day out. It plays with your mind and body as well. You can’t keep bending your back every day on this kind of wickets”, Johnson was quoted as saying by

In today’s generation fitness process has changed a lot and Johnson vowed the same opinion. “Fitness has changed a lot. Earlier the running programmes were all the same and we all did the same thing. As a fast bowler one needs to be strong in the core and the glutes – doing a lot of single leg workouts is essential”, he said at the launch of Bowlfit – a fitness training tool he helped create for fast bowlers. The app has over 300 videos that users can access to hone their bowling skills,” said Johnson.

The veteran pacer warned the youngsters not to get carried away and sweating in the gym for long hours. “You can’t just go to the gym and try and get very big. There’s no point if you get too big in the upper body, a fast bowler loses his flexibility. It’s all about core and lower body strength. Playing T20, what’s the point of running 5-10 kms?

He further added that the art of fast bowling is something which isn’t a normal movement which comes spontaneously to the body. “I can’t remember a game where I have felt totally fresh, without niggles. You always have a niggle, it’s your mental capacity that matters. It’s a long process and I am still learning”, he added.