The Unlisted Tale of Indian Fast Bowlers
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The Unlisted Tale of Indian Fast Bowlers: Indian Cricket Team has always been a strong batting team that usually depends on the batsmen to score the runs for victory rather than on the bowlers who would get them the wickets and grab the contest.
This has been a tradition for the team since many years. There have been more batsmen than the bowlers in the past years that have made India win any given match. The batsmen receive more praise than the bowlers after any victory and the bowlers are neglected over the batsmen’s performances. This is because the bowlers are not consistent enough in delivering match-winning performance consecutively like the batsmen. On the other hand, the batsmen perform exceptionally and get all appraise and have a longer career’s than the bowlers.
The selection of players in India has a base; which is the domestic circuit. A good performance in domestic cricket leads the player in the national team and gives him the golden opportunity for playing for the country. The domestic season starts with the Ranji season and goes on with tournaments like the Duleep Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy.
Players from all parts of the country play these tournaments for getting a place in the National team. The domestic bowlers are trained to play in conditions where the pitch is batsmen friendly and lately, for making the bowlers have an experience of bowling overseas, the BCCI has made some changes in the pitches, which now has tinge of green and helps bowlers get the feel of bowling in Australia, England and New Zealand. The greens excite the bowlers and ensures them that they have a chance of uprooting the batting line-up by bowling accurate line and lengths.
Once the bowlers get in the national team, they hardly get any time off from cricket. The busy international schedule and the travel, exhausts them and this gives a tough time for the bowlers to remain fit for another series. They get a few days off between two different series and very less time to get rest and switch off from cricket.
For instance, since Mohammad Shami was picked for the national team, he had played cricket continuously for 12-18 months without enough break and this led to poor form and injuries. He recently had a knee surgery which now keeps the best bowler of India out of the team.
Another worrying factor for bowler’s is giving enough time to their bodies to recovery from injury. It has been a hard and rough patch for bowlers who get injured in an ongoing series and take a time longer than usual to recovery. Zaheer Khan, who is now 36 years old, is finding a lot of difficulty in making a comeback in the national side. Ishant Sharma has fallen to injuries in his career as well; but as he is young and is able to regain fitness, and thus, manages to get a place back in the team.
Players like Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar were India’s best bowlers and had the talent of swinging the ball and taking wickets at crucial situations; but were restricted due to their injuries and now age being an issue for comeback. Nehra and Munaf particularly played for India in the World Cup 2011 and since then have never made it to the team again. Also, after an injury, it has been noticed that the bowler loses some yards in his pace and this makes it easy for the opposition to score runs and. With advancing age and tiring muscles, the bowler tends to lose their pace as well.
If a bowler does not get the required rest, he will certainly not be able to perform with the same intensity in every match. When India finds a bowler as talented as Bhuvneshwar Kumar or a fast bowler like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav, the selectors make sure that they play each and every match for the country. This is where the Australian culture has stepped forward and kept Peter Siddle as an ‘only test match bowler’ which means, he does not play ODI or T20 for Australia but only Test matches.
The management needs to understand that it has got few talented bowlers in the country and it will be in their favour that they adopt a good rotation policy for the bowlers. A bowler needs some time off from cricket to look after his health and maintain the level of fitness required to bowl fast and at precise line and length to the standards demanded by international cricket. With this policy, the bowlers will get ample time to regain energy and can switch-off from cricket which will release the pressure when he comes back in the team. Thus, he will be consistent in performing and will surely bowl better line and lengths and at quicker pace. It will also ensure that if a bowler gets injured during a series, the other bowler is ready to fill his place which will not affect the team’s performance.
With a system integrated and developed especially for Indian cricket, the team can have the best bowlers for every format and can give their best performance. This can also change the mindset of the fans that Indian bowlers can also make the team win purely on the base of their performances and there will be a well-balanced team every time.
It is individual effort from each player integrated together like a unit that will make the team invincible and dominant in every format of the game. The bowlers need support and they need to be backed generously for better performances in future and also to maintain themselves, to elongate those careers, which have been of 5 or 6 years with maximum a couple of years at peak. This will not only help the current generation of cricketers but also lay a foundation for a better future where the aspirants will have real fast bowlers to idolizes and wish to replicate some among them in their own career’s. And when any kid will be asked who he wants to become when he grows up, he will take the names like Ishant, Aaron, Umesh and Shami.
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