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Where is the pace in Indian 'pacers'?

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Umesh Yadav needs to be nurtured properly

I would not even try to make it a secret that I crave to see superfast bowling, I revere pace, period. I like it even better if it comes from one of the “men in blue”. Umesh is a world-class pacer and what he needs – what he has been tasked to do – is to outperform the batters at matches as opposed to being forced to “rest”.

He is not playing cricket so that he can spend the time by “resting”. Make no mistake, this is not preservation, this is not practice, this is purely a witless act of depriving a good bowler of the chance to play.

Come on! As a bowler while Umesh Yadav has still got his pace, his sole purpose is, or at least it should be, to demolish any opposition’s batting line-up in all the formats of the game, and that fortunately is what he is good at. Give him the ball. This sort of short-sightedness is what is absolutely destroying Indian Cricket. Good bowlers are not being given enough care, or opportunities to perform at the international arena.

This is the same story with every Indian fast bowler. They start at 150+ kmph bowling speed and then after a short while they get bogged down perhaps by the clairvoyant connoisseurs of MRF pace academy, or God knows what, they lose the pace, the rarest thing that made them eminent in India in the first place.

God, I am sick of all those (Indian) bowlers who call themselves or don’t mind it other people calling them “fast bowlers” despite their abject inability to actually maintain a good pace for a while.

I want to see some batsmen of the opposing team to be worried about their physical safety, and real scared to come to the striker’s end when our bowlers are delivering; that’s what is the sole sign of fast bowling for me. I want to see the same level of intimidation that we used to see on the faces of Indian batsmen of the bygone era when they faced the likes of Akram, Akhtar, Lee, Bond and so on.

Now take the case of that hapless chap called Ishant Sharma for instance. He started by ticking close to 150 kmph initially but now he has become shoddy, slow mediocre pacer who barely manages to bowl at a speed of 140 kilometers an hour, and also recently he has singlehandedly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for India. This is really unsettling for any aficionado of modern superfast bowling in cricket.

As Mr. Rameez Raja, while referring to pace bowling, said in the post match analyses after the amazing run feast of a match between India and Australia on the 2nd November, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”.

Well, I believe that there are pacers in India who can bowl consistently at 150 kmph even on Indian soil, but for them to emerge we need to have a selection committee that will look to nurture real pace bowlers like Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, etc.


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