Ian Bishop amazed at Indian fast bowlers' improvement
Former West Indian fast bowler Ian Bishop recently said that he was amazed at the improvement that India's fast bowlers had shown in the last couple of years. He further admitted that two years ago he could not have predicted the kind of impact they would have on the circuit, despite their talented.
Bishop also added that India did not become a successful fast bowling nation overnight and that the foundation was laid by the likes of Zaheer Khan and Kapil Dev.
The commentator also stated that he did not expect the fast bowlers from India to give teams like South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies a taste of their own medicines when the Virat Kohli-led side toured the aforementioned nations in the recent past.
However, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have been leading the pace revolution in India and the tri sans Bumrah even overshadowed the spinners at home in the recent rubbers against South Africa and Bangladesh.
Ian Bishop told ESPNCricinfo,
I couldn't have predicted that India's fast bowlers would come to the Caribbean, for example, and do to us what we did to them so many decades ago! So credit to Bharat Arun, the bowling coach, and the administrators and captains. I couldn't see this much (improvement), but I thought there was a great deal of promise in having guys who could bowl close to, or over, 90mph. Let's remember that this group of bowlers did not emanate right now. The foundation was laid - if you go back to Kapil [Dev] and down the line, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth.
He further added,
And now it's been built on with a captain who likes fast bowlers, who believes in them. But also the fact that you've found a generational talent in Jasprit Bumrah. Generational because he plays all formats of the game very well. I couldn't have predicted that. And [Mohammed] Shami has taken his game to another level. Ishant [Sharma] has also gone up another level, which I didn't foresee."
Bishop refused to go into comparisons, and urged the Indian pace attack to not take on too much pressure about what was being said outside, and instead asked them to focus on the task in hand.
Well, they have been performing that well that the comparisons are going to come. I would want to stay away from it, because I don't know how you measure it. When people talk about [Michael] Holding and [Joel] Garner and [Malcolm] Marshall and [Colin] Croft and [Andy] Roberts - who bowled together for so many years - how do you compare with that?
Over the past couple of seasons, the Indian pace bowlers have certainly carved a niche for themselves in the cricketing circuit, a fact embodied by the praise they received from Ian Bishop. And, they would hope to continue in the same vein, thereby enabling India to give a better account of themselves at home and more importantly, on the road.