'Too many injuries for the fast bowlers'

Part three: Kapil Dev on injuries to the fast bowlers and why the lack of off-season is not helping the cricketers (00:00)

November 23, 2010


Interview: Kapil Dev

'Too many injuries for the fast bowlers'

November 23, 2010

Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh gear up to bowl, Mohali, September 28, 2010
Kapil Dev: "As long as your legs are strong you can hold on to your fast bowling" © AFP

Sharda Ugra: When you look at the current team, what do you make of their form? Is it good enough to win the World Cup? Being at home would have advantages and handicaps...

Kapil Dev: I think too many injuries taking place. It is very important if they can have a set team. Too many changes before the World Cup can just harm the entire thinking. If you have a group of people who are fit enough, this team has more chance of winning the World Cup. They have everything what a team is looking for, they have maturity, they have ruthlessness, they have the talent and ability. If somewhere they have to change, (it would be) on the fielding and running between the wickets. Otherwise I don't think they lack anything in any field. They are good enough, they can win it.

SU: Speaking about injuries, when you see the Indian fast bowlers getting repeatedly injured so often, is that they are over-used or just lack fitness?

KD: I don't know what the new theory says, but what I heard through the media is that they spend a lot of time in the gym. I, as a fast bowler, would like to spend all the time on ground running. As long as your legs are strong you can hold on to your fast bowling. The gym is good enough for other kind of bowlers and batsmen. But for the fast bowler someone who has to bowl day in and day out ,10-20 overs, you need strong legs. But I believe that they spend a lot of time in the gym which I never did. So I am not saying whether it's right or wrong, but I say that these boys should spend a lot of time in running, marathon running. Your body should be tuned to that, injuries come when you have bigger muscle on top and your legs cannot support them.

SU: How much did you run, everyone has heard that you wore off your shoes, you ran bare foot … and a lot of such stories. Is that true?

KD: People add to stories. But yes, I used to do a lot of running during off-season. Unfortunately, these boys they don't have off-season, and that's where the ICC or BBCI has to look into that, they should not burn themselves. They have to play for 10 years, and they should not burn themselves in 3-4 years. Yes, running is important and off-season is important. Fast bowlers do get injuries, and they have to get back on track during the off-season and start working on that. But if you don't get an off season and keep on playing matches with the injuries, then the bigger injuries come in. Then it's a problem is for the team. I am not saying that the board should not make money, but sometime you have to look after your system, and that is very, very important.

SU: Do you think is why the bowlers keep falling off, after one good season, their speed drops, they start getting injured … is that the reason?

KD: That's the reason. I can tell watching and sitting on the outside that this is why this problem is coming because when they walk into the team and they perform well in the first year. Then they have all kinds of cricket. They have Test cricket, they have Twenty20, they have one-day cricket … the pressure is so much, and the young boys don't want to lose the money because they have struggled so much, struggled almost 6-7 years to come to this level. They don't want to miss a penny wherever they get a chance, so they don't want to miss matches. But I think it's upto the board; they need to organize matches such that they [the bowlers] get enough rest. If you tell a fast bowler you take rest and not make money, I think mentally no sportsmen will be ready to take that. So it's up to the administration to see how much cricket we give to our boys.

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