India news October 9, 2011

Indian bodies not designed to bowl fast - Zaheer

ESPNcricinfo staff
118

Zaheer Khan, the Indian seamer, has said fast bowling doesn't come naturally to Indians and recommended county cricket for the upcoming Indian fast bowlers to improve their skills.

"It's not a natural thing," Zaheer told Times of India. "Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast but that said, it's not very different from bowling outside India. Basically you have to spend a lot of time understanding yourself, your art, and then find out what works for you and what doesn't. It also involves a lot of hard work."

When asked why several Indian fast bowlers drop significantly in pace while playing international cricket, Zaheer said: "It's about trying to adapt to the international level, where the room for error is less. You can't always do at the international level what you do at domestic level.

"You need to understand your bowling style and work on fitness that much more. The bottom line is as long you are able to produce results, it is fine. I also dropped pace, so basically it's important to know what works for you at the international level and put that into practice."

Zaheer had a successful stint with Worcestershire in 2006 and it helped him make a comeback to the national side after being dropped. Match practice, he said, was key to improving one's skill as a fast bowler. "The bottom line is match practice," he said. "Experience is something that is valued and you gain that by playing matches. No matter how hard you try at the nets, the match scenario is completely different.

"As for county cricket, their season is the off season in India, that's why I would recommend it, but again the bottom line is more matches, wherever you play."

India missed the services of Zaheer on the tour of England, where he was ruled out due to an injury. He picked up a hamstring injury on the first day of the first Test at Lord's, but he also had a right ankle impingement that required surgery, which he underwent recently. "I had an ankle surgery and all I can say at this point is that things are looking good," he said. "Progress has been slow but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm also not putting a timeline to my return. I did bowl from two steps today, and it felt really good.

"I wanted to play badly but what can one do. I was 100% fit when I landed in England and didn't rush my return in any way but picked up another injury. That's the way the game goes."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 12, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    How many Indians are really fast - in terms of bowling in excess of 140 kph, regularly? Not too many, I think. Varun Aaron, and Umesh Yadav who have made the Indian ODI squad are probably the fastest. Abu Nechim Ahmed, who turns out for Mumbai Indians is nippy, and close behind them. Sreesanth bowls in the mid 130s. The rest don't merit mention. There has been a hue and cry for the inclusion of Irfan Pathan. He was clobbered for 68 runs in 9 overs, in the last Challenger's match. Devoid of any movement, he barely touched the 120 kph mark. His performance was pathetic, to say the least. One can safely put him down to history. Praveen Kumar, India's best bowler on the England tour, clocks in the mid 120s, but makes up for his lack of speed with controlled movement, both ways.

  • Joby_George on October 12, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    We should highlight Javagal Srinath, he was the best fast bowler india had ever produced. He was consistent and carried a constant pace through out his career.

  • NairUSA on October 12, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Zaheer's observations sound right because India has not produced a genuine quick bowler in all these years. However, that does not mean someone will not appear in the scene as a fast bowler in the future. Let us hope that time is sooner than late as it is hard to watch military medium bowlers opening the bowling for India.

  • on October 11, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    i completely agreed with that...... thats why indian bowler become spine after 1 year later ... no one can throw above 140 kmph......... all are stuck b\w 120-130....

  • Balumekka on October 11, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    This is a real unacceptable comment by Zaheer! I think the problem in India is batsman are much recognized than the bowlers. Kids are not encouraged to become bowlers who ball fast (real quick) but to become batsman who bat fast. In Pakistan and Sri Lanka the attitude towards fast bowling is different. Coaching system also has to be flexible that when a kid bowls faster with an unconventional action, minimum alterations should be done to his action in order to preserve his speed. None of Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep were playing with a leather ball until they were about 19years old. Coaches identified their talents and refined their talents with minimum alternation to their actions. India, having a much larger population, surely must be having fastest ever bowlers around. But unfortunately, some of these real fast guys may be manual laborers living in a slum in Kolkata or a rural village in Bihar. What India needs is a proper system to find these talents.

  • Nampally on October 10, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Zaheer has his own POV on the fast bowlers. However the fact is it is the Indian Selectors & BCCI who need to wake up and be less myopic.Many of the commenter have named U.Yadev. Aaron, Tyagi, Shukla, Nechin, Ahmad & others who are already in 90 MPH range. My suggestion is to classify fast (90MPH) & medium fast (80 MPH) class bowlers in India today." Mandate 2 fast + 1 medium fast" in Tests if 3 seamers are to play. Otherwise have 2 fast + 3 spinners, at least for Indian games. It is the job of the Selectors & BCCI to spend funds to bring all these fast bowlers up to Test class by funding the coaching camps with top class coaches. The same goes for the spinners as well as the batsmen.There is no point in BCCI showing a $39 Million profit when the Cricket game they are represnting has hit the rock bottom with whitewash in England. BCCI & the Selectors' first duty is to the game of Cricket.They really need to have defined job duties & be fully accountable for Indian team's performance.

  • Percy_Fender on October 10, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    I have noticed that not just the members of the England team, but their folowers get pompous when England starts doing well. The sad truth is that though this game was founded in England, they have seldom seen silver except in the last few years. I have always supported England wherever they have played. But I have been laughed at on most occasions. Now that England have started winning, and their players are act the roles of gracious victors I wish their comment makers would not cause them to be hated like the Australians.Cricket is all about continuity. I only wish that Yest cricket continues for England to bask in the glory they have gained after a very long time.

  • MENDIS_Forever on October 10, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Zaheer's statement is valid for few fast bowlers in the sub-continent.just check the cricinfo profile of Suranga Lakmal.It is mentioned that lakmal was suffering from malnutrition.u can't become a supersonic bowler while suffering from such body conditions.But the statement is not valid for the Indians.anyway, a good observation,and I would like to hear oneday commentators saying "here comes dr. Zaheer khan for his first spell"

  • here2rock on October 10, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    It makes me laugh with the debate of vegetarian diet, non-vegetarian diet and physical bodies to be a good fast bowler. Fast bowling does not have a lot to do with it. Any athlete representing his country at the top level has a responsibility to look after his diet and make sure he gets all the required nutritions for healthy living and to perform at optimal level. This applies to all sport not just cricket. These days you have dietician appointed a part of team so the players have no excuses for not knowing their diet. Fast bowling is more to do with having a big heart, persistent, consistency, aggression (not physical but your attitude when things are not going your way), willingness and fitness. Fitness and physical attributes are ingredients of becoming a fast bowler but they are not the only ingredients of being a fast bowler. Joel Garner was a giant fast bowler and on the other scale you had Malcolm Marshall not so tall. Still you would hate to face either of these two. Let's h

  • Percy_Fender on October 10, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I agree entirely with Ramesh_ Joseph's comments There are indeed any number of youngsters who are in the fast bracket (above 140 kmph) but for some reasons are not given chances at the national level.The selectors are unwilling to try anyone other than the chosen few that Ramesh mentions.The ease with which Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Abu Nechim bowl above 90 mph would show that their bodies can comfortably take the stress of bowling fast.They just have to have more variations for the statistical success that then comes to be noticed by the selectors who seem entirely chair bound.I make this remark based on the selection of one Yaju Krishantry from Jharkhand for the current India Blue in the Challengers series that is presently on.He has played just 2 matches with nothing exceptional to suggest that he is a prodigy.I put this kind of rubbish in selection only to there being zonal representatives.The BCCI should immediately move on to having a 3 member non zonal selection committee.

  • on October 12, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    How many Indians are really fast - in terms of bowling in excess of 140 kph, regularly? Not too many, I think. Varun Aaron, and Umesh Yadav who have made the Indian ODI squad are probably the fastest. Abu Nechim Ahmed, who turns out for Mumbai Indians is nippy, and close behind them. Sreesanth bowls in the mid 130s. The rest don't merit mention. There has been a hue and cry for the inclusion of Irfan Pathan. He was clobbered for 68 runs in 9 overs, in the last Challenger's match. Devoid of any movement, he barely touched the 120 kph mark. His performance was pathetic, to say the least. One can safely put him down to history. Praveen Kumar, India's best bowler on the England tour, clocks in the mid 120s, but makes up for his lack of speed with controlled movement, both ways.

  • Joby_George on October 12, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    We should highlight Javagal Srinath, he was the best fast bowler india had ever produced. He was consistent and carried a constant pace through out his career.

  • NairUSA on October 12, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Zaheer's observations sound right because India has not produced a genuine quick bowler in all these years. However, that does not mean someone will not appear in the scene as a fast bowler in the future. Let us hope that time is sooner than late as it is hard to watch military medium bowlers opening the bowling for India.

  • on October 11, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    i completely agreed with that...... thats why indian bowler become spine after 1 year later ... no one can throw above 140 kmph......... all are stuck b\w 120-130....

  • Balumekka on October 11, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    This is a real unacceptable comment by Zaheer! I think the problem in India is batsman are much recognized than the bowlers. Kids are not encouraged to become bowlers who ball fast (real quick) but to become batsman who bat fast. In Pakistan and Sri Lanka the attitude towards fast bowling is different. Coaching system also has to be flexible that when a kid bowls faster with an unconventional action, minimum alterations should be done to his action in order to preserve his speed. None of Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep were playing with a leather ball until they were about 19years old. Coaches identified their talents and refined their talents with minimum alternation to their actions. India, having a much larger population, surely must be having fastest ever bowlers around. But unfortunately, some of these real fast guys may be manual laborers living in a slum in Kolkata or a rural village in Bihar. What India needs is a proper system to find these talents.

  • Nampally on October 10, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Zaheer has his own POV on the fast bowlers. However the fact is it is the Indian Selectors & BCCI who need to wake up and be less myopic.Many of the commenter have named U.Yadev. Aaron, Tyagi, Shukla, Nechin, Ahmad & others who are already in 90 MPH range. My suggestion is to classify fast (90MPH) & medium fast (80 MPH) class bowlers in India today." Mandate 2 fast + 1 medium fast" in Tests if 3 seamers are to play. Otherwise have 2 fast + 3 spinners, at least for Indian games. It is the job of the Selectors & BCCI to spend funds to bring all these fast bowlers up to Test class by funding the coaching camps with top class coaches. The same goes for the spinners as well as the batsmen.There is no point in BCCI showing a $39 Million profit when the Cricket game they are represnting has hit the rock bottom with whitewash in England. BCCI & the Selectors' first duty is to the game of Cricket.They really need to have defined job duties & be fully accountable for Indian team's performance.

  • Percy_Fender on October 10, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    I have noticed that not just the members of the England team, but their folowers get pompous when England starts doing well. The sad truth is that though this game was founded in England, they have seldom seen silver except in the last few years. I have always supported England wherever they have played. But I have been laughed at on most occasions. Now that England have started winning, and their players are act the roles of gracious victors I wish their comment makers would not cause them to be hated like the Australians.Cricket is all about continuity. I only wish that Yest cricket continues for England to bask in the glory they have gained after a very long time.

  • MENDIS_Forever on October 10, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Zaheer's statement is valid for few fast bowlers in the sub-continent.just check the cricinfo profile of Suranga Lakmal.It is mentioned that lakmal was suffering from malnutrition.u can't become a supersonic bowler while suffering from such body conditions.But the statement is not valid for the Indians.anyway, a good observation,and I would like to hear oneday commentators saying "here comes dr. Zaheer khan for his first spell"

  • here2rock on October 10, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    It makes me laugh with the debate of vegetarian diet, non-vegetarian diet and physical bodies to be a good fast bowler. Fast bowling does not have a lot to do with it. Any athlete representing his country at the top level has a responsibility to look after his diet and make sure he gets all the required nutritions for healthy living and to perform at optimal level. This applies to all sport not just cricket. These days you have dietician appointed a part of team so the players have no excuses for not knowing their diet. Fast bowling is more to do with having a big heart, persistent, consistency, aggression (not physical but your attitude when things are not going your way), willingness and fitness. Fitness and physical attributes are ingredients of becoming a fast bowler but they are not the only ingredients of being a fast bowler. Joel Garner was a giant fast bowler and on the other scale you had Malcolm Marshall not so tall. Still you would hate to face either of these two. Let's h

  • Percy_Fender on October 10, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I agree entirely with Ramesh_ Joseph's comments There are indeed any number of youngsters who are in the fast bracket (above 140 kmph) but for some reasons are not given chances at the national level.The selectors are unwilling to try anyone other than the chosen few that Ramesh mentions.The ease with which Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Abu Nechim bowl above 90 mph would show that their bodies can comfortably take the stress of bowling fast.They just have to have more variations for the statistical success that then comes to be noticed by the selectors who seem entirely chair bound.I make this remark based on the selection of one Yaju Krishantry from Jharkhand for the current India Blue in the Challengers series that is presently on.He has played just 2 matches with nothing exceptional to suggest that he is a prodigy.I put this kind of rubbish in selection only to there being zonal representatives.The BCCI should immediately move on to having a 3 member non zonal selection committee.

  • Harvey on October 10, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    It's interesting that ZK thinks Indian bowlers should play county cricket. Even if you ignore the current restrictions on overseas players, there can't be many Indian fast bowlers who would regularly get picked to play for an English county first XI. I suppose Praveen Kumar for example or maybe Ishant Sharma might get into the squad of a struggling second division side (like Leicestershire maybe), but I can't think of many more. England has plenty of perfectly good upcoming young fast bowlers of its own, and counties get financial incentives to pick them, so I doubt they'd bother with young unproven Indian bowlers whose financial expectations and work ethic would no doubt be influenced by the easy money offered by the IPL.

  • Ramesh_Joseph on October 10, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    There are a few bowlers today who bowl at 140+ in the country and most of them are quite young..but neither the state associations or the BCCI seem to encourage them in the least. They always seem to prefer 120 Kmph. This is because selectors go only by statistics and do not understand potential. To name a few 140+ bowlers...Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Sudeep Tyagi, Abu Nechim, Shami Ahmed, Rahul Shukla...I am sure there are a few more. But selectors are obsessed with Vinay Kumar, Aravind, Abhimayu Mithun, Jaidev Unadkat etc who bowl at 120-130 Kmph and become the butt of everyone's jokes especially when they bowl abroad.

  • itsthewayuplay on October 10, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    There are many reasons why India doesn't produce fast bowlers, some of which as I've discussed in earliers posts. Wasim Akram once said that the Indians don't have the fire in their belly. Give fair opportunities to all, including those at the lower end economic ladder, in the same way other cricketing countries do and the way Brazil does with its footballers and you might see the fire in the belly. India is a vast country so if climate is an issue which I'm not entirely convinced it is then develop pace bowlers where the climate is more agreeable such as in North India during the cooler months. We also have to understand why pace bowlers who began with much promise have got progressively worse rather than better such as Munaf (began at near 90mph), Sreesanth, RP Singh, Irfan, Balaji, Agarkar, Nehra, the list is endless. Of the current bowlers India need to manage Ishant properly and help Praveen to increase his pace by another 5-10 mph. Other than these 2, the cupboard is pretty bare.

  • worldofcricketforums on October 10, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    What is worrying is that Shahid Afridi (leg spinner) can bowl his faster ball at a similar, if not faster, pace to nearly all of the Indian "fast" bowlers. And that too off a short run up..

  • Dashgar on October 10, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    County cricket cannot be the answer for India. They need to look at their own First Class system and see why it is not helping produce quality bowlers (not just fast bowlers). I would suggest that too many teams have diluted the talent pool and unacceptable pitches that don't provide a contest between bat and ball have stunted players' development.

  • Romenevans on October 10, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    To all the Pakistanis here suggesting that we Indians should send our bowlers to Pakistan for learning the art of pace and swing, Ahem ahem! Get a break and cool off guys, we are okay! We won the world cup with out medium pacers and did what your pacers couldn't do. Send your batsman to India and we'll train them about how to NOT bat like shahid Afridi LOL.

  • on October 10, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    indian new upcoming bowlers should be sent to pakistan we will teach them the art of fast bowling whether it is pace,swing or reverse swing.to be honest the only reason why pakistan produce genuine fast bowlers is that tennis ball cricket is very common in pakistan and with tennis ball the only way to get wickets is to bowl fast this is how young bowlers develop pace in pakistan and by the time they start playing with hard cricket ball,they develop cosiderable pace.waqar,waseem,shoaib,sami,muhammad zahid,muhammad amir,wahab riaz and umer gul all started their cricket with tennis ball.

  • VKPune on October 10, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    we are not naturally built for fast bowling??? all 1.3 billion...no one can ball fast? are you kidding me? ..The basic problem is that traditionally Inidans like to see batsmen hammer bowlers, thats what people enjoy adn thats why administrators over the years have been making dead tracks for all domestic matches..I mean I saw the irani trophy match ...most ridiculous flat track...who will want to become a balling machine on these tracks and get hit all over the park. And the funny thing is all these great batsmen fail miserably when they travel abroad adn coz terribel embarrassment to the country..like they did in England

  • djdrastic on October 10, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    Pray tell how Indian and Pakistani's bodies differ ?

    Just another lame duck excuse on why India has performed so incredibly poorly in recent times.

  • nilayb on October 10, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    what non-sense! If Pakistan and Sri-Lanka can produce bowlers who can bowl fast and maintain that at the international level, what can't Indian bowlers do? It's a lame excuse - to keep bowling fast you need to work hard on fitness, maintain a strict balanced diet, work on building strength in the gym, do a lot of running - basically, you need to work hard..which unfortunately Indian bowlers do not want to do.

  • demon_bowler on October 10, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    Speaking as an outsider, I would say that it would be better for India if more young Indians wanted to follow in the footsteps of Zaheer Khan, and fewer in the footsteps of India's great batsmen. Bowlers seem to be insufficiently respected on the subcontinent, but you don't win test matches without them. Zaheer is one of the very best that India has produced, but he let himself down by turning up in England short of match practice, unfit, and overweight. He is a great bowler, not just a good one, and should look after himself better.

  • rahulcricket007 on October 10, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    ZAHEER IS RIGHT . INDIA HAD NEVER PRODUCED A BOWLER WHO CAN BOWL AT 150 KPHS CONSISTENTLY (FORGET AARON LOOK AT HIS DOMESTIC RECORDS HE IS RUBBISH ). I THINK THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE DEAD RUBBER TRACKS PRODUCED FOR THE DOMESTIC CRICKET IN INDIA .THEY ARE LIKE HELL FOR THE FAST BOWLERS . PAKISTANI BOWLERS TAKES WICKETS BECAUSE THEY ARE MASTER OF CONVENTIONAL AND REVERSE SWING . WHILE INDIA DOESN'T HAVE GOOD SWING BOWLERS AND ZAHEER WAS ALAO AN ORDINARY BOWLER BEFORE 2006 AFTER PLAYING COUNTY CRICKET IN ENGLAND HE HAS BECOME GOOD .BCCI NEED TO INTRODUCE A PROGRAM FOR THE YOUNG INDIAN FAST BOWLERS TO PLAY AT LEAST ONE COUNTY SEASON IN ENGLAND .CONDITIONS THERE SUITS FAST BOWLERS . I HOPE THIS WILL IMPROVE OUR BOWLING.

  • on October 10, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast // That's the worst possible excuse you could ever get from a medium pacer. There are heck a lotsa fast pacemen in India but these selectors either seem to not recognise them, or they dont give them a chance. For eg, Varun Aaron. And basically, picking up pace comes only by understanding the physics and not merely just by developing your arms or chest. And some ppl here are suggesting about sprinting 100m in less than 13 sec will improve the pace, but Kallis, Walsh are real quickies with a very medium pacy run up ! Indian fans, please think out of the box too ! - A fellow indian fan

  • Sayedgee on October 10, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    Hello People...... before everyone start banging on Zak just realize that he is only stating the fact. Facts are facts no matter how much they hurt your pride! After all he is the best India got.

  • on October 10, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    If only BCCI can quote a price tag for the role of players. A player's wage should be tried directly to the role in the team. If fast bowlers as a role is highly valued, then there would be a line of youngsters to push themselves. Batting is physically easier than bowling.

  • avmd on October 10, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Just few example will make it clear the difference between Pak and Indian cricketing culture. Imran Khan saw Waqar Younis bowling fast on TV on a domestic match, he didn't see his record, just potentia,l and he was playing for Pakistan a week later. Mohammad Amir was picked up by Wasim Akram and looking at his talent, was fast tracked to national team (what happened to MA is a different matter) Wahab Riaz had an average season, only 30 some wickets and was preferred over Tanvir( who had taken 92 wks ) for the test in 2009 due to his pace. In India Arun bowles fast and they preferred RP singh who bowled 120 km/h in England and Arun is still wating his call, and will fade away soon.

  • on October 9, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    @Kavindeven - V well said...I also personally believe its the reason of great icons whom u idolise...in India its batsman and in Pakistan its bowlers. and that's precise why Indians r good in batting and Pakistanis in bowling...

  • Nampally on October 9, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    By and large Indians are not built as tall & heavy guys.But fast bowling is not exclusively reserved for big tall guys. Take for instance R.B.Desai in 1960's. He terrorised & impressed top class cricketers like Keith Miller & Boycott. His bumper was lethal, just short of length. Yet "Bumper" Desai was only 5'-4" tall with about 29" chest & slight build.Harold Larwood & typhoon Tyson were around 5'-8" as is L. Malinga.A good easy bowling action, lithe & supple body and strong sprinting ability are all attributes for a fast bowler.Every fast bowler must be a sprinter- below 11 seconds for 100 M. If India can take sprinters & train them for fast bowling they will have better success. I like to ask Zaheer the average 100M timing for the Indian cricketing stars. Most of them are in the 13 second range with may be Raina & Kohli little better. Zaheer, Sree Ishant,will be lucky to make 13 sec. 100M. Since India does not produce many Olympic class sprinters, draught In fast bowlers will exist.

  • on October 9, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Let's be clear. Most bodies are not designed to bowl fast. That's why there are only ever a handful of really fast bowlers about at any one time. However, there's no reason why India should not produce as many fast bowlers as any other country. The reason it doesn't is probably a combination of things- conditions, tradition, lack of role models. I'm pretty sure that India will be using the recent Indian tour as a wake-up call and looking for good young fast bowling prospects. Whether they'll find them is another matter- Australia has been looking for a spinner to replace Shane Warne for four years and still has nobody who looks remotely like a top-class performer.

  • on October 9, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamer- two of the best bowlers of Pak and the world have very slim frame and can be considered skinny...how can they bowl fast and take wickets????enough with the excuse Zaheer, man up and pay attention to your fitness. Fast bowling is all about fitness not where you are born,

  • cyniket on October 9, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    people seem to be ignoring the role of action in this debate. the names malinga, shoaib, waqar etc... keep coming up. well those bowlers bowl with a sling action. this action sacrifices skill and accuracy for pace. none of the indian bowlers bowl with this action. zaheer for example, has an excellent upright action, like the best bowlers do. there aren't many bowlers who can bowl consistently 90+ with a proper action, lee, flintoff, ambrose spring to mind. incidentally, wasim, sarfraz and imran were more like 85mph bowlers.

  • thenoostar on October 9, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Agakar, Sami and Malingaarent big guys yet Sami on his day is among the fastest bowlers ever to play cricket. Darren Gough wasn't a big guy nor was Waqar but at times were very quick. McGrath, Ambrose, Oram, Moody were big guys but you wouldn't say any of those guys were particularly quick.

  • akdhesi76 on October 9, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    Historically, India hasn't been known for spin bowlers rather than quicks? Isn't that due to the climate and the pitches?

    Perhaps it is down to many factors, what the exact reason is, I don't know.

    What matters is how we can get our fast bowlers to produce consistently, against a variety of pitches and opposition. It doesn't help that the BCCI organises so many matches / tours all for the money. So our fast bowlers become injured more quickly than players from other nations.

    The bowlers, don't get chance to practice, perform, develop because in International Cricket you don't that luxury.

    What India needs to do is send its players to play in County Cricket, just like Pakistan have historically done. This summer there were a number of PK players, predominately bowlers, all here to learn, develop and grow. But to due to constant demands of BCCI commitments for our national players, they cannot grow. Zaheer had 1 season at Worcs, imagine what cud happen if other players did

  • DaGameChanger on October 9, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    India keeps producing wrestlers and boxers but they are not made for fast bowling is the most ridiculous excuse I have seen. In American baseball, lot of stars comes from Dominican Republic and in American football, lot of good players from polynesian islands, does it mean American bodies are not good enough for that sport. Pakistanis cannot bat, Indians cannot bowl, any such stereotype comments are pure rubbish. It's just work ethics and idolism.

  • Younus313 on October 9, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Also, India has all the facilities [pace academies etc] and all the finances but if Indians do not want to be fast bowlers and are not prepared to put in the hard yards, no amount of red meat can help!!!

  • Younus313 on October 9, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    I DISAGREE with Zaheer on most of the points he has made...before that season of county cricket with Worcestershire, Zaheer was a known as a very lazy cricketer. That season of county cricket in 2006 turned him in to a proper bowler because he had to work hard and was pushed by the professional set up here in England. I agree, a full season in county cricket is vital for a player's development but Zaheer's problems are due to his fitness. Look at the English bowlers. They have never really been express pacemen. Now the emphasis is on fitness and bowling specific training, the English bowlers have big physiques and their fitness is top class. As a result, they are all very fast. I keep hearing this red meat rubbish about Pakistani fast bowlers. This is not true. Us Pakistanis are naturally powerfully built and we love to bowl fast. Look at Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz.

  • Dr_SC on October 9, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Why is everyone blasting Zak for speaking the truth? You are comparing fast bowlers from India to those of Pakistan who eat plenty of red meat since they are children, not after they are selected for the national cricket academy. You need lean muscle to produce pace. Have you seen the size of Imran Khan, Waqar Younas, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar? They are not exactly the average joe's you'll find walking around in Mumbai.

  • Romenevans on October 9, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Its not the Indian body's not designed for fast bowling, its all about cricket culture in different countries. Pakistan have similar conditions and world's flattest pitches, then how come they produce quality fast bowlers? The answer is simple, their youth icons are pace bowlers like Imran Khan, Wasim, Aqeeb Javed etc etc, and in India everybody wants to become a batsman like Sachin, sehwag, gavaskar and that is the reason you find great batsman in India and No bowlers at all. There are no super role models in India as far as bowlers are concerned and there is no bowler to make him their idols. Did anybody noticed India's young batsman were absolutely fine in England ODI series and they consistently scored runs against their pacers, why? Because in India everybody wants to become a batsman.

  • ani_cric on October 9, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    This does not make any sense but excuse . spent time in gym rather than acting class. zaheer acts so much when u see batsman kick him for a boundary .( actually he should be surprised only when the batsman misses it). i cant belive this guy is considered as the current best bowler ..pity india ...i dont know how steyn , morkel, brett , broad, anderson, malinga should feel ....

  • reality_check on October 9, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    It's not about diet or anything rubbish like that. BCCI for years have favoured batsmen over bowlers and their whole selection process up until the recent Eng tour was to flood the team with batsmen, a spinner and couple of medium pacers or if Zaheer is fit then he carries the torch. If batsmen click, which most often they do in Indian conditions, then more chances of a win with a quality spinner. This logic was thoroughly exposed in England where if batsmen do not click because of conditions and quality pace attack then mediocre bowlers have no chance to cancel that out. Windies and Aussies had BOTH pace and batting linup to stay at the top. Same old formula is still relevant today no matter which way you cut it.

  • on October 9, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    zaheer Wat silly excuse..... to bowl fast u dnt need a body like WWE people.... Wat is required is willingness to bowl fast..... Pakistan has bowlers and i cant figure out any difference in body between them and Indian players,,, man it is only your willingness to bowl fast and enjoy the game...... Pakistani bowlers bowl fast all the time and world knows they had all great time on the field......

  • AKG0479 on October 9, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    too many bottom lines.. wish some top lines could also be thought about.. :-)

  • on October 9, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    I think indian fast bowlers lacks good fitness training in the domestic level... we had munaf, ishant, varun aaron hitting 150s.. even nehra once bowled in 148s and so did agarkar and srinath.. RP singh & sreeshanth can also bowl in 145km/hr.. problem is they were not treated well in domestic level in their early age..

  • KKNIAZI on October 9, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Since when Zaheer become a "body" expert?

    Its all about mindset, Pakistanis, with a same physique (atleast with northern Indians) like to live in present and enjoy life as it comes, therefore, you see more fast bowlers produced by Pakistanis.

    Whereas, the Indian mindset still "secure for the future" and enjoy (if they'd able to) it after retirement so their role model tend to be Bishen S. Bedi and Gavaskar and they end up becoming Bhajji and Tendulkar and would like to play till their late 30s to make more money.

    I may have over simplified it but its nothing more then that. No veg, non veg. or genes or no genes involved in it.

    Cheers, Kaleem

  • TrexTrainer on October 9, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Hit the GYM! You are never gonna bowl fast by eating mom's home-made food and by lifting 2lb weights.

    The reason why England kicked our behinds is because they have been training hard to be in top physical shape, even Graeme Swann looked jacked up while Zaheer was running around with a potbelly.

    Give me a break with the whole Indian bodies not designed for this thing. We are all designed almost the same, except that the other professional players actually hit the gym and put on some lean muscle.

  • wicketman on October 9, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Zaheer - that is nonsense and a simply incredulous excuse! - Look at J. Srinath - at his absolute peak, he was hitting numerous batsmen breaking several batsman's fingers in the process. In an era where there were no speed guns, I am sure he was 150km+. In the 199 WC, he was timed at 149.6km and he was passed his peak then. Look at V. Aaron - 150km+. Please don't make excuses like that. To bowl fast you have to have traits such as: appropraite bowling action, fitness, discipline, mental toughness. What needs to change is the bowlers mindset - the bowler himself has to want to bowl fast regardless of useless coaches encouraging them to cut down pace and concentrate on line and length. I remember reading one of Imran's early autobiography's where his county coach told him he would never be a fast bowler. He had a desire to bowl fast and was willing to put in the hard work - the rest is history.

  • on October 9, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    whats the difference between indian bodies and pakistani bodies! there is no difference! the only difference is in their attitude! indians are too soft and need to man up! they could take a leaf outta pakistans book and work harder on strength and conditioning! batting isn't a worry! but need to toughen up so much an stop blaming "genetics" and "conditions". man up India seriously!

  • on October 9, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    I think the quality of non english bowling has fallen away in the last decade, mainly because nobody is playing a proper stint in county cricket. In the 80s/90s it was the finishing school for bowlers from all over the world. Now bowlers don't come to the UK for as long and work on their skills in matches - proper 1st class cricket, not t20/odi rubbish. They have poor skills, control and stamina as a result.

  • on October 9, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    What rubbish is he talking about. It's only when he is injured and lost the pace that he has started to debate an untouched topic. Where were such thoughts when he was the spearhead of Indian bowling, and was taking wickets at regular intervals? We have had quickies in the form of Javagal Srinath, Sreesanth, Ajit Agarkar (he used to bowl in 140s), and lot many more. While talking about Indian physique, can we differentiate it much from our neighbor Pakistan's? I believe that we share natural roots with them and should exhibit similar physical attributes. The pitches in India may not be suitable or to the liking of liking of the pace bowlers, but to suggest that the Indian built is the reason is asking for excuses. I hope he is only asking for excuse for the next time he bowls, he may not produce speeds in excess of 120 any more. Wish he had something else to explain his inadequacies in his fitness and bowling action. I hope people share their opinions constructively and not be fooled.

  • on October 9, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    what a pathetic excuse!!! now he is indirectly asking fans not to expect anything from bowlers. many young fast bowlers have that capability to bowl fast but they get spoiled by alcohol, late night parties, negligence towards diet and exercise. Mr. Zaheer we are not expecting 160kph speed.but at least90mph on regular basis. In other words, no one is expecting likes of joginder sharma and praveen kumar to bowl like tait but one who can bowl like tait should not become joginder sharma....

  • on October 9, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Before tearing Zaheer here just read the full article.Notice this:"It's not a natural thing," Zaheer told Times of India. "Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast but that said, it's not very different from bowling outside India. Basically you have to spend a lot of time understanding yourself, your art, and then find out what works for you and what doesn't. It also involves a lot of hard work." He has also advocated county cricket as an important step in the development of young fast bowlers.The problem in India is the lack of will and culture among the domestic coaches and the public to encourage fast bowlers.All they want is batsmen or tom,dick,harry spinners.When a fast bowler gets injured or out of form he is not cared for and loses his pace and action.Fast Bowlers in India have only county cricket as an option to blossom into warriors.The environment in England obviously encourages growth of fast bowlers.The culture and mental psyche in India is obviously "Why bowl fast?"

  • first_slip on October 9, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    @Amit Chawla, i agree with you brother, i cant believe that indians cant find a bowler who bowl 150KMPH plus out of billions, it must be politic, if sril lanka had this population sri lanka would have been untouchable...but as a sri lanken i know even in sri lanka our best players doesn't get the chance because of politics, it happen to me...i know the pain and i know there are 1000nds of sri lanken felt like i did....

  • Mary_786 on October 9, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    I don't agree, India will soon produce very fast bowlers, its only a matter of time

  • on October 9, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    I wonder why Irfan is not opting for county cricket..

  • on October 9, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    By this he means Indians aren't designed to train hard?

  • Cricketer2010 on October 9, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    this is not about bodies.........otherwise Pakistanis are not much different from Indians The difference is attitude, in Pakistan Pace Bowling is respected a lot.......in normal circuit (or Low Grade Cricket) 35/20 over format is preferred for many years. (T20 is being played in Pakistan for more than 20 years) on dead wickets with out mentors and no knowledge/expertise of swing, raw pace is the only weapon a bowler possesses.

  • on October 9, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    I think people are misinterpreting Zak's thoughts. He never said anything about Veg or non Veg. Attaining athletic fitness is not so easy that you start eating meat and you become fit! Unfortunately fitness is not that cheap. More So, fast bowling is not just fitness. It's fitness plus a lot more other factors like right mentors, right attitude, right idols and right competition and a sense of pride in doing it. I find this veg non veg debate rather naive. In numbers, there are definitely many times more meat eaters in India than in Austrailia or for that matter Pakistan. It's the attitude that matters. Zak himself is a true representation of the Pace culture in INdia. Had he been fitness oriented, he would have been bumped from 80K to 90K speed. instead he chose an easier route drop pace and work on accuraccy. A perfectionist would step up pace and still work on accuracy. When you cross Wagah Border either way, the body desigh doesn't change from bowler to batsman or viceversa!

  • chillarparty on October 9, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    OH This is RUBBIsh! who said indians are vegetarians? who said indian bodies are not meant to be fast ? Indians, pakistanis, bangladeshis, sri lankans, are of the same GENE POOL. We are the same people! Just maybe a bit of shades of light skin and dark skin!. Btw Indians are not vegetarians, we eat meat, just not cows! DONT tell me that our superstars only stick to daal and roti and rice all the time when they tour!! The ULTImate reason behind our demise is NOT being fit, not being dedicated and not putting in hard work. THis talk about vegetarian and non-veg is OVErrated and is utter rubbish! WE DO produce fast bowlers, we just are not disciplined in our training. If our Fastest BOWLer has a big belly then what do you expect for normal batsmen and spinners to be like? Look at brett lee and retired mcgrath...still fit and slim, anderson, dale steyn, mitchell johnson..etc..they are fitt and hence can produce speed..INDIANs..not fit..so no speed. cricinfo plz publish this!!

  • Gizza on October 9, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    I agree with the notion that some aspects of India culture and lifestyle contribute to a lack of physical fitness which affects some parts of cricket like fielding and fast bowling but also most other sports which are more physical than cricket. I don't think vegetarianism makes it impossible to become a very good fast bowler but it makes it harder for sure. Fast bowlers need to be strong and have muscles and therefore a constant source of protein. Soy is not even part of India cuisine. It is still possible but the fast bowler have to be very very strict with their diets. They need to take in a lot of low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) and plenty of daal and plenty of nuts. Also bread/wheat/roti has more protein than rice which may gives weight to the theory that north/western Indians seem to have a stronger physique than the south and east. But not just diet, India is hot and humid (on average more than Pak and I would say even SL). Who wants to run fast and sweat even more?

  • KarachiKid on October 9, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    @Fahad J. Good points raised. Just add one more to that. Over last many decades, Indian Cricket authorities have only produced dead, flat wickets. Bring in extreme weather conditions, and no one wants to bowl continually fast in such unfriendly conditions (unfriendly specially from fast bowlers' point of view). Finally Zaheer's comments cannot be rubbished just like that, diet and physique does make a different as you have always had quality fast bowlers in Pakistan in similar conditions. We have always had top quality quickies like Fazal Mehmood, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhter and potentially Mohammad Asif who wasted himself. All these guys were strongly built and they had (barring Fazal Mehmood) role models in the bowling department.

  • here2rock on October 9, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    That is the worst reason I have ever heard! Indian bodies are not designed for fast bowlers, come on, Ishant Sharma has every trait of a great fast bowler, he is tall and lanky. India need good conditions for fast bowlers in India, that is the biggest problem. Indian board is the richest in the world but pitches in India are still produced the same way as they were playing 30 years ago. BCC wake up! India need to invest in better tracks at domestic level.

    On this basis I hope Zaheer never wear blue Indian colours again. I am ashamed of his comments.

  • on October 9, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    I could not understand why everybody jumped on to Zaheer. It is the tactics of cricinfo to sell their news. So dont just read the caption, pls go through the article. He is not particular about the Indians. Here is the comment: "Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast but that said, it's not very different from bowling outside India. .... lot of hard work." and I found nothing wrong in this. it is true that no ones' body is capable of fast bowling or weight lifting, running, gymnastic etc.. for each and every act, one has to prepare their body. and this can achieved only by training, hard working and better practice. presently, it is hard to find a fast bowler who played continuous 25 tests matches without injury/rest. This is more ironic that Indian bowlers are the lowest fit in the circuit. And here comes the difference in food, practice,training, culture, poor pitches, poor match practice. nowadays hardly any Indian players are going for county which is much better than ranji

  • Moneypenney on October 9, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I agree with his point about english county cricket being beneficial, because in england you need to bowl more attacking lines and lengths to make use of the movement available, whereas in india seamers tend to bowl more defensively because of the lack of assistance in the pitch. However his point about 'indians not being built to bowl fast' is nonsence! How is it that just over the border in pakistan, where the conditions and diets are similar, they produce the likes of shoaib, imran khan, wasim and waquar?!

  • JohnnyRook on October 9, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    I think there are a lot of reasons why Indians never had good fast bowlers. All of them contribute to the problem 1) Infatuation with smartness/skill. Spin is skillful and intelligent. Fast bowling is brutish and all brawn. This kind of thinking is normal in India. 2) Diet. Vegetarian diet is good for your lifestyle and heart but not for sports. You need a high protein diet to bowl fast and sustain the rigours of it 3) Fitness - Fast bowlers need a lot tougher fitness regime than spinners and batsmen. Indians are not too keen on that. 3 days back I made my young nephew run 5 kms at barely 10kmph and was deemed too much of a hardtaskmaster. 4) Genetics -Whites/Blacks may have better genes physically speaking. Their avg height/weight/muscle % is higher than orientals and south/central asians. But if Pakistanis can overcome it, why can't Indians. 5) A lack of killer instinct. This is going away now. Indians have a lot more of it than say 20 years back

  • Percy_Fender on October 9, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    I am not sure Zaheer is right in anything that he has said except the tremendous usefulness of playing county cricket. I am also not in agreement with some comment makers who feel that meat eating is the answer to producing fast bowlers. Javagal Srinath was a pure vegetarian till very late in life and used to bowl at well over 90 mph in the early part of his career. Kapil Dev hails from Haryana where they are mostly vegetarians. It is more about ruggedness and build.Even a short bowler with a slight body can bowl very quick if the action is right.Old timers will recall how Ramakant Desai who was as small had made Hanif Mohammed,a true great in every sense of the word, his bunny.So if the action is smooth one could bowl quick. Marshall and Lindwall were just 5 10 in hieght I feel that certain muscles in the body which aid fast bowling may be what is important. Garner was 6'/7" tall.He used to run 2 hours every day and bowl for half the day. That is what makes fast bowlers not gyms.

  • itsthewayuplay on October 9, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Cont'd Another factor is that as soon as a player breaks into the national side he gets advertising contracts that set him for life and selection policy means he continues to be selected regardless of how he performs later. Player management means that bowlers with potential players are played and played until they run themselves into the ground because the BCCI needs poster boys to draw in the public to get lucrative contracts to sustan their finances, comparatively very little of which is put back into the game. The domestic game has to be restructured to be more competitve so that it encourages only the best bowlers to get to the top. There are many more issues and a lot of them are interrlated and Zaheer's comments has only touched the uppermost tip of a very deep iceberg. Please publish.

  • orangtan on October 9, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Zaheer has a point, and Werner Rousseau has some interesting suggestions. It is probably true that most Indian physiques are not suited to very fast bowling, but surely average speeds in the high 130s-low140s should be achievable with the proper training, regimen and diet. It is all a question of preparing proper surfaces for training and good coaching.

  • Flat_Track_bullies on October 9, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    FAHAD : Makes sense, but another point to note is - vast majority of Indians, unlike pakistanis, are vegetarians. Like some others noted, this has an impact too..

  • on October 9, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    I'm sorry, but anyone who saw the size of Zaheer's gut in the first test in England knows he shouldn't be talking about working hard on fitness. I can understand people getting injured, but for a professional cricketer who has access to dieticians and personal trainers and chefs to turn up unfit to a marquee series like that...it is a disgrace and shows that they don't care about representing their country enough.

    That's why so many Indian bowlers drop off after making it in the big time, they fall in love with everything about the superstar lifestyle and forget where they came from. Tendulkar and Dravid are almost 40 but they obviously still look after their bodies.

  • itsthewayuplay on October 9, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Contd That's why many Indians prefer to bowl spin because whilst they have to bowl long spells it is more about being a marathon rather than a more intense sprint. It has been said that many Indians are vegetarian and therefore they are less aggressive than meat-eaters and aggression is an important contributory factor to being a fast bowler. Many people tried to persuade Srinath, a vegetarian, to include meat in his diet becuase they felt that this was the missing piece in moving him to the next level from a being good bowler to a potentially a great one. India still a strong class system and until opportunities exist for all great Indian pace bowlers will be the exception rather the rule. However what opportunities do the poorest have where players' families have to make 'contributions' to even be considered to get into the club cricket. Please publish.

  • on October 9, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    the absence of one player shaken complete series Indian team never succumbed to any team like this

  • itsthewayuplay on October 9, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Finally someone has come out and started the dabte why Indians do not produce fast bowlers. The next step is for Zaheer to explain why Indian bodies are nor 'built' for fast bowling which has more to do issues such as diet, fitness and culture (indian and in cricketing terms) and most importantly selection and opportunity to all rather than physiology. Generally cricketers whatever their background in all other countries have the opporunity to play cricket if they're good enough. Generally speaking those from economic deprived backgrounds, or at least from not a comfortable background, have a a hunger to succeed that cannot be matched by those from a 'middle class' background. Being a fast bowler places more physical demand on the body and therefore sacrifices including have to be to meet the rigours of this type of bowling. Indians' lifestyle is such that food that is inappropriate for a fast bowler is taken late at night.

  • Javiq on October 9, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Hahahha what an excuse! Zak has called the whole nation not capable of bowling fast on regular basis. Zak Human body is capable of everything. It can be moulded to specification. All you need is will to do that along with balanced diet and religiously adopted exercise regime. That's it. What part of this you professionals don't understand. As much as I agree that non Veg has distinct advantage Veg should also be able achieve the same thing. If not 95mph then definitely 85-90mph day in day out.

  • on October 9, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    As much as i respect Zahher as a bowler but this is pathetic is he a scientist to say Indian bodies not designed to bowl fast . But i dont really see the need for a fast Bowler . Glen mcgrath he wasnt fast was he. All that is required is accuracy .

  • on October 9, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    I heard Katrina Kaif's got a body to bowl fast

  • cheguramana on October 9, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    What utter rubbish ! I thought Zaheer Khan was smarter than this. When did he 'discover' that "Indian bodies are not designed to bowl fast" ?? After he let down himself and his team repeatedly ? He had nearly 2 months break after the WC till ENG tour - he dint go on WI Tour. And still he cud not ensure that he was fit enough ??? And coming to other Indian bowlers, I can think of at least 3 off-hand, who started their careers bowling 140+kmph : Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, R P Singh. And pls go back and look at the records for WC99 : the fastest recorded delivery was bowled by Srinath ! This guy is just making excuses for not putting in the hard work required to be a good fast bowler. And for some-body whos supposed to be the leader of India's pace attack, thats setting a very poor example. BCCI can do its bid by providing some sporting pitches which encourages bowlers.

  • the_wallster on October 9, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    if anyone would care to read what zaheer says, he points to the notion that indian bowlers don't know their own action, or understand how it works, and therefore, how the bowlers can develop their actions. sreesanth could be one of the best swing bowlers around, however, he only bowls the odd decent spell, and is erratic. praveen kumar understands his action as he is a quality bowler. the one thing zaheer has said in this article, and numerous times before, is that his spell at worcestershire was the making of him as a bowler. the coaches their helped him to understand what it is to be a swing bowler, and pointed him in the right direction to master the art. ishant sharma would be a fine addition to the county programme.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    He is not totally wrong. He has made very strong comments why. I think that Indian Cricket board should concentrate to pick some local bowlers from Punjab, UP and Rajastan. You accept or not but there is difference between city and village Life and body too. I liked the complete article.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    A totally irrelevant point by Zaheer. Just cross over to Pakistan who seem to produce fast bowlers at will and kids playing "gully" cricket want to bowl fast and emulate heroes like Imran, Wasim, Waqar and to some extent Shoaib as well. It has to be said that India has not yet produced a tear away fast bowler like Lille or Thompson or even Wasim for that matter. Kids in India watch a Dravid or Tendulkar and want to be like them which is fair enough. This is why India has more prowress in the batting department rather than fast bowling. I mean you would never see an indian bowler running in and bowling a toe crushing and wicket shattering bowls. Instead they grow up to play the perfect cover drive.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    I think it is more cultural than physical. a fast bowler must have a mean streak must want to intimidate and dominate. The climate also has an impact. It is too hot and the pitches to dry. India as south africa should choose one of the colder areas as a base where in the ranji tournament pitches are prepared to be fast and offer movement. SA after coming back made St Georges a slow india type wicket so SA players have some exposure. The mono culture of Indian wickets is hurting them. at domestic level the entire spectrum of wickets should be represented. For internationals one prepares pitches to best suite your team.

  • risky on October 9, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Answer to Ralph´s comment. Pakistani people use a lot of meat in their diets, which makes their bodies strong enough to bowl real fast, but indians do not do that. The other thing is that Pakistani players start their cricket with tape ball, which is very exciting stuff for the fast bowlers, but not good for the batsmen. This is one of the reasons that Pakistan produces regularly very fast bowlers but not good batsmen. These r my personal assesments, may be some ppl do not agree with it, but it is. I myself a fast bowler belongs to Pakistan, living abroad. Here some of my team mates r indians and they agree with my theory. U see the other cricketing nations SA, WI, AUS, NZ, ENG even SL produces genuine fast bowlers, but the biggest cricket playing country India never have any. I m very excited & want to see some really quick bowlers from India to challenge the worlds best batsmen.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    @RalphVaughanWilliams, the difference is in the food habits, most of the indians(hindus) dont eat beef at all and sparingly consume meat and meat products, its natural that pak has always produced powerful fast bowlers with great stamina,..... mansur ali khan pataudi was steadfast in identifying that our area of strength is spin and not pace and we had the famous spin quatret in those days troubling players all around the world...... if we can find a good pool of spinners and 2-3 decent pace bowlers we will be a hard side to beat.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    I agree with Zahreer, becoz most of the Indian are Vegetarian, And in People dose eat meat. Which help their body to become stronger. And also there is a factor of hard work as well. As wasim akram use to spend hours in nets and on his physical fitness. Where indian bowler dosn't like spending long time on nets as wasim already said in one of his statement.

  • SASANK360 on October 9, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    I really want to see English batsmen trash Sreenath Aravind BLUE AND BLACK in the upcoming series.He has no consistency in pace,line length.

  • Quazar on October 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    It is true that most Indians are not naturally athletic. We have many other assets to succeed in life, but unfortunately sporting athleticism isn't a common trait. That's why we don't produce as many fast bowlers and medium pace all-rounders as a South Africa for example. But unfortunately the Indian cricket system doesn't nurture, guide and care enough for the talent that we do produce. We keep piling matches on to our already loaded cricket calendar, and don't give our players a proper rest between tours, and between cricket seasons. I mean when is the Indian cricket team's off-season??? Every other team has an off-season to rest, recover and improve (the best current example is South Africa); but when do our bowlers get this rest??? And then we're surprised that our bowlers are always carrying niggles, which then turns into a serious injury at times (like Zaheer and Ishant), and that bowlers like Munaf completely lose their ability and appetite to bowl fast.

  • on October 9, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Irrelevant but I was just wondering what the 'injured' Sehwag was doing last night when he played in the "Titans of Cricket" tournament...

  • Bilal94 on October 9, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    My view on this question why Pakistanis can produce fast bowlers but Indians could not is that there are many castes in India are vegetarian while in Pakistan there is an obsession with eating meat.When this obsession is coupled with little fitness regimes ,you get strong men who can bowl fast.Another reason is that Indians grew watching world class batsmen and spinners with the exception of Kapil Dev who was at Fast medium at best.While Pakistanis grew up watching Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.So the general opinion of youth in India is that they idolize great batsmen while Pakistanis idolized fast bowlers.This notion is visible from the current sides.

  • zaynedine on October 9, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    thats really funny of zaheer, chaminda vaas can still bowl more faster than indian pacers...

  • Nanavaras on October 9, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Bodies were never designed to bowl fast. It is more in the heart. Indian fast bowlers have failed to out their heart in their job. The pitches at home have never helped though.

  • eomer17 on October 9, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Spot on Zaheer! Its high time we realise that Indian cricket has always been bout Batsman.Every kid who plays cricket in mohallas,gulleys wants to bat first not ball.We don have fast bowling heroes except a few.And contrary to the popular belief we've never had any bowler who ever bowled in the 140s all the time.its always been 135-140!Now we hear bout Varun aaron who actually is bot 138-140(saw him in Irani Trophy,not a45 as our media suggests!!). PAKISTAN have always had bowling greats,hense the bowling culture!!Simply said there is no fast bowling culture in Indian cricket.

  • latercut on October 9, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Zaheer probably said something like "it's not natural for Indians to bowl fast because the pitches aren't conducive to it". TOI probably added the "body" part, and dropped the rest of the sentence :) Misquoting comes natural to us these days ....

  • chilled_avenger on October 9, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    What an amazing observation by Zaheer regarding the physiology of us Indians! I wonder how many years he devoted in this reserach,or perhaps he does his research when he is stricken by an injury halfway through a Series!Already youngsters in our country are not that interested in pace bowling,but now Zak has to give this "inspirational" speech to further discourage them from fast bowling. Perhaps taking too many lessons from MSD,Zaheer?

  • SoqedHozi on October 9, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    He says matches make you match-fit, but he didn't even field in the second innings of the warm up game for the england tour and he missed the west indies tour entirely!

  • Hadihassankhan on October 9, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    Bizzare comment from a class bowler . It looks very ordinary excuse for not bowling fast . What I believe that they are not coached well or taken care off well when the reach international cricket . People in Pakistan belongs to similar race why are they quicker then Indians is that they are well taken care when they join national team . take example of shoaib akhtar he became quicker after joining team so happend with imran and wasim and waqar . they just need to be taken care off . Ifran was quick now medium , ishant lost pace so did zaheer . I feel not proper coaching .

    I think he should look at example of sreenath he was quick and only lost pace at end of his career .

    Really the worst excuse I have ever seen

  • on October 9, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    so pakistani bodies are capable but indian bodies are not? what senseless talk is this... is this an excuse to keep people like praveen kumar and vinay kumar, the supposed "hard working" bowlers in the team.. who infact pick up wicket because batsmen get bored of playing bowlers with speed like 10 yr olds... there are bowlers who can bowl faster and better than these people all around india.. the problem is that indian cricket is plagued by corruption, where if u need to come anywhere near a domestic cricket team, either you shud be mighty rich, or have contacts with some ex criceter, politician or bollywood star...

  • MENDIS_Forever on October 9, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    what about little Sri Lankan bodies then? Malinga,Dilhara,Pradeep? we are also the neighbors of ur country,and genetically very similar to the Indians.

  • on October 9, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    guys stop exaggerating .. today majority of bowlers are veg only .. and for some serious fast bowling u need to have build which is very difficult to maintain without non-veg .. and he also said that inspite of this limitation our bowlers can become fast by practice .. i totally agree with Zak!

  • on October 9, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    pretty stupid statement from zaheer. Sound like a big excuse.

  • SanjivAwesome on October 9, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Zaheer was fat when he landed in England. There, it has been said.

  • palla.avinash on October 9, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    i completely agree with zaheer khan,we take a lot vegetarian food and less non veg like chicken and mutton nutrition very complete boiled food where we loose nutrition that require to become fast bowlers,even our players are not height enough.hen it comes to Pakistan they take a lot of beef and heavy nutrition Dall when compared indians.that is why they have natural strong built bowlers even there average height is more when compared to indians.same when it comes to sa and australia also.

  • on October 9, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    what about malinga's body? he is tiny but can bowl faster than munaf patel who has the body and height?

  • azmaftab on October 9, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    It's more about mentality than physique. All good fast bowlers have to be aggressive and mentor very strong. Look at Imran khan, Wasim, Waqar, Lilee, Thompson, marshall, garner, they were all mentally the toughest cricketers ever to have graced the game! So Indians need look at people who are mentally tough and won't compromise pace for runs! Imran khan always used to encourage bowlers to bowl fast even if it meant going for an extra 20 odd runs!

  • on October 9, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    To bowl fast you need a lot of stamina and in order to gain good stamina you need to maintain a proper meaty diet, it's not rocket science. Some people may find this offensive but it's true, so it's you eat or bowl medium pace...

  • honestno2 on October 9, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Hahaha.... Indian bodies r suited to dance... !!!

  • sukuviju on October 9, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Diet is a major factor. Indians do not have the right physique to become fast bowlers - only the Punjabis have the physical strength but unfortunately apart from Kapil Dev India have not produced any bowler from Punjab. Again, fast bowling is hard work and fast bowlers do not have a long career. Indians always opt for a profession where income is guaranteed for a long period of time - no wonder few kids opt for fast bowling, instead all kids want to bat. I would suggest BCCI introduce better remuneration for fast bowlers as their shelf life is short. That will definitely produce the right results.

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Didn't expect this from Zaheer! especially because the Pakistanis who come from the same roots do bowl a lot faster than Indians do... i don't know the reason .. there is something wrong in the system or the coaching..

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    what a pathetic statement , indian pakistan race is almost same , see the bowlers paksitan produced n batsmen india produced , it doesnt mean that our race is not desgined for producing more batsmen , its depends mainly on pitches n thirst to bowl fast

  • Aura123 on October 9, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    His statement does not make any sense , what about Sarfraz nawaz, imran khan , wasim , waqar , shoaib akthar they have same bodies as Indian. I think Indian can produce fast bowlers its just they have to change the bowling culture

  • criclover999 on October 9, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    He is not wrong simple answer is indians eating habit as lot of oil in foods and Tikkis lol whcih indians are brought up on will never produce strong shoulder muscles which will result in weakl bodies as our players have .

  • smudgeon on October 9, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    What utter rubbish. What makes Zaheer think that any other nation's cricketers are more genetically blessed in regards to bowling than India? Piffle. He makes a good point about bowlers seeking experience domestically overseas (not just bowlers, IMO), and while it's hardly a novel idea, it could be the key to developing a good Indian pace attack. They're found out far too often without Zaheer, and while Ishant & Praveen have both performed well in recent tours, you just get the feeling that they quickly run out of ideas when the other team starts to pull away. Personally, I'd like to see Praveen & Ishant seeking out opportunities not only in England, but perhaps in Australia or SA.

  • backyardchamp on October 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    I disagree with Zaheer's contention if the implication is some sort of genetic weakness of muscles involved in flinging objects. I do agree that Indian bodies are not meant for fast bowling, simply becuase the general standards of physical fitness in India have always been abysmal. Because of the internet, there is now widespread awareness and desire for physical fitness amongst Indians. When the average physical fitness of the nation improves, the pool of fast bowling talent will multiply and by definition, bowlers will bowl much faster that bowlers nowadays.

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    stupid statement...all other asian countries can except Indians??? Look Malinga, how fast is he in his bowling. and no english bowlers are fast as Malinga. he is superb. so what kind of statement are you making zaheer. Aravind bowling for RCB is a good selection from Indian side.

  • No_Excuses on October 9, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Interesting comment by Khan - I guess the absence of genuine Indian quicks may lend weight to that argument. I think Indian bowlers just aren't fit enough to maintain pace for any extended period.

    Imagine if an Australian or English player had made that comment.

  • unregisteredalien on October 9, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    #1 world ranking in the excusathon tho.

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    to be fair give us two batsman we will give u four fast bowlers :D

  • Gupta.Ankur on October 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    What kinda stupid statement is this? are you a scientist? I mean Indians can bowl 140k to get into the team and after that they suffer genetic disorder......because of which they keep loosing their pace?

  • on October 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Sorry to say this, but Zaheer Khan was in no way fit when he landed in England complete with a small paunch. His current predicament is due to poor planning from himself and the selectors, which ultimately led to a Whitewash in the series. A lot of people expect a "payback" when England come to India but who is going to deliver with the ball? Big question!

  • RalphVaughanWilliams on October 9, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    but Pakistani bodies are? What is the difference between the fastest pace bowlers ever seen from Pakistan and their Indian neighbours?

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  • RalphVaughanWilliams on October 9, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    but Pakistani bodies are? What is the difference between the fastest pace bowlers ever seen from Pakistan and their Indian neighbours?

  • on October 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Sorry to say this, but Zaheer Khan was in no way fit when he landed in England complete with a small paunch. His current predicament is due to poor planning from himself and the selectors, which ultimately led to a Whitewash in the series. A lot of people expect a "payback" when England come to India but who is going to deliver with the ball? Big question!

  • Gupta.Ankur on October 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    What kinda stupid statement is this? are you a scientist? I mean Indians can bowl 140k to get into the team and after that they suffer genetic disorder......because of which they keep loosing their pace?

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    to be fair give us two batsman we will give u four fast bowlers :D

  • unregisteredalien on October 9, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    #1 world ranking in the excusathon tho.

  • No_Excuses on October 9, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Interesting comment by Khan - I guess the absence of genuine Indian quicks may lend weight to that argument. I think Indian bowlers just aren't fit enough to maintain pace for any extended period.

    Imagine if an Australian or English player had made that comment.

  • on October 9, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    stupid statement...all other asian countries can except Indians??? Look Malinga, how fast is he in his bowling. and no english bowlers are fast as Malinga. he is superb. so what kind of statement are you making zaheer. Aravind bowling for RCB is a good selection from Indian side.

  • backyardchamp on October 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    I disagree with Zaheer's contention if the implication is some sort of genetic weakness of muscles involved in flinging objects. I do agree that Indian bodies are not meant for fast bowling, simply becuase the general standards of physical fitness in India have always been abysmal. Because of the internet, there is now widespread awareness and desire for physical fitness amongst Indians. When the average physical fitness of the nation improves, the pool of fast bowling talent will multiply and by definition, bowlers will bowl much faster that bowlers nowadays.

  • smudgeon on October 9, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    What utter rubbish. What makes Zaheer think that any other nation's cricketers are more genetically blessed in regards to bowling than India? Piffle. He makes a good point about bowlers seeking experience domestically overseas (not just bowlers, IMO), and while it's hardly a novel idea, it could be the key to developing a good Indian pace attack. They're found out far too often without Zaheer, and while Ishant & Praveen have both performed well in recent tours, you just get the feeling that they quickly run out of ideas when the other team starts to pull away. Personally, I'd like to see Praveen & Ishant seeking out opportunities not only in England, but perhaps in Australia or SA.

  • criclover999 on October 9, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    He is not wrong simple answer is indians eating habit as lot of oil in foods and Tikkis lol whcih indians are brought up on will never produce strong shoulder muscles which will result in weakl bodies as our players have .