India news October 13, 2009

'We're expecting too much from Ishant' - Prasad

Cricinfo staff

Venkatesh Prasad, India's bowling coach, has said it is unfair to expect too much from fast bowler Ishant Sharma while he remains relatively new to the international scene.

Ishant burst into prominence with a memorable Test series in Australia in 2007-08 but has struggled to find his lengths in one-day cricket in the last year. He averaged 31.48 and picked up 27 wickets in his first 20 ODIs. In 13 games in 2009, he has picked up 19 wickets at 31.42. The economy rate, though, has shot up from 5.34 to 6.19.

"People are expecting too much too early," Prasad told the Daily News & Analysis. "To become one of the best, you need about 8000 to 10,000 hours of practice in your career. That amount of practice will mean eight to 10 years. In tennis someone who is good at 21 would have started playing at 11.

"Usually we spot talent in cricket at 19 and by then that cricketer would have played for only three to four years. Ishant is an exciting talent but he is just 21. I started playing for India when I was 24. When you have played five years of domestic cricket you are more mature. We shouldn't judge Ishant too early. We need to give him a lot of time. We expect too much from somebody with too little international experience. We are expecting too much from those who are just 20-21."

Prasad said Ishant's drop in form could be because of a lack in confidence. "We go gaga and when someone is doing well and then when he has a bad patch we say he has lost this and lost that. We also need to open our eyes to the fact that everything favours the batsmen these days. There has been too much pressure on him and expectations from every quarter." Former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath also said the criticisms could hurt Ishant's confidence but dismissed the idea that he had to cut down his one-day load to improve.

Zaheer Khan's absence due to injury has weakened India's pace attack but Prasad said this was an opportunity for the other bowlers to step up. "Ashish Nehra has been impressive in his comeback. What has helped him is his domestic experience. The others like RP Singh, Ishant and Munaf. I think they have all got what it takes to win matches."

Some experts have commented on the drop in pace of young Indian fast bowlers after a season but Prasad said he had not advised his charges to do so. "There was never a single moment in my two-and-a-half years with the Indian team when I told them to drop pace. I tell them to be consistent. If there is some sort of a technical flaw in their performance that is where I come in and I handle the technical part."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harsha on October 14, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    Venkatesh Prasad has said "To become one of the best bowlers, you need about 8000 to 10,000 hours of practice in your career. That amount of practice will mean eight to 10 years". It means Prasad will remain a coach for the next 8 to 10 years.))))

  • Harsha on October 14, 2009, 11:40 GMT

    Venkatesh Prasad, India's bowling coach, has said it is unfair to expect too much from fast bowler Ishant Sharma .He is right. With his(Venkatesh Prasad) coaching it is unfair to expect too much from Ishant Sharma.

  • laxman on October 14, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    BY THE WAY, We dont have a bowling coach who can teach the youngsters to bowl rising deleveries. We have a batting coach who cannot teach the younger lot how to face the rising deleveries. And our fielding is becoming bads to worse dispite of the best fielders of their era, Kirsten and Robin are on the job. Then how we can aspire to be winning and beocme Numero Uno?

  • Arup on October 14, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Some people haven't a clue about cricket and fast bowling. Firstly whoever has dissed Prashad, are wrong, because he has done wonders for the Indian bowling. He has developed Zaheer into a world class bowler, Sharma into a good young talent, and the likes of Munaf, Sreesanth, Pathan, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar and Nehra all on the sidelines. Ishant just needs to concentrate on cricket and not worry so much about all these money aspects in the game such as IPL. I think if he cuts down the amount he plays he would be a better bowler. This year he has played IPL, World T20, Champions Trophy as well as tests vs Australia, NZ and so on. Give the guy a break and he'll come back better. He is only 21!

  • Tushar on October 14, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    Bowling the bowl in the right areas at least 3-4 times out of 6 in an over is not expecting too much Mr. Prasad. If that is too much then may be the selection criteria for the Indian Cricket Team is wrong. What our glorious bowlers do is that bowl short and wide at least 3-4 times in an over. I guess they are allowed to do so as they are all young and will learn after 5-6 years of international cricket. May be we should play only after that much time then?

  • Rajit on October 14, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    First things first..why on earth does Indian Team have Prasad as a bowling coach? He himself was nothing more than a fast leg cutter bowler...BCCI needs to show him the door and hire someone else as a bowling coach... someone like F Devilliers,Allan Donald etc or from the Indian lot...even Manoj Prabhakar...he was not quick but was street smart cricketer..

  • raj on October 14, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    the problem here is pace only. just need to check the average pace of ishant when he was in the first season and now in this season. either our fast bowlers are cutting down the pace deliberately to prolong their career at the expense of our country' win OR they or our coach dont know which muscles in our body contribute to the pace of a bowler and train on them.the reason i am telling this because in the case of ishant we can see that he has filled up a little....but still his pace has gone down...that means he did not work on those muscles which contribute to the pace of the bowler......

  • eb on October 14, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    do not agree on the excuses given! Here are my two cents worth 1) Focus on bowling. I am tired of reading about your views on issues outside of bowling. Leave the comments on other issues to senior players. 2) Focus on what is important- you were on the news ( before bombing out in the matches) wanting to bowl 100 miles per hour balls. What we want is you bowling on a tight length and line even if your speed is not up to par. Cut out your no balls and wides which will add further distraction to your bowling. When you can bowl proper length and line consistently, increase your speed. 3) Avoid putting him on pressure situations. At least two matches were lost recently thanks to erratic bowling during critical overs. He needs to mature more. 4) work on fielding and batting ( improved recently) too. We need all rounders.

  • Denzil on October 13, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    Ishant's wrist points to fine leg, rather than at the stumps at delivery. Rectify that, Mr Prasad, and he'll be bowling at 145kph, along with bounce generated by wrist-snap.

  • devansh on October 13, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    i have never seen prsad himself being a really good bowler himself. ya he did get 5 wickets hauls only a few times but that said he is not deserving to be a bowling coach he was by no means a really good bowler himself what does bcci expect froom him. bcci needs to change our bowling coach to wasim akram or javagal srinath or someone similarly successful please.

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