India news August 26, 2011

Ghavri asks for longer camps at bowling academy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Karsan Ghavri, the former India allrounder who currently heads the BCCI's bowling academy in Mohali, has said bowling camps need to be longer if players are to develop through the academies. Around 120 bowlers have come through the Mohali-based academy, with state associations sending players in the age group of 17-19 years. But Ghavri said the quality of youngsters coming to the camp was not always up to the mark, and he was yet to see a fast bowler who could bowl at 140kph.

"Out of the 120 boys we have trained so far, we have shortlisted around 15 boys who are good and some of them bowl at 135kph in the nets," he said. "But I haven't seen a fast bowler touching 140kph still.

"Most of the boys either have a faulty run-up or fail to adjust their body balance. We try to correct them as much as we can but three weeks is not enough. Each camp should be of, at least, five to six weeks to allow us to fine-tune their skills. Then we can accommodate more matches to check on their match fitness and introduce more modern drills for a lengthier period."

India's bowling reserves have come under the scanner after they failed to recover from the loss of Zaheer Khan in their 0-4 Test series loss in England. Ghavri said the BCCI needed to take more responsibility, firstly in identifying talent, and then nurturing it. "The BCCI must urge the state units to ensure they identify true talent and send them here for training. There's no point working on bowlers who don't have it in them to make it big. We also expect the Board to communicate, come and see how things are being run here. More accountability is required from the BCCI.

"The boys come to the academy only for three weeks, but what happens after that? They have to be looked after in the future and the BCCI should play a larger role here."

Another thing Ghavri said was long overdue in India was the introduction of faster pitches to hone seamers. "It is not that India cannot produce a fast bowler or that India cannot produce a fast wicket. Both things are possible and are dependent on each other.

"We don't have great spinners in our national team now. We have reasonably good medium-fast bowlers and there are some more coming up. So, to encourage them, we need to make fast tracks. It's important now that India start playing their domestic matches on hard grassy wickets."

Another thing called into question during the England series was the fitness of India's bowling attack that bowled England out just once during the four Tests. Former India fast bowlers Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad both said the solution was for India's quicks to bowl more in first-class cricket. "Fast bowlers need to keep bowling, whether it is in first-class or Test cricket. There's no point in resting them exceedingly," Prasad told Mid-Day. "The key is to remain fit, keep bowling, and keep up that urge."

Srinath said there was quality among India's current crop of fast bowlers but they needed to play the longer formats, preferably abroad, as opposed to Twenty20 cricket in India. "Guys like Sreesanth and Ishant [Sharma] need to bowl at least 1200 overs a year, with at least 500 or 600 of them in county cricket in England, or in Australia or other first-class matches. Both are quality bowlers and there's no reason to believe they are not as good as the English bowlers. They just need to keep bowling which is the only way to play at the highest level for 10-12 years. England ensure that even their senior bowlers go back and play county cricket between Tests. Our bowlers need to embrace that culture.

"There's no point playing ODIs and IPL, and then going on a Test tour to England. It's unfair to blame the bowlers alone."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • avinash on August 27, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    what we have seen over past so many years is lot of praise for batsmen, we have public who worship batsmen more then fast bowlers,there is hardly any space for fast bowlers to share with numbers of batsmen stars rising thanks to the flat tracks in india ,its just the opposite in other countries the fast bowlers have great respect equal to there fellow batsmen so this respect makes them work more harder, players from pakistan ,australia, and southafrica have great respect when they are bowling fast they enjoy the stardom of being fast and furious and are willing to work towards it, but in india when a new fast bowler comes in the team he slows down over period of time knowing that he has to survive on the dead tracks so he starts saving himself,and let the spinners and batsmen do all the talking thats what has been hapenning all these years, so how do u expect the fast bowlers to do well in india, we have to change this culture, inspite of best facility and money we have failed .

  • ramakrishna on August 26, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Are we serious here??? The country where 100+ crores population's passion is cricket couldnt find 10 bowlers who can bowl at 140 KMPH. Lets not talk about the flat pitches, even PAK and SRI have the same pitches how come they produce fast bowlers like Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, Malinga etc.. Is it that really we dont have any bowlers or the state Associations is supressing the real talent. Why dont we place an AD to just walk-in and show thier bowling talent? I bet u will get hundreds of players.

  • Harshvardhan on August 26, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Biggest problem for us is we just dont have CULTURE of fast bowling pitches have got nothing to do with guy bowling fast anyone can bowl fast its just an obssesion,a passion to stretch your physical and mental strength and to run as fast as you can and let u and ur bowl talk with the air there aint better sights in the world then to see a fast bowler at his peak powers india needs one icon a tearaway quickie like imran khan(hes a once in a lifetime cricketer)but he is the main reason for fast bowlers in pakBiggest problem for us is we just dont have CULTURE of fast bowling pitches have got nothing to do with guy bowling fast anyone can bowl fast its just an obssesion,a passion to stretch your physical and mental strength and to run as fast as you can and let u and ur bowl talk with the air there aint better sights in the world then to see a fast bowler at his peak powers india needs one icon a tearaway quickie like imran khan(hes a once in a lifetime cricketer)but he is the main reason

  • JAYARAMAN on August 26, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    If one observes, most of the bowlers starting in cricket bowl as fast as they can. So talent scouts will have to pick from those who can really bowl fast and train them. Another point observed by this writer - in a large metro one young schoolboy did bowl genuine slow and he was successful in kunior level. In the 1st division club he played, the coach there changed his style and he bowled at medium or slow medium pace thereby becoming totally ineffective - neither as a speed bowler nor as genuine slow bowler. Such coaches should be thrown out of cricket.

  • Allan on August 26, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    How does Pakistan produce top class super quick bowlers? From my knowledge their wickets are not any quicker than those found in India. In addition, there are lesser facilities available to the youth. The kids there have a strong passion and want to bowl fast for the true love of it. India is a batting crazy nation, everyone wants to bat and bat and make as many runs as possible. Bowling and fielding is always secondary. Unless the mind set changes, these cricketers will not improve, never mind if they are in the academy for the whole year.

  • giovaughn on August 26, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    It would not be a bad idea to prepare these fast pitches when weaker teams like New Zealand are touring. what was the point of the boring flat tracks the New Zealand series was played on last time? was India that scared of Tim Southee who was the only decent pace bowler in their line up? A second chance will present itself when West Indies come on tour later this year. India can afford to prep fast bouncy wickets because even though Fidel, Jerome, Ravi & Kemar are not pace bowlers to be scoffed @, common sense would dictate that India would play their senior batsmen & bowlers this time around. This would not only facilitate them winning but would attract more interest & spectators to the matches. Also Sachin Dravid Laxman & co + the bowlers would gain confidence from dominating on pace friendly wickets & that would bode well for the Australian tour in December which despite the flaws of the BCCI i want India 2 win!!

  • KISH on August 26, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    At least Srinath is talking sensibily. But, tThe actual bowlers should give prioritise the national duties as prime. With the money flowing into their wallets with IPL, I don't know if they are prepared to do that, though.

  • Dummy4 on August 26, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    1)i quite like the point of Gharvi that India need to produce some fast tracks(hard & green). that even encourages fast bowlers and that produces some good bowlers.. 2)produce minimum 2stdiums in each capital of states(1 of spin and another of fast friendly) this make players not to struggle in australia and to bouncers of them.

  • Steve on August 26, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Ghavri, like many bowling experts before him, made many valid points. The key is to make pitches conducive to fast bowling for all first class level matches. Until this is done, Ind will continue to languish in producing quality pace bowlers.

  • Ajay on August 26, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Why are these guys waiting for a disaster to happen before they spoke up!! This irritates me. They are as much to blame for not making enough noise as the BCCI. Speak up before you know what hits the ceiling!!

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