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Ishant is one of the unluckiest bowlers - Eric Simons

The outgoing India bowling coach talks about the development of Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth, Umesh Yadav's future and the highlights of his stint

Sidharth Monga in Brisbane

February 17, 2012

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

Eric Simons has a word with Ishant Sharma, Nagpur, February 10, 2010
Eric Simons says he worked on getting Ishant's pace back, and getting him to bowl a fuller length © AFP

Eric Simons is approaching the end of his term as bowling coach of India. It hurts him that early reports suggested he was sacked, or, to use popular parlance, "the first casualty of the two whitewashes". Had the results of his work as bowling coach been more conspicuous, he may not have minded such suggestions as much. There are contrasting views on Simons. The players all praise him, which is why his contract was extended in the first place. Outsiders look at the likes of Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth, and conclude that their apparent lack of progress is Simons' failure.

In what was, in all likelihood, Simons' final press conference as India bowling coach, he spoke at length about various issues and bowlers. He disagrees with the notion that Ishant does not know how to take wickets. He insists Ishant has worked on his game, bowling six to 18 inches fuller on the Australia tour than he previously did, and that he has been unlucky.

He says Sreesanth is one of the most skilled bowlers he has worked with, but the fact that he could not inculcate consistency in him was something that disappointed him. Contributing to the World Cup win is a cherished achievement, as is helping Ishant regain his pace. Here are some excerpts from the press conference.

How has your overall experience been?
I don't want it to sound like a cliché, but it has been an incredible experience for me. I hoped to come along and teach some cricketers some things, to share some input, but I think one of the incredible things was that it was a learning experience for me, not only as a cricketer but as a person.

Is Ishant unlucky or does he not know how to take wickets?
It's a funny one. In one of the first series [of my tenure] versus South Africa, in the Test we won in Kolkata, he bowled brilliantly but didn't get the rewards he deserved. You could see his frustration. To me, he is one of the unluckiest bowlers in the sense that for how well he bowls, and the number of wicket-taking balls he bowls, he just doesn't seem to pick up the wickets I believe - and everyone else believes - he deserves.

We know that the Australians were pleased he wasn't involved in the one-day series. He bowled so well [in the Tests], he was the one that troubled them. Morne Morkel is a similar bowler to Ishant [they are both tall]; he also bowls really well but doesn't pick up the number of wickets we expect him to. For Ishant to hit the stumps, he has to pitch it fuller, and that means the batsman has more chance of keeping it out. He has to find the right mix of deliveries to bowl.

Can one be unlucky for so long?
In the past, maybe you could make the point that he was not really that unlucky; but in the series against Australia, the nick that went between Laxman and Dhoni, the balls that looped and dropped safe, ones that hit the splice and did not go to hand, they were really down to poor luck. I really think in this series Ishant kicked on a long way in terms of the number of wicket-taking deliveries he bowled. I really do believe he was unlucky. I hope he is not discouraged. I hope Indian cricket sticks with him. They have got an incredible cricketer in him.

It's believed that if he can pitch the ball a couple of feet fuller, he will create nicks and not just go past the bat …
We found that his length in Australia was a good six to 18 inches fuller than what used to be his regular length. We worked on getting his length right. It is not always that easy, you know. I think the movement he is now getting, both away from the batsman and back in, is going to make a difference.

He wants to play one-day cricket. Should he?
When I arrived, opinion was that focusing on Tests would be best for his development, and I think he was happy with that. At that stage that was probably the right decision. Personally, I believe he is ready for one-day cricket now. I think he is bowling exceptionally well. It is all about control and confidence. But I am not part of the selection process. You are at the nets, you know the guy, you know he is ready and when to let him go, and when not to. Maybe being conservative with Ishant is the way the selectors want to go. I think he is ready, but that's the selectors' decision. I'll live with that.

You were so impressed with Munaf Patel. Why wasn't he given a chance in the Tests in England. He even lost out to an out-of-shape RP Singh
When RP Singh came back into the side, the point I made was that, because we didn't have anyone who could bowl at 145kph, we had to be innovative and clever in the way we put our attack together. The thinking was that if you lost someone like Zak [Zaheer Khan], you wanted someone a little bit different. That counted in someone like RP's favour.

If you have bowlers who are all similar then the batsman never has to change his angle or think differently. It was a pity Munaf didn't play because he played a major role in the World Cup success. It's not always what he has done in terms of wickets, but what he allows the other players to do.

Eric Simons, India's bowling coach, looks on during a nets session, Durban, December 23, 2010
Eric Simons will not continue as India's bowling coach after his contract expires at the end of the tour of Australia © Getty Images

What do you make of Sreesanth's progress?
One of the best things about being involved with Indian cricket is the high skill-level of the players. I have not met someone with the skill of Sreesanth. He bowled a spell to the Australians in Bangalore, when the ball was reversing, and I said to him: "there are maybe one or two bowlers in the world that can do that." His skills are phenomenal.

Unfortunately the way the batsmen are today, the way the game has evolved, you need a lot more than that. You need consistency. That's something I have tried to impart. There is no point in bowling three or four good balls in an over, and then letting the batsmen off the hook. That's the evolution of a bowler, to stop doing that. You watch Ben Hilfenhaus. His plan was very simple and was very successful too. Sometimes having a very simple gameplan that you can execute really well is better than having too many options.

But one of the biggest criticisms of you is that Sreesanth and Ishant haven't evolved …
Cricket is a package. Sometimes great cricketers are not the ones with tremendous skills, but those with a great work ethic. For a guy like Sree, I am disappointed.

I disagree about Ishant, though. The criticism I got was that he was bowling 130-132kph. We needed the pace back. In this series against Australia he was bowling at 140-plus again. Our attack was probably quicker than the Australian attack, which is quite unusual for an Indian attack. We have got back the pace, I think it's now about developing the tactical perspective.

How do you see Umesh Yadav going?
I watch Umesh with great excitement. I started working with him two years ago, at the Delhi Daredevils. So often on television people say his wrist is collapsing. To me that's commentary. How you fix it is coaching. He was given drills two years ago, and he has performed them diligently.

He is now bowling this beautiful away swing at 145kph-plus, he is an incredible athlete, and he has got incredible stamina and strength. I think he is one of those bowlers who, when he bowls 145kph, makes the batsmen feel like it is 150 because he is so relaxed in his run-up and has such a rhythmical action. I just think, as he grows and understands his craft better, he is going to get better. He is one of the most exciting bowlers in the world today, not just in India.

Have you warned him of case studies of young Indian bowlers before him who have lost pace?
I talk to him about what I believe he has got to do. I don't know what happened with other young bowlers. Each one is going to have different stories about what happened and what didn't happen.

How has it been working with Zaheer, who has been in and out of the side?
One of the things that is very encouraging is how fit Zaheer is looking at the moment and how excited he is about playing cricket again. He is a player with great skill, and I think he has a big role to play in mentoring the cricketers and bowlers around him because he has a very good understanding of his craft, and he has the ability to teach that. He is working hard physically to make sure he is available as much as he possibly can be, and I think that's where the key lies.

What about the spinners?
R Ashwin has been bowling really well. He has grown a lot as a bowler. [Pragyan] Ojha has grown as a bowler; we've talked a lot about the seam bowlers, but he has grown leaps and bounds as a cricketer and as a bowler. It was a pity that he wasn't able to play a bigger role in our team make-up [in Australia]. We weren't able to pick two spinners.

What is your biggest achievement as India's bowling coach?
It's sometimes difficult to measure progress from the outside, but I see the growth of some of the cricketers. Sometimes when you are in the nets, you just know that the guy with you is not ready and needs help; a journalist sitting on the side may not see it, but you see it in the player's eyes, in his confidence. I've helped people like that; people like R Vinay Kumar, even Praveen Kumar, who was obviously a more established cricketer, but grew as well. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are players I am very excited about.

It's more about individuals growing as cricketers and people. I think from that perspective I'll walk away feeling that I've made some contribution, and take some pleasure and enjoyment out of that. Then there's the World Cup of course.

What are your future plans?
I've been appointed head coach of the Delhi Daredevils, so that'll be my next assignment in the cricketing world. I've got business in Cape Town, and that's where I go back after the IPL. A few people have spoken to me, but I haven't made a decision yet.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TRAM on (February 20, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

@ Raj Krish M, 100% agreed. If a coach talks about "luck" something fundamentally wrong there. People with 'will to excel' never talk about luck. Ishant does not swing. Does not change his length per batsman. And he did NOT pitch up to the bat. How else one would take wickets. In that sense, I would rate Sreesanth as more intelligent and better learner of the game. In the whole article Eric never talked about "brains" for the bowler. Aus/SA bowlers know seem to KNOW where to pitch the ball for EACH batsman, which Indian pace bowlers except Zaheer dont seem to know. A lot has to go with the coach's & bowlers HOMEWORK and practice. Venkatesh Prasad, as coach declared already that Ind bowlers are not practicing enough.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 20, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

Ishant bowled really well in Australia. I agree. India should persist with him. I would like to see him and Umesh Yadav taking up the new ball.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 20, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Yeah. Why only Ishant ? All the Indian bowlers are unlucky to have Eric Simons as their coach.

Posted by Malti65 on (February 20, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Now Ponting has been dropped from the ODI. Their selectors dont care if Ponting has been unlcucky or what. Just five scores in single digits and thats it. I think instead of spending money on foreing coaches we should hire Australian Selectors and i am sure the discussion of Ishant's luck will come to an end with a swift axe. Also it will solve the problem of some of the seniors in the Test Squad.

Posted by AbdullahShaikh on (February 19, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Are you joking. Stop kidding us Simmons. No one can remain unlucky for so long. Even if it was true, then what is the point in having him in the team? We should stop looking for talent and start looking for some lucky guys. I am sure there will be many in India.

Posted by Malti65 on (February 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Having read all the views in this blog site, I am convinced that almost 99% people think that Ishant is bad and does not deserve to be in the team. Then shouldn't the selectors know that also. If not, then can someone please tell the selectors that there is no harm in trying some other youngsters. After all Ishant has not performed at all. So atleast there should be no fear of missing him if something goes wrong. However, i am sure nothing will go wrong if Ishant is replaced by some other player. Things can only get better.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 19, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Persisting with Ishant for too long not good for Indian Team. Remember very soon we will also be on our path of rebuilding our Batting line up, as a few old ones will have to go someday. And as far as Test cricket is concerened We have quite a few and they are very old. In this melieu we dont want to realise that Ishant also needs to be replaceed. We Would be better off doing it now, otherwise we will be stuck like Pakistan, looking for too many replacements in all the deciplines of the game is not good. As far as Ishant quality is concerned, if he is really good let him get some wickets in the domestic competition, then he can be reassesed.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 19, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

There will always be a group of people who will love Ishant Sharma. THE OPPOSITION. Yes the opposition team would love to see Ishant in the Indian team. because that way they get a lot of easy runs.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

This is hilarious; why don't we simply get Ishant Sharma is not good enough for competitive int'l cricket!?

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 18, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Agree with @Umair Saleem...He is very lucky to be in indian team, reality is he is an average domestic bowler. We have better young bowlers in Ashok Dinda, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Shami Ahmed, TP Sudhindra, etc. Please give them a fair chance instead of Sharma or Mithun. If even one of them clicks...he, along with Yadav, can form a potent fast bowling pair. Zaheer will be around for a couple of years to lead/mentor them. Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, PK or Vinay can provide support as third seamer.

Posted by ultrasnow on (February 18, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Yeah, Ishant is unlucky to have Eric Simons as coach.

Posted by only_sehwag on (February 18, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Ishant and Rohit will remain unlucky throughout their life - because they don't have the necessary skills !!! Both are a burden to the team

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

@ rahulcricket007 on (Feb 18 2012, 11:48 AM GMT) :- FULLY AGREED WITH YOU. Even i don't think that Ishant has learnt anything. Once Shane Warne said about Monty Panesar that he has not played 26 test matches, but played the same match 26 times. The same is true about Ishant Sharma. He is still at the same level.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (February 18, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

Ishant is ineffective simply because he lacks variety to foxhole the batmen facing him. Fast bowler needs to learn use of crease to create proper angles, speed variation, yorkers, subtle variation in length, and swings. Just bowling at pace with monotony will not make him effective, specially when varying length only ends up giving boundry balls to batsmen.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (February 18, 2012, 11:48 GMT)


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

@ Mushtaq Hussein on (Feb 18 2012, 08:26 AM GMT) :- Sorry Can't agree with you. Waqar was the coach of Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz. What did he do. A coach cannot make a pony into a colt. Nothing can be done about Ishant. let him go back to domestic level work hard and try to rise up the ranks. No more freebies.

Posted by hhillbumper on (February 18, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Instead of blaming the coaches does a player not have some responsibility.It can't be that hard to work out to pitch it up a bit and bowl consistently. He is not unlucky he is just average and will not improve until he accepts the fact that sometimes you actually need to work at your craft.But why bother when you can earn millions and live off a once gained reputation.Sort of sums up why Indian cricket is in a mess.No reality checks take place and it is because your team is unlucky.8 time out of 8 in foreign climes.

Posted by RRnair12 on (February 18, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

How can everyone complain about dhoni only about the debacles in australia and england,the truth is plain and simple we dont have a quality bowling attack to pressurise quality batsmen consistently and in the field we were atrocious.What difference did sehwag make when he was captain in the final test.Unless the team and the board takes up collective responsibility for the defeat and implement corrective measures we are royally screwed.And comming to Ishant he isn't unlucky he is not good enough , luck can affect you over 10-15 test matches but never over 490 matches and unless he doesnt improve his length he will continue to be unlucky.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Where were the 'cutting-the-batsman-in-half' offcutters he bowled at the start of his career against Ponting and Symonds? That, sir was the real secret of his success.... The line and lenght are just the normal stuff (Infact one of the legends of pace bowling in subcontinent, Sreenath neither believed in pitching the ball up nor bowled 145 km/hr)... I don think Ishant will be able to find that weapon with the re-engineered action. I am sorry but what Ishant had was unique talent and he lost it (for wanting to bowl more pace + coming back from an injury). Players should understand that coaches can only do that much. It is the player who needs to understand his core competitive edge and not loose it. For example, do you think Kumble would have reduced pace and flighted more because of any coach's advice or injury? Never.

Posted by Vpx23 on (February 18, 2012, 9:24 GMT)


Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

why people r going only after stats ?? and not the pressure he put on opposition for which the wickets fell on the other end to yadav and zaheer ??

and dhoni was always keeping defensive fields wht can we expect then ?? u need 20 wickets then u need to keep an attacking field not an defensive one

and ishant always bowled in correct areas .i guess people here dint watch the tests and only commenting by seeing the scorecard !!

ishant shd be persisted with and we need some one who can teach ishant to bowl fuller rather than a gud length ball .hope the new bowling coach would do some wonders

and ppl are saying praveen in tests ?? oh god dont joke we saw england tests where munaf was kicked on to the boundary line .u wont take a bowler who bowls 120's we need a minimum of 135kph to be atleast decent to trounle the batsman

dinda,aaron,umesh yadav and ishant and zahher along with irfan can form an formidable pace attack hope r.p singh and sreesanth get back their rhythm back

Posted by Malti65 on (February 18, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

I think Ishant Sharma is the luckiest person in the World. All other cricketers have to spend a lot of time, efforts and money in cricket before they can progress to the next level. But look at Ishant. Now more than 4 years the Indian Cricket Board is spending on his Cricketing education, training equipments etc. and also it appears that coaches are being made to work hard for him. First of all how did he get into the team. don't we have thousands of youngsters like him playing in the domestic level and being thrown out even from there. But Look at Ishant every body is spending so much resources on him, trying to convert him into a bowler. HHMMM. GREAT LUCK !!! MUST TRY TO FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF HORROSCOPE HE HAS. ANY GIRL WHO MARRIES HIM WILL BE LUCKY.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I always believed that Ishanth can not take wikets. Like Agarkar, Indian team is carrying Ishanth for long without any good reason....Agarkar used to take wickets but was ridiculously expensive and biggest match loser for india....

Posted by rockyyy on (February 18, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

ishant go and get married!!!! u wil become alright!!!!

Posted by neerajprasher on (February 18, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

i am not a great fan of eric simons but he did good job.why BCCI picked that queensland bowling coach.What he is gonna one heard of him before.bcci should stick with Eric.but no gus luck you did really well at least we won the world cup.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Ishant Shrama needs the coach like Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram. Then they will become the master.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

Luck is LOSERS ALIBI. Every winner is lucky and every loser is unlucky.

Posted by avik_straightbat on (February 18, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

no...dont all..after...40 odd...test matches...u cannot blame ur luck...for not picking up wickets...less than 3 wickets per match....and ur...not even a exceptionally ...economical just comes down to the fact ...that...ur just an average ...bowler ...and u havent evolved into ....a smarter bowler.with time...u dont ..deserve to ..get more chances...go ... back to the drawing a full county season....then ..we will have a look again....till ...then ...u have run out of favour ...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Luck lady is not smiling at Simons.

Posted by Chetan007 on (February 18, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

I would find more exciting if Shaun Pollock has been made the Indian bowling coach. He has the ability to turn things out for Indian bowlers. I find Joe exciting too but no Indian bowler will work that hard as he think they will. We will sure going to here some controversy will the new coach. BCCI must provide him something in selecting the bowlers needed to be played in the match instead of captain out of the bowlers selector selected for the series. I would also prefer to have a head coach like S. Fleming or S. Waugh. Both will benefit more to Indian cricket than the current coach. I would like to use the service of Wasim Akram in the domestic setup to help Indian bowlers. I want Praveen to get some tips from him as after injury he is out of touch and Wasim will help him getting back his swing.

Posted by Gizza on (February 18, 2012, 3:28 GMT)

The thing is when Ishant bowls it looks like he is bowling well. He has a decent line which goes in towards the right-handed batsman and it occasionally straightens. And batsmen keep on missing. But the length is not good enough. Always just a little bit too short. So his balls NEVER get the edge. And nobdy can ball like that forever so eventually he bowls a wide ball which gets smacked for four and the batsman is still there. At the moment it seems Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Yadav are the three best pacers in India at the moment. If these three bowled together in England and Australia the result would have been tighter but still nowhere near enough to win.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

I dont understand how Dhoni gets the sole credit of a success or a this case selection failure in the two test series.. Agreed Dhoni wasn't upto the mark with the team..but what were the support staff there for?? If a captain is unable to get his team right..the coach and others and the seniors in the team must help...whats the point in having a huge 'support' staff if they dont know how to help a captain in crisis..??

Posted by okadba on (February 18, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

IMHO, Ishant if he was part of a better disciplined bowling unit and supported with better fielding and placement would have done times better. The defensive tactics and the nature of our grand players who can barely dive properly makes a big difference. I believe none of Aussies bowlers individually would have done the same damage from the Indian side. He did his best and one of the top draw bowlers for India (as if there are tens of them). The best fielders change bad luck to awesome bowling. Look at how different the ODI fielding is with all the youngsters. Sadly we have to hide almost 7-8 people in our test team, whereas the aussies barely have to hide 1-3 people. For me that and the discipline in bowling is the difference. And I believe Ponting scores indicate Indias weakness than his greatness.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 1:52 GMT)

england and australia loss are mainly due to the poor tactics of dhoni!!!!! selection howler from the captain!!!!! if a batsmen or a bopw;ler is failing he shud be bold enough to drop them or give a bowlewr an attacking field and give theam a confidence!!!!!!tats wat ganguly done!!!!! most of them said dravid and kumble were defensively as a captain,but they are better than dhoni!!! they dont loose like dhoni loose!!!

Posted by RK.Chandru on (February 18, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

I'd say, Ishant is in fact lucky to have played these many matches for India without showing any exceptional talent. Even my detractors would agree that, a reasonable bowler (I mean, an average bowler) is expected to have taken 4 wickets per test match and 1.5 wickets per ODIs and at least, 1 per a T20. Ishant doesn't even have a strike rate of 3 wickets per test match and why is he still there in the radar bemuses me. Ishant doesn't have that (4 wkts/match) strike rate even in first class matches. We're only wasting precious time and match experience for deserving bowlers like Dinda / Varun trying this man again and again. If height is the criteria that's getting him selection, you can find many taller than him and if u teach them the art of fast bowling, they'll sure become a lot better. Do not invest any more hopes on Ishant and let hime earn selection by working hard and doing exceptionally at the domestic level.

Posted by Vinnyvinner on (February 18, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

I'm not really sure about the other series but definitely Ishant was unlucky in the Australian summer and testimony to that all Australian commentators repeating their statement for the whole series. But there is no second thought that Ishant needs to improve his wicket taking ability which makes a complete bowler.

Posted by ZedInLosAngles on (February 18, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

Ishant is NOT unlucky. He has NOT learnt how to bowl line and length. He is is bowling with out using his brains. I expected him to learn. He has potential. Just does not use his brains and line and length.

Posted by here2rock on (February 17, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Looking at the progress of Indian bowlers you have to say that either they are slow/no learners or they have a bad coach. There is only so much a coach can do but I don't think the Indian bowlers have developed at all over the last few years. Ishant Sharma has taken huge steps backward. Indian selectors have invested in havily but he has not repaid them back their faith.

Posted by inswing on (February 17, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

You can be unlucky for one innings, two, three, four innings. You cannot be unlucky for 40 out of 45 tests you have played. Simmons needs to go, and Ishant needs to be dropped to work out his game domestically.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 22:18 GMT)

Surprising comments from bowling coach.. Ishanth only has only one delivery that comes into Right hand batsman and doesn't have any variations like slower ball.. Its a pity that he si still supporting Ishanth... Whena bowler plays 50 test matches without learning anything then He is fit for nothing.. Give hima break untill he grinds it out on Indian pitches in Ranji seasons..Its smiple.. pick him up when the takes wickets consistently.. hope someone listens

Posted by CricFan78 on (February 17, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

Dont know why people are digging into Ishant and Eric. Ponting, Clarke etc. said same thing during Test series that Ishant have bowled excellently but has no rewards to show.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

@ rahulcricket007 on (Feb 17 2012, 16:48 PM GMT) :- THAT RIGHT MAN. This is India. With such stats any bowker in the world would be first thrown out, then loose central contracts. But in India we find novel ways of honoring failures and paying underperforming bowlers. I am just getting sick & tired of all this nonsense.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

@ Max Eddy on (Feb 17 2012, 19:33 PM GMT) :-- I like the sarcasm. good pun. But come-on, we also have Zaheer, Praveen, Umesh & Ashwin. Aren't they good enough.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

Ishant's Stats : --> . . Compare these stats to any bowler in the world. Nowhere in the world will you find such stats being honoured. At 45 tests he is more experienced than Sreesant. But his bowling average is nearing 38 in tests. In any other county he would have been thrown out long back.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 21:13 GMT)

@ S.Jagernath on (Feb 17 2012, 19:59 PM GMT) :- You are spot on man. I have been getting sick of this comment about luck since a long time. Am glad to see from the various comments that same is the case of many other fans. Ishant was a bad investment. We should learn to move on. That is the way forward. We dont want to end up blocking out more worthy youngters for a failed case.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

@ zico123 & Luqman Amin & torsha & x-squire-x & Raj Krish M & Umair Saleem & Umair Saleem . I TOTALLY AGREE WITH ALL YOU GENTLEMEN. A few decades back we had a very hyped tall fast bowler named T.A.Shekhar. In the end turned out to be nothing. I don't understand how long can Ishant play just on the reputaion of one series 3 years ago. Young praveen is far more skillful. Also i believe Yadav is very promising. Also Varun Aaron is round the corner. We will find even more, after all India is such a vast country. Just the selectors and coaches have to work a little harder. After all this country produced Kapil Dev, Javagal Sreenanth & Venkatesh Prasad and finally Zaheer Khan when no professional guidance was available. We have such diamonds scattered all over the country, just some one has to mine them out into the international scene.

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (February 17, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

I am sorry Mr. Simons but I am appalled at your "excuses" and am glad that you chose to exit the bowling coach responsibility as it was clearly not working.

I think you had a splendid opportunity to seal the post with the overseas tours of WI, England and Australia but you didn't. I am not saying that we did poorly on these tours because of bowling only (it was a collective failure) but the fact that there was a bowling failure should be attributed to you.

Look at England's bowling in the recently concluded series against Pakistan. Yes, they lost 3-0 but their bowling was still very good. I wish we could have said the same for the Indian bowling in the 3 overseas series. Those were really the series where we needed your help the most and you did not deliver.

At this point, I think we needed to give a chance to someone new and I hope that Joe Dawes does well. Umesh, Vinay, Pathan, Munaf, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Rituraj Singh, Dinda have potential and need help to develop it properly.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

@ andylaksh1 on (Feb 17 2012, 16:55 PM GMT) :-- You have absolutely nailed it man. I AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY. Regarding dropped catches and missing by whiskers this happens to all the bowlers all the time. Infact he should ask the Pakistani bowlers who have the worst fielders in the world. Even their regular wicket keepers like Moin & Kamran would regularly drop catches. Inspite of such a desparately horrible situations they move on and produce better results with the ball.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

To me 'Jason Gillespie' was very unlucky too. He bowled beautifully in India but was not rewarded. He had a nice rhythm and pace. Unfortunately, he was in the era of McGrath and did not shine much.

Posted by Rahulbose on (February 17, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

Sharma is not unlucky, he has just stagnated and not improved as a bowler. You can hardly blame Simmons for supporting Ishant. But another way to look at it is that India don't have too many other options, so they should stick with Ishant and keep giving him chances. One thing they could do is pull him from IPL and other T20 leagues and get him to play more first class matches or maybe one full county season. That worked wonders with Zaheer, maybe Ishant will be the same.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (February 17, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

Ishant Sharma has been on every tour & got demolished in all but the West Indian tour.His action is sickening & his attitude of winning only in India matches with it.He does nothing but break the pressure built,on extreme green tops in South Africa,he was pathetic.In beautiful swing & seam bowling conditions in England he was just as poor but in Australia he took pathetic to a new level.Umesh Yadav,though expensive,needs to work on his bowling technique & deserves more oppurtunities.County cricket for promising Indian talent would be very good.Varun Aaron needs to work on his accuracy,Praveen Kumar is very skillful & Zaheer Khan is just brilliant.With young talents like Dhawal Kulkarni & Rituraj Singh,I can't understand how Sharma is still around.Ishant Sharma & Suresh Raina are a lot alike.Both are not good enough to be in a team desiring the #1 spot in ODIs & Test cricket but are selected over players that are working hard & performing exceptionally well.

Posted by SantoshGhirnikar on (February 17, 2012, 19:41 GMT)

McGrath did not have express pace. At 130 kmph he had batsmen fearing him. Ishant can be a McGrath if he works hard on emulating McGrath's strength such as accuracy, unwavering line and length and fire in the belly. Sadly, India will overbowl and overhype Yadav and soon he will fade into oblivion like so many before him.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

I didn't realise India had a bowling coach.

Posted by cricmatters on (February 17, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

Ishant Sharma is a one trick pony who can't bowl fuller lengths required to get wickets on bouncy surfaces. He really bowled well in the previous tour but this time he was bowling short again. India needed a bowling coach who could make them bowl line and lenth and stick to basics. If Indian bowlers needed any guidance, all they had to do is to look at their opposite numbers who won the Test series with some disciplined bowling with relentless accuracy.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

He is very lucky to be in indian team, reality is he is an average domestic bowler

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

"Ishant is unlucky".. Now this one line is enough to say "Eric Simons is unworthy". It's sad to hear the words like 'luck' from an international coach.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

Eric surprises me with the comment of Ishant's height and similarity with Morne. To suggest that the height is some kind of a disadvantage to him and different lengths is out of this World. If I am not mistaken Waseem Akram, Anderson, Umar Gul have the same height of 6'3" as Ishant. Broad, Tremlett of Eng, are around 6'6". Also Goel Garner, Curtly Ambros, Croft Bishop, Walsh, Mcgrath, had height more than Ishant. Do you say that all these blokes had to contend with a big disadvantage viz height. NO, I am sorry, height with pace was their biggest weapon. And they knew how to hit the stumps, All of them would hit the stumps at will. This Guy Eric expects us to accept such explanations.

Posted by x-squire-x on (February 17, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

no such thing as luck, fortune favors the brave.. ishant has been bowling poorly, plain and simple.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 17, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

This is one comment about Ishant Sharma that irritates me a lot. Well, if he has been so unlucky for the last 3 years, what is there to suggest that he will get lucky soon? Also don't you think that if he is so unlucky then removing him might improve India's chances with Luck? Come-on stop kidding me. The New boys Umesh Yadav and R.Ashwin bowled much better than him in the Aus Tests. They gave fewer runs and took more wickets. Ishant was the weakest link in the attack, though he was the most experienced bowler behind Zaheer. I don't believe there is progress (reg.Ishant). I don't think he is improving at all. We should have tried Umesh earlier. Also in England Praveen proved to be far better than Ishant. Come-on This is series after series in helpful conditions for pace bowling. PLEASE STOP THIS TORTURE OF INDIAN FANS, and move beyond Ishnat & Sreesant. Give the younsters an opportunity. I am sure we will find more boys like Praveen and Umesh.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

eric u did a great job mann . hats off to u for developing ishant and umesh yadav and ur confidence on ishant .

all shd realise why did umesh get more wickets than ishant was tht ishant was putting the pressure on the other end and wickets fell on the other end for umesh and zak.i always said tht ishant is alott similar to morne morkel !! morkel too does the same in tests he puts pressure on one end and the wickets fall on the other end for philander and steyn.

like sa kept confidence on morkel india shd keep playing ishant atleast on foreign pitches there is no use playing the medium pacers on outside pitches if they want to try praveen in tests then india is the best place for him not aus or sa .

for away tests the aquad shd comprise of umesh yadav,aaron,ishant,dinda and zaheer khan.these will wreak havoc in the opposition and this attack can be very deadly

hope irfan,r.p singh,sreesanth get back to form then india will have a very very formidable bowling line up.

Posted by andylaksh1 on (February 17, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Ishant really is unlucky, in the sense that he wasn't blessed with a lot of SKILL. Are you kidding me? You take wickets with skill, not 'luck'. If you are confident of your abilities, a ball missing the stumps by a whisker, or a close lbw turned down, or a nick that falls safe wouldn't bring you down, instead it should fire you up. Get over all that luck cr@p, train and play with purpose, a plan, a target in mind. You don't have to be an express tearaway all the time to take wickets. History says so...

Posted by torsha on (February 17, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

I don't like him. He hasn't learned from his mistakes. When he was came before, his line and length were perfect but now he seems to have lost it. Sree has good swinging ability but sometimes OVER aggression makes him lose everything.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (February 17, 2012, 16:48 GMT)


Posted by zico123 on (February 17, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

Eric Simmons doesn't deserve any more contract extension as Indian bowling coach, even i think lack of prgress for Sreeshant and Ishant is failure of Simmons. India should look at Wasim Akram or Curtly Ambrose as coach.

Posted by Rupesh2804 on (February 17, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

No Doubt we will miss you Eric.... You have done a very good job in a country where nobody bothers about bowlers.... Pathetic PATA pitches....and licence to kill given to Batsmen... You have contributed in India's win in WC....! Best of Luck in your future assignment....!

Posted by zico123 on (February 17, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

no he is NOT unlucky. he is very rigid with his back of length/ short bowling, he doesn't want to bowl full, in 2010 Stewart braod and Peter Siddle bowled short, they got hammered, in 2011-12 they are bowling full, and they are taking bag full of wickets, Ishant has to bowl full, he can't keep saying that back of length/short is his natural length so he will stick to it. with his height, speed, swing, if he bowls full, he will get bag full of wickets. if he is worried about getting driven, then he should ask captain for cover and third man and 3 slips and should bowl full all day. he will then be one of the best in the world, but currently he is a very average bowler, not even good.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

He is one of the most exciting bowlers in the world today, not just in gave me goosebumps

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

I think ishant is not unlucky but he lacks talent

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