Sanjay Manjrekar
Former India batsman; now a cricket commentator and presenter on TV

Swing to win, India

Bowlers who can make the ball talk are what India should be looking to unearth

Sanjay Manjrekar

January 19, 2013

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took crucial wickets to peg England back, India v England, 2nd ODI, Kochi, January 13, 2015
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: more like him, please © BCCI
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When Rahul Dravid retired from Test cricket, I remember saying that instead of fussing over who would be the new No. 3 to fill Dravid's big boots, India needed to find three world-class bowlers instead.

A strong batting side can save Test matches but a good bowling attack will win them for you. Pakistan are a good example. When they were a winning team under Imran Khan, they were one of the few to challenge West Indies in their prime. Pakistan did not have a world-class batting line-up - Javed Miandad was more or less the only batting great they had, with an average of over 50 - but they had truly world-class bowling.

Granted, India's batting on current form is a serious worry, but I still think the selectors and those holding the reins of Indian cricket need to be scouting for bowling talent.

India has a strong, deep-rooted batting culture, and they will keep getting top-class batsmen along the line, without trying. It is a land where a Sunil Gavaskar retires in 1987 and a Sachin Tendulkar arrives in 1989. This, however, is not the case with Indian bowlers. They need all the help they can get to become viable international bowlers, for they are trying to emerge from a batting culture.

With Laxman and Dravid gone, and Tendulkar and Sehwag to follow, I know a lot of people are worried about India's batting, and rightly so, but if India are to regain that No. 1, spot and stay there longer this time, they have to find better bowlers than they had last time.

Just one Zaheer Khan is not going to be enough. And finding three world-class bowlers in a batting-friendly environment is not going to be easy; in fact, it will be very tough, and all focus, ideas and energies will need to be diverted to that one goal.

Four weeks ago, after the home series loss to England, I was quite pessimistic about Indian cricket's future. Yes, India's batting had failed once more, but it was the bowling that depressed me more. But today I feel slightly different and that is because of the arrival of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Not for a moment am I suggesting that India have found a sensational bowling talent who will single-handedly take them right back to the top in Tests. All I am saying is that with a little work on him, by someone who really knows about bowling swing on the subcontinent, he can be a good Test seam bowler in all conditions.

What really excites me is that Bhuvneshwar is not a freak talent who has come through the Indian domestic circuit, one who cannot be replicated. In fact, he can be the seam-bowling prototype for others to follow and for Indian cricket to invest in.

He is a bowler with a natural Indian bowling action (not one modelled on the Australian pace manual), who bowls at a decent pace, around 135, swings it both ways, bowls it full, and critically, is a good athlete.

 
 
Granted, India's batting on current form is a serious worry, but I still think the selectors and those holding the reins of Indian cricket need to be scouting for bowling talent
 

Bhuvneshwar's impressive skills suggest that India with its dead pitches and its triple-centurion batsmen can still produce fine bowlers, and that makes me hopeful about the future of Indian seam bowling. With three improved versions of the current Bhuvneshwar, India may have a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets overseas.

And this is not just an ex-cricketer's fantasy; I am convinced that with the right guidance this can become a reality. I have seen a couple of young bowlers in domestic cricket who are in the Bhuvneshwar Kumar mould: Siddarth Kaul of Punjab and Ishwar Pandey of Madhya Pradesh look like they belong in the same genre. Talk to a few senior batsmen in domestic cricket, like Amol Muzumdar and Aakash Chopra, and they may have two more names for you.

It is interesting to look at all the major overseas Indian triumphs after 1980: the 1983 World Cup win, the mini World Cup win in Australia in 1985, the Test series win in England in 1986, Leeds 2002, Adelaide 2003, Wanderers 2006, Nottingham 2007, Perth 2008, and Durban 2010. You will find that the bowlers who made the important match-winning contributions were Kapil Dev, Roger Binny, Madan Lal, Chetan Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ajit Agarkar, RP Singh and Sreesanth: all typical Indian medium-pacers, who bowled it full and swung it around - none express, and none a spinner.

Batsmen around the world today hit the ball harder than ever before, but they are also more susceptible when the ball is pitched up and it swings late than batsmen of earlier generations were. This is India's chance to seize, to find bowlers who do just that. If an Umesh Yadav comes along, bowling at 145, that is a bonus, but it would be more pragmatic for India to look for more bowlers like Bhuvneshwar.

And yes, come what may, do not allow them to cut down on their swing so as to try to bowl quicker. Make them feel proud to be swing bowlers, or else India may be left with more bowlers like Irfan Pathan, who, in the endeavour to get faster, lost his precious, god-gifted swing.

With the disappointing spinning talent coming through these days, maybe it's time for Indian cricket to move away from spin and to make swing the new king.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by iHitWicket on (January 22, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Well written Sanjay. Yes, I remember reading the article you wrote after Dravid's retirement about good bowlers being the need of the hour and that good batsman always happen for India - I thought well he has got it right. I feel so again. I was pretty impressed with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in his first ODI. I remember being disappointing at MS Dhoni implying in post match conference that pitch aided Bhuvaneshwar's mode of bowling ("and hence the wickets"). It's well and good to not let success get to head of a young pacer, but he should have been more positive (he's pretty happy with Ravindra Jadeja's success as No.7 and he shows it - as he should). What ever help BK got from the pitch, it was his first ODI and you could see that you have a thinking bowler on hand. And YES, add pace if you can while keeping swing. Indian cricket must also realize that bits-and-pieces players can't win Test matches (not everyone is a Dhoni who makes up lack of technique with guts and talent in other areas).

Posted by chin2222 on (January 22, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

come next IPL and bhuwanesh kumar will be in the same category as praveen and others are after watching him initiallt lets not make so mush noise around him let him play till the time he is playing good and wait and watch until he retires

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 21, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

Every indian bowler when he bowled in first few test , we thought we found the answer , Sreesanth , Ishant sharma , Yadav ...etc. Problem is not the fitness , its because when you are young , Everything fresh. Once you started to put real force on ankles and joints when you bowl for india. People put 120% of their capacity to show they belong in top tier. Body do not like that. It just eat away good stuff around the bones , no replenishment coming without meat diet and gym habit. Body needs recovery and replenishment at right places. Without serious weight lifiting. One of the thing is this , you can't force people to do things. It will be never successful. Socialism is flawed. Money could be motivation but if batsman make money easy way why anyone wants to be a bowler?. I do think if you get 5 wickets in a Test it needs special reward money equivalent to a 100runs. That way bowlers get selected hit the gym not drink beer and party after each game like batsman does.

Posted by Nampally on (January 21, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

Sanjay, I again emphasise that India is overflowing with talent but the selection process is flawed. The Selectors should be given 1. The Selection critieria to be Current Form, Fitness & Performance record 2. Total current stats. of top 10 Batsmen & top 10 bowlers 3. Team of XI to be given to the Captain + 3 Reserves. 4. The Captain + Coach should be involved in the Selection of the Team & reserves. Based on this selected team, the Captain & players should be made fully accountable for their performance in grading contracts- Grade A,B,C . The current seat- of- the- pant selection process with zero accountability & lack of penalties is badly eroding the Team India's record. Indian team is selected with no basis at all, leaving many deserving guys frustrated. Domestic Cricket (Ranji matches) was always the basis of selection in the past. Now the Ranji record is totally ignored.Spinners & seamers with most wkts. are not even on the radar & the same goes for batsmen.Let Us get Real!

Posted by riprock on (January 21, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Dhawal Kulkarni is worth a mention. Can swing the ball quite a bit. Maybe, along with Sreesanth, Ishant, Umesh and..Zak at his fittest best..India stand more than a modicum of chance in making positive news in the pace department.

Vinay Kumar, Praveen, Bhuvneshwar, Irfan etc..are new ball heroes suitable for limited-overs..whose effectiveness with the red ball may last only as long as the shine on it

Posted by ganirules on (January 21, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Game of cricket is harder on bowlers, with runs from edges,over throw,misfield,drop catch and not given outs it would be very tough for a bowler who have to prove himself within a 5 or 10 overs span, not mention the IPL batsman always make the bowlers pay, Selectors have to look in to Ranji performances and restrain the IPL negatives, I thank Sanjay that he didnt mention Vinay Kumar as a fast or swing bowler joginder sharma also.

Posted by v.saleem on (January 21, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

The best new ball bowlers at present in the world is james anderson speed@138 and swing because of his early breakthroughs england spinners where very effective in india series, and reverse swing when the ball gets old he showed his world class attributes. and Dale steyn who also swings the new ball at great pace. So bhuvi to be effective in test cricket has to bowl at 138km pace coz when the bowl gets old to be effective you have to be master of reverse swing at it should be bowled at good pace. or else he will follow in the foot step of praveen kumar.

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 21, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

I agree with nampally - the BOWLING is more of a concern than batting. BCCI should ensure that a pool of bowlers are created and are compensated for for being in that pool. Wear and tear on bowlers is quite a lot and care is needed. ZAKS may be finished but BCCI should continue to remunerate him for at least two years more.

Posted by sahbas_s on (January 21, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

we should not put pressure on someone who has not even played 5 matches so far.we had glimpse of fast bowling sensations before like sreesant & munaf in carribean test, nehra in odi, agarkar, rp singh,, irfan,pkumar,ishant n the names go on but how many of them were able to do it consistently...i hope bhuwanesh is not one of them...but putting pressure on him is not fair for the young lad.let him enjoy his bowling.i do hope umesh,varun,bhuwanesh,shami,ishant should make up a decent if not lethal attack. if this doesn't happen, its a serious mistake of bcci officials

Posted by v.saleem on (January 21, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

A right-arm medium pacer from Baroda, Zafir Patel is an unknown commodity in Indian cricket. But the fact that the Delhi Daredevils chose to invest in this club cricketer says much about the potential of the 20-year-old. Son of former India left-arm seamer Rashid Patel who played a Test and an ODI each, Zafir is known to have an accurate yorker and a deceiving slower one, useful weapons to have in the Twenty20 format and one day for india it seems he learned his trade from dernbach. in uk where he is persuing pharmacy course .He came across when irfan pathan spotted him bowling in baroda age group cricket and he recommended him to Mr TA shekar the coach of delhi daredevils.In the recently concluded match at cochin the net bowlers who bowled to indian team where in for ahigh praise from indian team bowling coach dawson, it included sreesanth , highly promising fastbowler sandeep warrier, Niyas, anthaf ,Manukrishnan,prasanth parameshwaran let the selectors give them chances.

Posted by pulkit10 on (January 20, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

Not entirely. What I don't like is that you are approaching this from a "the glass is half empty" perspective. While I agree that it can be hard to unearth great bowlers in a country that is considered to be a batsman's heaven, it isn't impossible. Indian cricket is the richest in the world and has a HUGE pool of young players to draw from - couple that with some genuinely quick pitches and it isn't going to be that hard to come up with 2-3 great bowlers. It's just that the intent is lacking. Too often the primary objective is lost in bitter bureaucratic fighting.

What India really needs is a balanced attack - the South African one is perfect. You have a Morkel with the awkward bounce and pace, the Steyn with incredible speed and swing and the Philander with control and swing. They compliment each other perfectly. Sure, it is next to impossible to find such a great attack but that doesn't mean India cannot emulate it. Even with a half as good attack, they'll be formidable.

Posted by vik56in on (January 20, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

How far will Buvaneshwar go is the question? The reason being he is slow,it has happened before too with Irfan Pathan.The problem is good swing bowlers get good results in ODIs,but when it comes to Test cricket,they are found lacking because of lack of pace.Vinay Kumar,Debashish Mohanty, are other examples.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (January 20, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

The hottest skill and latest trend in bowling these days is the lateral movement. Swing and seam bowling at 135+ kmph is having great impact on the games while 145+ kmph of one dimensional fast bowling get thrashed. Bhuvi, Junaid and Kulushekra are having dream spells all around the world (India out of all places) while Finn and Ishant struggle to get wickets. Bhuvi is bowling to world class English players who are supposedly the best players of moving balls and Kulu made strong Australia look amateur in such a quick turnaround. In spin department Swann and Panesar who have more lateral spin outsmarted Ashwin who would do everything with the ball but turn. The degree of spin or swing is variation enough. Bottom-line India needs to invest in 5-6 bowlers like Bhuvi and 2-3 ripping spinners.

Posted by AdityaUpadhyay on (January 20, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

I dont quite agree with Sanjay in this article. Pace does matter for a fast bowler whether he is a seamer or swing bowler. During the Perth test of Ind vs Aus in 2012 barring Umesh Yadav none other bowler could even come to close as a threat to the batsman because they were lacking speed. If we keep producing these swing bowling trundlers , it doesn't matter we play 4 fast bowlers or 5 fast bowlers in wickets like Durban or Brisbane or Perth, we'll be keep getting thrashed. As there is David Warner in every team who will walk down the pitch to counter the swing & lack of pace. The most disturbing site which is now getting exceedingly common with Indian bowlers is wicket-keeper standing close to the stumps for a fast bowler. Plz BCCI produce & nurture some toe-crushing fast bowlers.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Kumar is a talent and his first one day spell was electrifying.Forget that he had that magical burst in an odi and consider that he got his wickets against defensive shots making him a potential threat in all conditions.Vernon Philander and Glenn Mcgrath should be the possible role models in recent times.Also provide surfaces that will assist the seamers a bit.I think most countries are too besotted with the speed gun and good to see skillfull bowlers like Kumar,Philander and Kulesekera doing well.

Posted by Nampally on (January 20, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Sanjay, You say Gavaskar retires in 1987 & Tendulkar arrives in 1989. Now I like to see Tendulkar retires in 2013 & Pujara arrives. Actually Pujara has already arrived in 2012 producing an amazing test average of 87 vs. England.Also I do not think the Indian batting is a cause for worry if the team is selected properly. Sehwag & Gambhir are on the way out. There are 4 good openers waiting to step in- Dhawan, Mukund. Chand & Vijay. At #'s3, 4 & 5, India has fine batsmen in Pujara, Kohli & Tiwary. At #'s 6 & 7: Rohit/Raina, Yuvraj or Pathan(if fit) are good bets. Dhoni, Saha will provide WK. There are one or 2 good off spinners apart from Ashwin - Joshi of Saurashtra & Jalal Saxena. Ojha & Nadeem are good LH spinners. In seamers B.Kumar, Shami Ahmad are accurate ones +Yadev, Aaron, Ishant, Sreesanth other seamers. I would add Sandeep Sharma as a fine medium pacer who can move the ball in air & off the seam.So India has the talent but it is being wasted by dilly dallying! Action needed!

Posted by CandidIndian on (January 20, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

I disagree,its not that spin talent is disappointing.Selection process is flawed in India.Perfect example of that is Harmeet Singh who is one of the main architects of U19 WC victory recently is not getting place in Ranji team of Mumbai.Myopic view of selectors and lack of ability to pick talent are main problems.Few months ago there was an article mentioning that Yuvi and Raina keeps coming back because there is no talent coming up in batting.When you will not give chance to youngsters how can you judge whether someone is good or bad. Mandeep Singh, Jiwanjot,,Harmeet, Sandeep Sharma,Chand ,Tiwary are all talented players and there are many more like them.BCCI should take away right of preparing the pitches from Ranji sides and should standardize the pitches. Empasis should be on sporting tracks where you can easily make out whether player has ability and temperament or not.Roads which are prepared in India makes a mediocre player look like world beater.

Posted by sony_sr on (January 20, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

What a point by Manjrekar!!! If you look at any team, even the best of the batsmen around now a days are at sea against good swing bowling. Infact many batsmen are much more comfortable against a bowler bowling at 145kmh. Apart from all these reasons, most important is india has lot of good swing bowlers who can swing it appreciably at 130kmh. Considering the poor state of spin/fast bowling resources in india, it will be a good idea to go with genuene swing bowlers in SA, ENG, and NZW later. b kumar i pandey, b mohanthy, mohit sharma, pankaj singh, sandeep sharma, sandeep warior, s kaul are the bowlers to watch out for from this years ranji trophy.

Posted by im52923 on (January 20, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

I always agree with Mangraker. For me he is the only nutral person in India when it comes to Pakistan. He may be right about Kumar or may not be. Patan was sucha sensation too .. even more.. but..... India need bowlers around 150 mark.. only that will help.. ONLY that....

Posted by oayaz01 on (January 20, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

@sweetspot- Have you ever played any sport of cricket? Doesn't looks like otherwise you won't have commented about what difference real pace makes. Pace shakes batsman, and it allows other bowlers from other end to reap rewards too.(Ask any batsman!)

btw, last two decades is fresher to our memories more than just last one decade:)

Posted by JohnnyRook on (January 20, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

@DaisonGarvasis. Thats the trouble with gut feeling. I am sure you have had a gut feeling in case of other people too who didn't last much. But humans just tend to forget those instances of failure. This is a very common mistake. I think Indian selectors also go more with gut feeling rather than past performance. This is why they are more prone to sticking with people who were great in past for too long as well as trying raw talents instead of first developing them properly. Australian selectors on the other hand rely a lot more on past Sheffield Shield perfromance. Results are there to see.

Posted by Naikan on (January 20, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

Thank you for this important point with the cultural analysis behind it. To develop oneself in any sport in India is not easy, given the challenging weather, diet etc., due to which we prefer to be batsmen. A batsman flourishes by his skill to make contact between his bat and a speeding ball, for which one does not have to be huge or atheletic etc., Thus all youngsters putting in an effort to bowl medium pace should recieve this attention that you are trying to get them. However we do have a problem in how we handle selection and we tend to rest on past laurels than on current performance. Else why would they persist with Ishant who in last two years is averaging 40 per wicket? Secondly there seems very little appreciation in the selection think tank of how effective medium pacers can be. Else why ignore a Pankaj Singh for this past year in spite of his superlative Ranji performances? Just because he bowls below 140? Even Philander does! Thus, We need better bowler selectors also.

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 20, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

A few good ODIs at home against a second choice Eng team and we are off day dreaming. If you look at the recent record, India has been finding such bowlers regularly. They start off at 135+ with decent swing and within two seasons loose pace and accuracy and wash out. Irfan pathan, Sreesanth, R P singh, Nehra the list is quite long.

Posted by sukuviju on (January 20, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

I do not agree with Manjrekar's comments on Irfan pathan. All i could remember is all our so called experts continuously mocking Irfan for his lack of pace. Our experts wanted Irfan to bowl with the pace of bret lee and the swing of Wasim Akram, and what they successded in getting out of him was neither pace noe swing. I hope better sence prevails and they do not make the same mistake with Buvaneshwar Kumar.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (January 20, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

There we go again...going gaga over a bowler that has done well in a couple of slam-bang T20s and a couple of ODIs. Give the guy time to show consistency and character. Don't put undue pressure on him already raising him on a pedestal calling him the prototype for future bowling talent. Look where Ishant is...hardly the spearhead of the bowling unit. Sreeshant has spent more time recovering from injuries than on the field. I think it is important to have a core group of fast bowlers - could be Dinda, Sreeshant, Ishant, Buvaneshwar, Shami, Awana - make them have good camaraderie, help each other out and celebrate each other's success and work as a team. Also, and more importantly, focus on their fitness, and make them take pride in that. Then you will truly have a core group of fast bowlers that you can rotate with adequate rest...instead of the unhealthy competition they feel today

Posted by yescric on (January 20, 2013, 0:32 GMT)

all typical Indian medium-pacers, who bowled it full and swung it around - none express, and none a spinner??? WHAT??? Did India ever produce an international fast bowler?? please remind me if any...

Posted by Pavan_2020 on (January 19, 2013, 22:25 GMT)

I hardly agree with manjrekar - but on this, i 100% agree with his assessment.

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 19, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

Swwetspot. Why not try to keep recent memories fresh then? If you want fresh memories then y not past year or so? Let me recomend , start from last english tour till last pakistan series nd you kno wat happened in between yes?

Posted by SHIVA19 on (January 19, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

indian pace factory.... umesh...,zaheer..,b.kumar..,i.pandey..,shami...,ishanth,rpsingh...,sreeshanth...,awana..,praveen..,aaron..,i.pathan...,dinda,s.kaul,unakadat,mithun.....

Posted by NikhilNair on (January 19, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Sensible article. Though I disagree when you say " Kapil Dev, Roger Binny, Madan Lal, Chetan Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ajit Agarkar, RP Singh and Sreesanth" played crucial roles in those wins you mentioned overseas; it's not just about fast bowlers, spinners like Kumble has also played a substantial role in India winning overseas. Bhuvneshwar Kumar looks promising. I hope he will perform well in the future, and win more games for the team :D

Posted by ashok16 on (January 19, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

We are a country of a billion people. Bowlers of any type can be found if we search hard and search honestly. The problem simply has been to try and keep them fit. I think all this analysis is useless unless we fix that. A better article would be to find out what exactly happened to Praveen Kumar, Varun Aaron and now Umesh Yadav. And while at that why do Munaf Patel and Irfan Khan suck now. Instead of writing armchair articles please get off the couch, go to their homes and figure out what went wrong. If that is not done, I guarantee you B. Kumar and S. Ahmed will be far far gone in two years and we will instead be writing the exact article two years from now.

Posted by indicricket on (January 19, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

BhuJo@ I think you need to grow up

Posted by Street_Hawk on (January 19, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

I think Siddarth Kaul and others have to perform for a few seasons to be considered...the stuff you learn by experience cannot be ignored...at the moment I think selectors should try out IC Pandey and Basant Mohanty beside Bhuvi, Shami and Umesh...Basant Mohanty has far better record than any of the bowlers mentioned in this article but for some reason never got the recognition that these other players are getting...Is it because he is from Orissa? He has really good bowling record even against better teams..and please get rid of Ishant Sharma..has not learned anything even after playing so many tests and ODIs

Posted by Klgn on (January 19, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

Good, India can manage more to enhance bowling dept. Surprisingly, you haven't mentioned here for Rahane's batting as he falls for zero and you have been his advocate for selection for long time from IPL!!!

Posted by SpartaArmy on (January 19, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

I can understand Sanjay asking for more of Bkumar's, as Indian bowling pool is filled mostly with slow bowlers But he can not just say Umesh -145- bonus. That lad is the only saving face in the disastrous tours abroad and also at home (until he is out of action). If you look at most of the indian bowlers, they start up real nice, bu then a injury or two, lost pace(hey, 130 to 125, still a loss), modified action, lost swing and finally lost control of line and length. It's kind of a pattern for Indian bowlers. A successful fast bowler need to be an athlete or must have loads of stamina. Indians are in general not know for either of them, so stop looking for Lillle's and Marshall's; get back bedi's and sharma's.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 19, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

I have no doubt in my mind B. Kumar and Shami ahmad will be gone within a year. I see they are bowling with full energy now with all fresh and stuff. No meat No longevity. All the liguid in joints and ankles will be used up then bones crashing each other boom , they get hurt. Lots of meat every dam day and gym is only way for fast bowler to prolong. Also you need good bone gene. Not sure these two midget bowlers with stand. I think india probably keep finding another set of 20 year old bowlers get ready for the job. Also in India indian bowlers are basically feel like indian batsman in that they see indian batsman having fun after the game , they want to join instead of hitting the gym. No one care about bowlers in india ,its a thankless job. People remember hundreds not 5 wickets.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

@ CricIndia208 Ha ha. Boy I don't understand how on earth your comment been published in cricinfo, Pakistani bowlers are better than Indian bowlers, you say its just a myth? Well don't even bother arguing on that. You better find some of your Indian friends to discuss on that topic and they will explain it's just a harsh reality for Indian cricket rather than a myth. And you said every Pak bowler been compared with Lillee, then please show me some article where a pak bowler ever been compared with Lillee. Country which can produce Imran, Wasim, Waqar like legends and Shoaib, Sharafraz Newaz, Fazal and many other high quality pacers, don't need to import example from Aussies, like India always need to import examples from pakis, eg, waqar (for Umesh), Akram (Zaheer/Irfan and many other. Lol.

Posted by sweetspot on (January 19, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

@KiwiRocker - What has Shane Bond accomplished with all the great pace he generated? Or Two Over Tait as Sunny Gavaskar lovingly calls him? Not since the WI pace battery have we seen real quicks last long enough to make a real impact, apart from the odd Allan Donald or Brett Lee. Sanjay Manjrekar makes a good point about what India can realistically accomplish.

Posted by sweetspot on (January 19, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

@AK47_pk - Because the last decade is fresher in memory to draw lessons and knowledge from, and it is not as short as a year to draw wrong conclusions from.

Posted by oayaz01 on (January 19, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

CricIndia 08 - Now Pak fast bowlers, SAMI Has and had pace more than any Indian bowler though no control which is a different question. Rana Naveed was never rated by any Pakistani supporter still he is probably better than most bowlers India produced. Wahab Riaz is still around but can't make his way in the side despite taking 5 wickets on debut and world cup semi final.

Just a list a short list of Pakistani fast bowlers - Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Amir, Asif and Junaid khan.

India on the other hand - Kapil Dev, Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Prased, Mohanty, kUrevilla, David Johnson, RP Singh, Irfan Pata etc. Now if you'veany brains, do a normal analysis and figure it out yourself or shall I give you more examples of Pakistan's performace compare to India. Peace!

Posted by oayaz01 on (January 19, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

CricIndia208 - Now about Pakistan's track record in WI, Eng and SAF. For your record, Pakistan is the only nation to win a test on its first overseas tour on England in 52. They won test series in England in 1987, 1992 and 1996. During that period India won in 86, lost badly in 1990 and 1996.

Pakistan is the first team from asia to win a test in SAF and that was in their 3rd test in SAF in Durban and they drew that test series 1-1. In contrast it took India 12 test before they won their first test in SAF and 5 test series to draw a series.

India only started winning in WI in recent times when WI had a low ranked team. Pakistan haven't won a test series in WI bcz in recent times they have only played 2 test series over there compare to 3 or 4 test for India. Pakistan is the only country to win a test in WI in 1980's!!

Posted by oayaz01 on (January 19, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

@CricIndia208 - Let me clarify your myth about Pakistan and India's tour of OZ in last 20 odd years. Pakistan lost 1-0 in 1990 ( 3 test series), Pakistan lost 2-1 in 1995 and 3-0 in 1999 (Hobart was a clifhanger and had langer been given out, would have been a different result), lost 3-0 in 2004 and 2009. Now India, 4-0 in 1992( 5 test), 3-0 in 1999 ( whitewash), 1-1 in 2004 ( Aus B team played with no warne, Mcgrath, Lee and Gillespie played one odd test), 2-1 loss in 2007 and 4-0 in 2011. so overall Pakistan played 15 test lost 12, won 1 and draw 2 since 1990. India on the other hand played 20 lost 14, won 2 and draw 4. Now do you maths and tell me how India challenger Australia downunder in last 20 odd years? Drawing a test series in 2003-04 when Aus had a B team with Nathan Bracken leading the attack is no achievement. Pakistan played in warne Mcgrath era 9 test ( won 1 and should have won in Hobart too) compare to India's 3 and Ind lost all 3!!

Posted by SHIVA19 on (January 19, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

So Happy To Listen Such Positive Comments About B.kumar...,I.Pandey, R.PSingh,Shammi,Sreeshanth... are other bowlers who are good swing bowlers with decent pace...,we already have new pace sensation u.yadav... with fiery pace who has great potential..,if these all bowlers are groomed well & could find atleast two good spinners there will be no look back for india in test cricket..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 19, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

Indian Selectors need to do a better job of finding talent. Shami Ahmed and B Kumar are good finds, but we need more. Fast bowlers break down more than other cricketers. Recycling Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan is not going to win us any match. At best they can be stock bowlers who can take a couple of wickets. There are really good pace bowlers playing in Ranji Trophy - Ishwar Pandey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, etc. We need to try all of them so that we can build our bench strength.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (January 19, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

The opening bowling just got very potent with the advent of Bhuvi. Imagine a fit pool of Ishant, Yadav, Bhuvi, Irfan, Shami, Zaheer and Praveen. It is only about managing them, keeping them fit and fresh, AND NOT MAKE THEM TOIL ON UNRESPONSIVE WICKETS FOR LONG. In simple words if Bhuvi is not finding swing one day then captain should keep him out of the attack that day. DO NOT EXPOSE THE BOWLERS UNNECESSARY AND PRESERVE THAT SURPRISE ELEMENT. Ashwin got overexposed in first test second innings against England and the rest of the series he was toothless. Also hate when Majrekar or other ex-players start their analyses on someone like Bhuvi and give it all out on TV. One more thing Bhuvi does not have to learn from ten experts one hundred tricks - LEAVE HIM ALONE.

Posted by Srilanka-rules on (January 19, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

@kiwirocker is a hard pakistani element only desires to de-moralise the Indians and there is no need to listen or read his comments as it only incorporates only biased and unnecessary things. As for Indian bowlers I strongly believe Ishwar Pandey should be in the team than the Bhuwanesar kumar and other player wroth mentioning is Imitaz Ahmed as he is strongly built and ideal for test cricket.

Posted by here2rock on (January 19, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

For India to succeed they need to find fast bowlers and supporting pitches, two aspects falling deaf on Indian adminsitrators. Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are good prospects for India and should be selected in the Test Side along with Yadav as the main three front line fast bowlers.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (January 19, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

One of the biggest myths in cricket is that pakistani bowlers are better than Indians. Nothing csn be more wrong. pakistani bowlers are hilariously overrated. Every average trundler from pakistan is hailed as the next Dennis Lillee, these trundlers are found out after one season and soon disappear. Does anyone remember sami, rana naved, wahab riaz, etc.? pakistan has never won in West Indies (LOL), Australia, SA, England. In fact they couldn't win a game against australia in 15 years. The aussies used to routinely thrash them in their own backyards. India in contrast have a great record.

Posted by KabirNanda on (January 19, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Sreesanth, Ishant, Bhuvneshwar, Irfan, Praveen, RP Singh all of them are good swing bowlers. And if all of them are fit then I think India has good bowling bench strength.

Posted by bulldo on (January 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Unakdt should be given more chance to prove. he was good in SA when india toured last

Posted by kharidra on (January 19, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Well said. To add to the list provided by you there was reasonable success to Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar also delivering swing bowling. Ishant also came into limelight keeping Ponting guessing. Also Balaji's performance came into focus through sharp swing. There are times in matches when sharp pace is required when the ball stops talking. So by preserving such bowlers for the appropriate time in the match they are not overworked. So a good balance of swing and good pace need to be identified and roles be identified. A rotation policy for speedsters and swing bowlers will help in preserving fitness for a long tenure.

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 19, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

It always makes me laugh when indians say check last ten years lol. If you really want to go in to past then why just 10 years?

Posted by BowlersWinMatches on (January 19, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

Here is the order of bowlers ability Fast-Zaheer>umesh yadav>P kumar>B kumar>I pathan> pankaj singh> shami ahmed Spin-Ojha>ashwin>H singh> r jadeja b kumar has age on his side and with few more ranji seasons could become our premier bowler. zak is still the best with most experience but where are the spinners.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar looks a promising young seam bowler.While it's true that he is not the quickest bowler going around, he does possess good skills and understands the value of maintaining good lines and lengths. This is an age of woeful batting , one only needs to take a look at the low scores that are being made with alarming regularity by sides from all parts of the world to realize that.More than pace it's line,length and late movement that is getting batters out.Swing and seam are potent weapons,and in a skilful bowler's hands, who knows what he is doing, they are going to trouble today's sloppy, unsure, flat-footed batsmen no ends. Hope Bhuvaneshwar keeps his game intact, it's a good one at the moment.Good luck to him.

Posted by Devin48 on (January 19, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Having good fast bowlers who can take wickets and win you games is better than just having great batsmen....India needs to groom their fast bowlers well and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has shown that he is a prospect for India and needs to go further, as well as Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda...would love to see these type of bowlers in test cricket. Zaheer Khan has little left and India will want to move higher in the rankings with new exciting bowlers. Many of the younger players has to be in 2015 WC squad. Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Raina, Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar, Dinda, Ashwin, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Chand. Also, where is Irfan Pathan right now?? I back India to win the current series 4-1

Posted by rosh280 on (January 19, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

sanjay, you are right. bhuvanesh kumar and shahi ahmed are also alrounders like aswin and ravindra jadeja. I would really like to find jalaj saxena and amitoze singh also to the side. they are also good bowlers who can perform well. they performed well earlier also. I really feel that jalaj saxena and bhuvanesh kumar are the real talents india can look to. In test side i would prefer pankaj singh, ishant and sree santh to share the bowling line up with ashwin, pragyan ojha/ amit mishra. In batting we could use sarul kanwar, rahul dewan, murali vijay, jiwan joth, c m gowtham, ganesh satish, manish pandey, mayank agarwal. mandeep singh, ashok menaria, amitoze, gurkeerat singh, yogesh nagar, stuart binny also.In test side dinesh karthik should be back in to the side. cheteshwar pujara, murali vijay, c m gowtham, ganesh satish, abhinav mukund, dinesh karthik are the players of the test cricket level. I am also of the opinion that M VIJAY should open with m pandey.

Posted by rosh280 on (January 19, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

The one thing i really notice that Sanjay you really studied indian cricket and you know who all are the future players. As you pointed out we should really have more talented bowlers and batsmen than only players of name. Really bhuvanesh kumar is the right choice. similarly ishwar pandey is the another bowler who can really find a place in indian side.Siddarth kaul, deepak chahar,anand rajan and pankaj singh are the other choices to be on the side. sreesanth, ishant sharma should really play test side bz they can seam and swing the bowl at their will. It is really not the speed that matters but the wickets in any format of the game. nobody will count speed. kapil dev, sreenath, roger binny, madan lal were bowlers accuracy and they get wickets at the time they required. they have the skill. Munaf, ishant, umesh yadav, ashok dinda bowl fast but they dont get wickets at the time of need. vinay kumar and praveen kumar are the other bowlers who take good wickets at consistent pace.

Posted by getsetgopk on (January 19, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

oh sanjay, where were you all this time man, India indeed need good bowlers but there is just one problem, Indians cant bowl. They might land an Indian on Mars but they ain't landing a fast bowler on a cricket field. Its not Indianly possible LOL

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (January 19, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

Good article Sanjay, but again Bhuvan kumar good as he is, is not the ideal prototype, he will be effective where conditions are conducive to swing-but where not-he will be hit, a la irfan pathan-unless he increases speed by about 10kmph. The future of indian bowling is so depressing-no guidance tothe youngsters. The only out andout quickie we hav is Yadav, hope he gets good guidance and pitches it up, same to Ishant, rest all -just prducts of media hype like what they did to ishant, irfan, etc. To kiwirocker and the rest of the too much time on their hands india baiters - just coz india never had an express pacer dosent mean-it aint gonna happen, Its gonna happen sooner than later, when combining that with our natural batting strength - watch out rest of the world!

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Hi KiwiRocker please filter the statistics to the last ten years and watch W/L ratio. Yes winning is important.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

To pakistani fans....we don't give a care about you...so please stop discussing about Pakistan in every article...You have good bowlers...keep watching them, don't bark about Indian Cricket....we are able enough to deal with it....

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 19, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Cpt.Meanster: And your response was a typical Indian respose.Indeed India has a rich cricketing history and so do many countries around India. Pakistan for example has third best Win/Loss ratio in world cricket behind Australia and SA. Winning is what matters. Now, since we are talking about current Indian team that has lost 10 of last ten matches, have lost literally every ODI tournament in last 12 months ( Asia cup, tri series) ODI series againt Pak and were booted out of T20 world cup so I will like to ask where are those Ranji bowlers? No one is denying that Kumar is a good bowler but so was Munaf, so was Parveen and so was Irfan. I recall a same kind of hype when Irfan Pathan bowled one yorker and he was called Wasim Akram! We need to out things in perspective. Kumar is a seam bowler who relies on movement in the pitch.He was totally ineffective and went for plenty against Pak in 2nd ODI and T20. He is not India's Junaid Khan.Kumar needs to bowl 10KM faster to be really effective!

Posted by athreya83 on (January 19, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

Interesting article from Sanjay!. For once we have a cricket Pundit who points out to overseas victories and shows the bowlers who did it. Its batsmen who set up game and Bowlers who win it. A generation of Indian batsman have papered the cracks that we had in the bowling department. I disagree with Sanjay on one count. Swing/ Seam alone is not enough. you need variety. In a land of one billion it should be possible if proper effort is put into it. Nurture talent as they are.. Munaf was altered into the Mcgrath mode and he went nowhere. Set up a proper training centre and nurture the talent we have. Talent scouting followed by nurturing and for heaven's sake Sporting cricket wickets. may be even alter the rule and say bowlers can bowl 4 short pitch stuff in local matches. Our batsmen will learn to handle them much better then! A sane head at the top, patience and lots of effort, and within a year we will be in the right path. Cheers!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 19, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

@KiwiRocker: Being a Pakistani, I am not surprised to find that you lack ZERO insight into the RICH cricketing history of India. Have you even seen some of the Ranji Trophy games this season ? I have. India have some very promising pace bowlers going around in domestic cricket. Sure they are not express pace like Akhtar or Lee. But they are very good bowlers who have taken TOUGH wickets in Indian conditions. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed are bi-products of Ranji cricket. You don't need to play 100 games to know who is a good bowler. A few games are enough. Speaking of pace, it is something that you cannot teach a bowler. It has to come naturally. Pace is not the 'be all' and 'end all' of bowling. As a cricket fan, you should know that by now.

Posted by Indfan76 on (January 19, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Kumar is a good prospect, but where is our young talent like Umesh, Aron they are the genuine quick bowlers. In ODI our batting, the openers are not good enough to win matches for us. For the next world cup in mind we have to give chance to Unmukt chand & Rohit Sharma (still feels a highly talented player), I hope its a good opening pair followed by the current batting line up. Selectors should take a back up of Dhoni too (Uttappa is an ideal back up). Hope the current selection committee would be evaluating all alternative for the future of Indian cricket & world cup 2015.

Posted by MianMoosa on (January 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

sanjay manjrekar is again showing typical indian mentality about fast bowlers,,, all of india wants swing & seam bowlers but not fast & pacy bowlers.... bowlers who can bowl consistently over 140 kph,,,,, they start with 135 kph & after couple of years they go down to 130 or 125 kph only to concentrate on line & length.....first thing for a fast bowler need to fast & furious ,,,, line length seam & swing will come automatically,,, look at pakistani fast bowlers,,,,, even the lkes of wasim & waqar,,, at their start imran khan told them to bowl only fast,,,,, and the result is infront of everyone.....

Posted by dariuscorny on (January 19, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

he is from the majority among so called great cricket intellects in India who ask a fast bowler to cut down in pace for swing,thats why we had Munaf,R P,Sreesanth and Ishant turned into trundlers from being fast.friend when conditions are flat,these bowlers take a real hiding,then comes extra pace into play.....

Posted by Ranjan2012 on (January 19, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

This is second such article wherein Sanjay Manjrekar has reemphasised the neccesity of "wicket taking bowlers".I believe for that to happen, we need to have a changed mindset , India has a great batting culture , some how , as once Mr Harsha Bhogle has mentioned in one article , these batsman are nurtered & looked after well. Same is not the case with bowlers , a bowler mostly has to look after himself for development , for a rescuciation , one he is uncermoniously dropped from Indian eleven, We had Balaji , Debashish Mohanty , Nehra etc etc name them ,they are all lost after injury , who looked after them during injuries ? who helped them to regain past form post injury ? no one.BCCI , should first of all identify talents in India , by involving players like Amol Mazumdar , Akash Chopra , who are in domestic circuit.Nurture/ develop thiese talents , sendi them to play county cricket,let them get intermittent training from Indian seam bowlers Sreenath, Kapil dev , Zaheer Khan etc.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (January 19, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Sanjay Manjrekar is making the same mistake Indians have been making for fairly long and strangely still haven't learnt. This obsession with "finding" new talent is letting us down like crazy. People just don't realize that we have found loads of talented fast bowlers in past few years who impressed everybody including the opposition immensely at the start. Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Munaf Patel all were stellar when they began. Then they tapered off.

During a match's commentary, I heard Wasim Akram say they are undercoached. In another match, Waqar Younis said they are overcoached. I personally believe they just got complecent. They didn't have work ethic of Tendulkar and Dravid or even recent Indian batsmen like Kohli, Rahane or Pujara.

So if I was the selector, I would stop taking in 20-22 year olds in Indian team based just on talent. I will send them to NCA and take them in when they are 24-25 year old proven hungry performers waiting to be unleashed.

Posted by TOMCHEENATH on (January 19, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Of late it transpires that Ishant Sharma is off colour. Better to rest him than risking the coming matches, to pave way to other bowlers.

Posted by ansram on (January 19, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

India has never failed to produce good bowlers. But they have always failed to nurture them properly, instead of going from good to great, all so called bowling sensations have gone into the oblivion in only two or three years.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 19, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

Sanjay Mankrekar is doing what Indian pundits and commentators always do! A lot of hype. A lot of premature hype. What exactly Bhuvnesh Kumar has achieved? he has 8 wickets in five matches. So what? Getting out few of Akmals with suspect technique is no big achievement. The man was hit for numerous runs on less than helpful wickets ( second ODi against PAk and second T20). He is handy and is no better than Parveen Kumar. Please do not create this premature hype as because of this, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma have come and gone. This is a desperation of India that anyone who bowls with left hand becomes their next Wasim Akram and anyone who swings the ball a bit is next Glenn McGrath! Lets get real. India has not produced a single quality fast bowler in last 65 years!Comments about Pakistani batting other than Miandad in 80's also make no sense. Salim Malik, Ijaz Ahmad, Imran Khan himself, Shoib Muhammad were all better and consistent batsmen than current Indian batting!

Posted by mumbaiguy79 on (January 19, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

No doubt B Kumar is a good prospect, but let's not make another Irfan Pathan out of him. Sometimes a lot of focus is emphasized on technique and ultimately the bowler (in most cases) forgets what he is supposed to do, that is bowl to get wickets or contain the batsman. Again, let's not make another Irfan out of him. We can't afford that.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 19, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

I am glad that Sanjay has written this piece and has also mentioned the names of Ishwar Pandey,and Sidharth Kaul as alongside Bhuvaneshwar who has already broken into the international level. What is very heartening to see is that Bhuvaneshwar is a natural athlete. Pandey is from an Army family and Kaul from a sports oriented family.So I expect that they too would be physically fit.Kapil if I must remind you never once in his 99 Tests was dropped because of fitness problems.I have closely watched all of them on TV in the domestic games and I have been quite impressed and optimistic of their chances.In regard to the lament of lack of spin bowlers, I thought Vishal Joshi of Saurashtra looks the part.He has good flight and drift,turns the ball big and has the stomach to take on big names as well. Aparajith seemed good when he started but looks more of a batting allrounder now. He needs to look at his bowling because he is an intelligent man.India's future does not look all that bleak.

Posted by TOMCHEENATH on (January 19, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

With Bhuvaneshwar kumar and Shami Ahmed and Harmeet singh, we hope Team India will emerge as a phenix bird and find new horizons. The pittiest part is such talents will be forced to complete all overs in all matches played, and soon they get exhausted. They should be given periodic rests and groomed to be fit for the ensuing world cup

Posted by sanjaycrickfan on (January 19, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

The problem in India is fast bowlers are not idolized like batsmen. If there is some young batsman who scores an ODI century on a dead, batting track he will be hailed as some genius but if there is a bowler who rose through the ranks in FC getting wickets on flat tracks and does exceptionally well at the start of his career like B Kumar, he will never make headlines. Now, fast bowling is lot more physically grueling than batting. So if kids think they can become more famous by doing a physically easier job, why would they take up bowling and go through so much hard work ? Even when you play gully cricket in India, you can see this attitude of preferring to bat than bowl and field. Its important for future of Indian cricket that there needs to be a change in mindset and bowlers are given lot more importance because these are the guys who take 20 wickets and win you test matches.

Posted by SGW100 on (January 19, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

Another excellent article from Mr. Manjrekar... Swing bowling is the way to go for India.. Bhuvenshwar Kumar is surely an exciting player and an excellent selectiion..., hopefully P. Kumar is fit again soon also.... consider this perhaps... Bhuvenshwar Kumar has taken 149 f/c wkts @ 26.02 in 46 matches....good numbers indeed... Samad Fallah is a genuine swing-bowler from Maharashtra and he has taken 170 f/c wkts @ 28.19 in 42 matches...with these numbers it might be time to give Fallah a chance also...?? As Mr. Manjrekar correctly points out...swing might well be the new king..!!

Posted by venkatesh018 on (January 19, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Intelligent analysis, Sanjay. Bhuvanesh Kumar should be played in Tests. In the same category, I would also like L.Balaji to be recalled to the Aussie Test series.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 19, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

We have midget batsman galore (anyone below 5 9" are midgets in my view). We can produce truckloads. Atlast we have one analyst thinking of winning game not drawing the game. Lets talking about bowlers why we don't get 100 tall punjabi kids who has better bone stucture than rest of indians and train them and bowl the heck out ? If there is a will there is a way. I do not think the TPTB has no will or no interest in finding or manufacturing bowlers. Out of 1billion indian india can find 100000 better fast bowler than what we have seen , it is pity lowly srilanka can unearth a malinga india have not found single fast bowler who can bowl 150kmph consitently for last 70 years of cricket. What it say is that the people in charge of cricket are racist against athlete. Last know athlete play for india Robin singh before that kapildev. Dhoni is not athlete , he has strong body. Anyone who move lightening speed horizantally is athlete. India is kinda of black hole for fast bowlers anyway.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (January 19, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

bhuvneswar kumar had decent debut and just after few days there is an article written by Mr.Sanjay Manjrekar and Co. prasising his abilities this and that.Yesterday N Kulasekera displayed the lost art of in-swing bowling but none of the ESPN Writers take notice.

Posted by pull_shot on (January 19, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

buvaneswar played only 5 odi is it necessary to write a article keeping center focus on him. thats what happens to indian players these media people over hype them un -necessarily and they become mini gods whom we cann't dispose easily. examples r gambir,ishant,sehwag,raina in tests and the list goes on

Posted by nandhi on (January 19, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Agree 100% with 777aditya .......Especially Harmeet Singh should be supported and groomed asap....

Posted by 777aditya on (January 19, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

As always, love to read a 'Manjrekar' article - with such balanced opinion about everything, he makes very good points. However, India also need a match winning spinner like Kumble. Harbhajan seems over the hill. Ashwin is too much variety than control. We should look more at unearthing talents like Harmeet Singh (left arm spinner) in the under-19 world cup winning Indian squad. Ian Chappell went to the extent of saying that players like Unmukt Chand and Harmeet Singh belong to the highest level, despite their age. Also, Baba Aparajith (also from Chennai) is younger, a better batsman, and with experience will be a better spinner than Ashwin. Ashwin's biggest problem is his lack of athleticism. If the selectors pick them young and are smart about their job, India will get back to winning ways in tests.

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