Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Galle, 1st day July 18, 2010

Seamers not grabbing opportunities - Kirsten

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Gary Kirsten, India's coach, has expressed disappointment over how few Indian fast bowlers have added to the bare cupboard, or shown the promise to be given a long run. "In the last two years and seven months that I have been with the team, we have tried 15 or 16 seamers in one-day cricket," Kirsten said. "That's a lot of options. We need to settle on the few who can get through.

"It is a concern that the guys are not saying 'I am here now and now I am going to play international cricket for next five years'. A lot of them might argue that they haven't been given enough opportunities, but when you are trying to achieve results all the time, sometimes you get only limited opportunities and you have got to ensure that you show what you are capable of in that time."

Kirsten was speaking after India had a disappointing start to the Test series against Sri Lanka, conceding 256 for 2 in 68 overs on a rain-curtailed first day. Ishant Sharma, who has not had a great time after a promising start to his career, found himself leading the pace department in the absence of Zaheer Khan. He went for 79 runs in14 overs.

"We need to be patient with Ishant Sharma," Kirsten said. "He hasn't had much game time in the last three months. In his last Test in Kolkata he made a crucial contribution, got two vital wickets against South Africa. We need to be patient with guys who we know have the potential and talent to go forward. We must be careful not to judge him on one practice game and one day here. Let's give him a bit of a run and see how he goes. He lost a bit of confidence towards the end of the last season and that takes some time to come back."

When asked if Ishant and Sreesanth should have been sent on the A tour of England, especially to play in the first-class games, Kirsten said: "I would like the guys to have as much game time as possible. Wherever they get an opportunity to play quality cricket they must play."

Kirsten also spoke about the missing allrounder in the scheme of things, someone who could have shored up the bowling in circumstances like today. "It [playing five bowlers] is an option, but you know that our success in the last 16 Test matches has been this combination. We are a good batting line-up, and it's important for us to have six batsmen. Ideally we want a batting allrounder who can bowl seam but there are not many of those.

"If he is going to be a batting allrounder, he has to be able to make a contribution with the ball. We can't have a guy bowling at 115 kmph, holding up one end and getting one wicket every five Test matches. He has got to be able to make a proper contribution with the ball. Irfan [Pathan] was certainly one of the individuals that we earmarked, but he is probably a little bit light on his bowling side."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on July 25, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Sharma was the toast of India a year or 2 ago. He is young and can get good batsmen out. He should be persevered with.

  • Bytheway on July 24, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Bowlers win matches, as demonstrated by Pakistan.

  • v4vicky on July 24, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    India should bring Irfan Pathan ( swing bowler & descent bat at no.7), Ajit Agarkar (better bowler than Ishant & better bat at no.8), Murali Karthik as second spinner and continue with Mithun as hit the deck of kind of bowler with good inswing and bouncers like Srinath of yester years along with a fit Harbhajan. This way not only the team gets stable having 5 different kind of bowlers but also the batting does n t weaken as the tail can really bat descent enough with Irfaan, Bhajji, Agarkar all not mugs with bat and can hence easily substitute the need of 7 batsman in the team! This is also a good way India can think of claiming 20 wickets in 2 sessions as all of these bowlers are good have international experience and different than each other to be implied on opposition as the need may be!

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    irfan pathan should be given a chance in the test series....every1 beleives he can prove himself...n do wonders for INDIA...

  • syedmkr on July 24, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    This is the time Indian Cricket Board should awake and look for a genuine all-rounder and a genuine FAST bowler. The lose to Sri Lanka in 1st test is huge as it is clear indication that lack of quality fast bowlers and all-rounder. The BCCI should recall Irfan Pathan who is a good all-rounder and include Munaf Patel in the playing Eleven at least to attack the Lankan strong batting line-up and look for a win

  • A_S_M on July 24, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    Pls give a chance to the classy but little-utilized seamers such as Laxmipathy Balaji, Munaf patel, R P Singh and Irfan Khan. They had made wonderful inroads when bowling against a side such as Pakistan with players of the class of Inzimam, Yusuf and Yunis in recent memory - and esp in the sub-continent pitches. They have won matches for India. Added with Zaheer Khan, these will provide more options for India esp for test matches. You need some of these bowlers to match the firepower and skills of emerging Pakistani bowlers such as M Aamer, M Asif and Umar Gul. When teams are well matched it makes for an exciting context esp with the psychological component and skills of cricket warfare.

  • sriniaiyer on July 24, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Bring back Munaf Patel for the 2nd test in place of Ishant Sharma who has been unduly persisted with by the selectors.RP Singh should have been in the team instead of Ishant. Politics rules the roost in team selection.Whatever happened to the likes of Murali Kartik,VRV Singh,Pankaj Singh,Irfan Pathan?

  • amulya4 on July 24, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    hey guys i m just 15 years old.. but i think dat i can b a better selector.. what d hell.irfan is doing in A class cric.. he shuld b in indian team along wid uthappa.. as uthappa n irfan r best frnds{really}.. and dhoni hates dem donno y.. but irfan shuld b in team.. i think i m d gr8est fan of dhoni but still it is unfair to irfan. u can listen to every programme of cric on t.v . d player who is most preffered to b in team is non other den irfy .. so just widhing him best of luck.. <3 <3 <3 <3

  • Ismail0810 on July 23, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Plz any 1 can tell me y selectors r not giving ikpathan atleast 1 chance.i dont think so dhoni is avoiding him.

  • mahi678 on July 23, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    U guys, see the domestic performance. Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar are best bowlers in both tests and ODIs(from domestic records). Try both one will definetly be a prospect for future. These ishanth, sreesanth are nothing comapred with their bowling performances in domestic. Pls see the truth!!

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