India in West Indies 2011 June 15, 2011

Munaf's 'spin' sparks debate over need for speed

ESPNcricinfo staff
127

Comments from Andy Roberts' that Munaf Patel had lost his pace and was "spinning the ball" have sparked a debate, with Javagal Srinath, among others, saying that Munaf was "doing the job" that was required of him.

"The question of pace doesn't matter as long he is being effective," Srinath told the Hindustan Times. "Also, there is this aspect of conserving energy. I think Munaf has done extremely well of late."

Roberts, the former West Indies fast bowler had expressed surprise at the tendency of young Indian fast bowlers to cut down on their pace as they play more international cricket.

His comments were made in reference to Munaf Patel, who is India's second highest wicket-taker in the current ODI series against West Indies, and Ishant Sharma, who played for the first time in the series in the fourth game.

"When he [Munaf] came to the West Indies in 2006, he was quick," Roberts said. "But now, he is spinning the ball. Ishant Sharma with his height and action was very promising when he began, but now he seems to have lost steam.

Srinath indicated that fast bowling has become a matter of "adaptability" these days. "There are various formats, pitches and conditions. In Twenty 20, it's a question of containment. What's the point in going flat out on placid pitches?

"By cutting down on pace as and when required, bowlers have become smarter these days. Still, you can't overlook the fact that Munaf has been taking wickets despite reducing pace," he said.

Munaf, who has played 65 ODIs for India, has picked up 30 wickets in 16 games this year at an average of just above 23, which is well below his career average of 28.86, and has picked up eight wickets from three games in this series.

India's bowling coach Eric Simons, described Munaf as the "unsung" hero of India's World Cup victory, saying the high degree of technical skills that India's bowling attack possessed made up for its lack of express pace all through the tournament. Munaf was India's third-highest wicket-taker in the World Cup behind Zaheer and Yuvraj Singh with 11 victims.

Former India allrounder Irfan Pathan also suffered from a drop in pace after his international debut and Roberts, who worked briefly with Pathan during Greg Chappell's tenure as India coach, felt such issues cropped up only after the players made their international debuts. "One has to remember this happens only once they make it to international arena. Maybe the players are better off without these coaches.

"These coaches turn you into line-and-length bowler. Not what you naturally are. These boys then lose their ability."

Roger Binny, the former India allrounder, said cutting down on pace had "worked" for Munaf. "His line and length has improved and he has bowled some crucial spells for India. What would you prefer, a wayward fast bowler or a slower one who gets you wickets."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kool_Indian on June 16, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Guys - calm down. As pointed out by 'mits6' - his comments were plain n simple - nothing provocative. Extract from the interview with K Shriniwas Rao of TOI. He is blaming the ICC and the boards for the standard of pitches - not munaf patel. "The Antiguan legend blames the International Cricket Council for reducing cricket to a spinner's game. "Look at your Munaf Patel. Even he is spinning the ball these days," says Roberts. In his opinion, the fast bowler is dead and buried and cricket, therefore, is ruled only by the batsman."

  • binojpeter on June 16, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Aina Maria Waseem said, "But as a Pakistani I find it strange that ALL your pacers have bad enough fitness to reduce speed so early in their careers, that too when they were hardly Shoaib AKhtar to begin with." Aina, having seen Munaf bowl in 2003 & 2004 domestic series, I can tell you he used to bowl consistently above 145kmph with atleast one delivery which clocked 150kmph in an over. But he was wayward most of times and line and length was far worse than it is now. But in 2005 he had his first breakdown. Just writing this for your information.

  • Rahul_78 on June 16, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    @ Aina Maria Waseem What you need to understand that there is a huge difference between physique and body structure of indian and pakistani fast bowlers. Look at Sreenath and Prasad and then have a look at Wasim and Waqar for example. Thats why what you lack in physical ability can be made up with the precision in line and length. I am sure if a Shoaib is born in india, no one will ask him to reduce his pace and ball line and length like Munaf.

  • on June 16, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    we have no problem until he is getting us wickets and helping us to be world champions he has understood his bowling and this robert should look at his westindian fast bowlers before even talking about the world champions and if he was spinning the bowl would he bowl in 130s and praveen kumar somesaid spins the bowl have u seen how much he gets the bowl to swing

  • on June 16, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    @Asis Rout : Frankly, 46 tests over 14 years at that speed and mostly match winning or saving performances, is good enough for me. Sami is an exception in Pakistan. Asif is a magician, I doubt there will be many like him. Aamir was fast and highly accurate. We know of quite a few exciting new talents we can't wait to see. SHoaib was head and shoulders above Tait. The wayward Wahab Riaz still gets wickets because he is fast and the few he DOESN'T misdirect... Remember Yuvraj at Mohali. @cric_fanatics: Exactly who wants a Tait? Yes Shoaib didn't play but one of our worst bowlers Wahab Riaz was sufficient that day. Frankly, its no credit to bowlers to make Pakistan collapse. We choose the worst bowlers in the side to bless with our wickets. @Karn Mamgain: And I am so glad my country doesn't have only one decent bowler. I'd like to see other countries managing the loss of the world's best pace attack, with the world's worst batting, better than us, our spinners rising to the occasion.

  • on June 16, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    @all indians: A fast bowler CAN bowl line and length, AND swing the ball. Case-in-point, Shoaib Akhtar. Not that Wasim and Waqar were slow, especially to begin with. @shankar: Point taken. But as a Pakistani I find it strange that ALL your pacers have bad enough fitness to reduce speed so early in their careers, that too when they were hardly Shoaib AKhtar to begin with. @vswami: We don't need a speed gun to tell us the west indian pace battery was very very fast. @Sehwagologist: Yes Shoaib missed most of Pakistan's matches due to fitness, but post wasim/waqar, Pakistan had a much better win/loss ratio in Tests he played compared to those he didn't. He was NOT our only bowler. We didn't need him in ODIs but we did in tests. He had IMPACT. And comparing him to the legendary sultans of reverse is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • on June 16, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    @Anand Khan - Have you gone crazy? Praveen spinning the ball? Have you seen the INSANE amount of swing he gets? Clearly, you don't follow Indian cricket, and it's better to not comment on it if you don't follow it. Praveen is as much of a spin bowler as Glenn McGrath. Even the great Wasim Akram dropped in pace, but he gained orders of magnitude more in control and technique. Of course, you can't compare him with anyone, but Zaheer operates in a similar fashion. You can't get three maidens in a row in a WC final is you are not a good pace bowler. Again, going back to Munna, he gets the job done and that's what matters. In the game vs Australia I remember Munna bowled at 138 kmph - Steyn's business speed. Well, I'm glad that his age isn't stuck at 17 and he doesn't bowl no ball - if you know what I mean.

  • montys_muse on June 16, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    In the past, there wasnt lot of cricket played and how much ever cricket was played was with too less protection for a batsman. So the fear of facing fast bowlers was more in the past. But today its a totally different scenario. Looking at what happened to fast bowlers like Bond, Lee, Malinga and most of all Tait who even retired from one-day cricket to concentrate on 20-20's....with the amount of cricket being played, the money being offered by the BCCI to its players and ofcourse the IPL, who will not want to have a long career?

  • on June 15, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Well i am a Pakistani but fan of Indian batting, but i cant understand from my childhood till now that why India not produce a single genuine pace bowler in all cricket history (genuine pace bowler means 90mph average) until unless in 100 millions why they cant pickup a single genuine quick. Disaster is that the bowler who quick day by day drop his pace (Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Munaf patel and zaheer khan). In our country we have so much passion about bowl quick to grass root level.As in the above artical roberts say Munaf spining the ball its lietrally hell "yes" he do cutters and slower ones as often some times i sense he is spinner like Paraveen Kumar also a well known spinners ooops !!! sorry a so called ""Medium fast bowler"". well if india got some quick talent then might be india will rule this decay on cricket world..

  • balajik1968 on June 15, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Andy Roberts made this comment in the context of Indian bowlers losing pace. He did not spare the West Indies either. He was rated by many as the best pace bowler of his generation. Old timers in India still talk of his spell at Chepauk in 1974. Anyway the pace bowler has become an endangered community the world over.

  • kool_Indian on June 16, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Guys - calm down. As pointed out by 'mits6' - his comments were plain n simple - nothing provocative. Extract from the interview with K Shriniwas Rao of TOI. He is blaming the ICC and the boards for the standard of pitches - not munaf patel. "The Antiguan legend blames the International Cricket Council for reducing cricket to a spinner's game. "Look at your Munaf Patel. Even he is spinning the ball these days," says Roberts. In his opinion, the fast bowler is dead and buried and cricket, therefore, is ruled only by the batsman."

  • binojpeter on June 16, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Aina Maria Waseem said, "But as a Pakistani I find it strange that ALL your pacers have bad enough fitness to reduce speed so early in their careers, that too when they were hardly Shoaib AKhtar to begin with." Aina, having seen Munaf bowl in 2003 & 2004 domestic series, I can tell you he used to bowl consistently above 145kmph with atleast one delivery which clocked 150kmph in an over. But he was wayward most of times and line and length was far worse than it is now. But in 2005 he had his first breakdown. Just writing this for your information.

  • Rahul_78 on June 16, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    @ Aina Maria Waseem What you need to understand that there is a huge difference between physique and body structure of indian and pakistani fast bowlers. Look at Sreenath and Prasad and then have a look at Wasim and Waqar for example. Thats why what you lack in physical ability can be made up with the precision in line and length. I am sure if a Shoaib is born in india, no one will ask him to reduce his pace and ball line and length like Munaf.

  • on June 16, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    we have no problem until he is getting us wickets and helping us to be world champions he has understood his bowling and this robert should look at his westindian fast bowlers before even talking about the world champions and if he was spinning the bowl would he bowl in 130s and praveen kumar somesaid spins the bowl have u seen how much he gets the bowl to swing

  • on June 16, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    @Asis Rout : Frankly, 46 tests over 14 years at that speed and mostly match winning or saving performances, is good enough for me. Sami is an exception in Pakistan. Asif is a magician, I doubt there will be many like him. Aamir was fast and highly accurate. We know of quite a few exciting new talents we can't wait to see. SHoaib was head and shoulders above Tait. The wayward Wahab Riaz still gets wickets because he is fast and the few he DOESN'T misdirect... Remember Yuvraj at Mohali. @cric_fanatics: Exactly who wants a Tait? Yes Shoaib didn't play but one of our worst bowlers Wahab Riaz was sufficient that day. Frankly, its no credit to bowlers to make Pakistan collapse. We choose the worst bowlers in the side to bless with our wickets. @Karn Mamgain: And I am so glad my country doesn't have only one decent bowler. I'd like to see other countries managing the loss of the world's best pace attack, with the world's worst batting, better than us, our spinners rising to the occasion.

  • on June 16, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    @all indians: A fast bowler CAN bowl line and length, AND swing the ball. Case-in-point, Shoaib Akhtar. Not that Wasim and Waqar were slow, especially to begin with. @shankar: Point taken. But as a Pakistani I find it strange that ALL your pacers have bad enough fitness to reduce speed so early in their careers, that too when they were hardly Shoaib AKhtar to begin with. @vswami: We don't need a speed gun to tell us the west indian pace battery was very very fast. @Sehwagologist: Yes Shoaib missed most of Pakistan's matches due to fitness, but post wasim/waqar, Pakistan had a much better win/loss ratio in Tests he played compared to those he didn't. He was NOT our only bowler. We didn't need him in ODIs but we did in tests. He had IMPACT. And comparing him to the legendary sultans of reverse is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • on June 16, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    @Anand Khan - Have you gone crazy? Praveen spinning the ball? Have you seen the INSANE amount of swing he gets? Clearly, you don't follow Indian cricket, and it's better to not comment on it if you don't follow it. Praveen is as much of a spin bowler as Glenn McGrath. Even the great Wasim Akram dropped in pace, but he gained orders of magnitude more in control and technique. Of course, you can't compare him with anyone, but Zaheer operates in a similar fashion. You can't get three maidens in a row in a WC final is you are not a good pace bowler. Again, going back to Munna, he gets the job done and that's what matters. In the game vs Australia I remember Munna bowled at 138 kmph - Steyn's business speed. Well, I'm glad that his age isn't stuck at 17 and he doesn't bowl no ball - if you know what I mean.

  • montys_muse on June 16, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    In the past, there wasnt lot of cricket played and how much ever cricket was played was with too less protection for a batsman. So the fear of facing fast bowlers was more in the past. But today its a totally different scenario. Looking at what happened to fast bowlers like Bond, Lee, Malinga and most of all Tait who even retired from one-day cricket to concentrate on 20-20's....with the amount of cricket being played, the money being offered by the BCCI to its players and ofcourse the IPL, who will not want to have a long career?

  • on June 15, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Well i am a Pakistani but fan of Indian batting, but i cant understand from my childhood till now that why India not produce a single genuine pace bowler in all cricket history (genuine pace bowler means 90mph average) until unless in 100 millions why they cant pickup a single genuine quick. Disaster is that the bowler who quick day by day drop his pace (Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Munaf patel and zaheer khan). In our country we have so much passion about bowl quick to grass root level.As in the above artical roberts say Munaf spining the ball its lietrally hell "yes" he do cutters and slower ones as often some times i sense he is spinner like Paraveen Kumar also a well known spinners ooops !!! sorry a so called ""Medium fast bowler"". well if india got some quick talent then might be india will rule this decay on cricket world..

  • balajik1968 on June 15, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Andy Roberts made this comment in the context of Indian bowlers losing pace. He did not spare the West Indies either. He was rated by many as the best pace bowler of his generation. Old timers in India still talk of his spell at Chepauk in 1974. Anyway the pace bowler has become an endangered community the world over.

  • on June 15, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Now i understand why India has not produced fast bowlers because every Indian cricketers and coach think bowling fast = incosistant line & Length but slow bowling is always accurate line & lenght. I just want to stress the fact that a bowler will lose line & lenght bowling fast only when he is thriving to bowl fast without actual ability to bowl fast and not trained to bowl fast and accurate. Do you think out of all India's population we do not have 3-5 bowlers who can bowl 145+ with good line & length. If yes and if it is indeed the fact then we have change this thought, we have to believe that we can be fast and accurate.

    Bowling slow and accurate is good only till you are not trained to bowl fast and accurate. Examples: Hadlee, Ambrose, Walsh, W.Akram, W.Younis, A.Donald, F.De Williers, S.Bond etc etc.

    Lets admit it bowling fast and accuracy means lot of hard work than bowling slow and accurate and Indian fast bowlers are taking easy way out.

  • on June 15, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    When these players started, it is not super-fast. Why this talkā€¦forget it.

  • 200ondebut on June 15, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    People in glass houses should not throw stones. Sammy, Rampaul, Russel are hardly express!!!

  • vinodzz on June 15, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    ishant si bowling at a good consistent pace of above 140 kph, he should be guided well by an expert, he can meet the indian's expectations of a fast bowler

  • cric_fanatics on June 15, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem..who wants a tait.??..even a pakistani batsman can play him with ease..that says a lot about him...as for shoaib..he was warming the bench when munaf was winning the semi final for india...

  • on June 15, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    I wonder why we give such options only to our fast bowlers.("What would you prefer, a wayward fast bowler or a slower one who gets you wickets." ). We do not say, "do you prefer run rate or average when it comes to batsmen. I an Indian cricket fan, I would prefer pace and line and length.

  • on June 15, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    So what some people are saying is bowl as fast as you can doesn't matter how the wicket is....... cricket has changed people batsman are no longer intimidated by super fast bowlers in andy roberts time the batsman were scared as there wasnt much protection... a bowler needs to be smart i.e. variations in pace, yorkers, bouncers, cutters etc.... thats how he can get batsman out.... pace may be an added advantage but it isnt vital anymore

  • on June 15, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Lets see what munna does versus other powerful cricketing nations. Agreed with the great Andy Robert, the fear or that slight circumspect attitude to face the tearaway fast is diminishing... The word FAST has no meaning when it comes to INDIAN Fast bowlers

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 15, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    The think tank of Indian pace bowling suffers from their own past - being ridiculed for lacking in pace. Since the bouncy pitches are less abundant than in those days, the advantage of express pace has reduced but not evaporated. If just line and length were enough - Venkatesh Prasad, Roger Binney, Madan Lal & Munaf would be bigger stars (& better numbers) than Bond, Steyn and Akhtar. Ask Gavaskar and he will tell you what pace bowling means.

  • on June 15, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    @ reghuh why are you including mukund.... we haven't even seen him bat yet in the windies... its easy to comment against players with words.. but when you stand in the middle of the ground representing your country reghuh your legs will surely tremble... lets the players do their work... just watch cricket dude.. if u cant see these players play then find yourself another team to cheer for...

  • Lahori_Munde on June 15, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Roger Binny : "His line and length has improved and he has bowled some crucial spells for India. What would you prefer, a wayward fast bowler or a slower one who gets you wickets." How about Line and Length and PACE? I have only seen Medium pace bowlers getting hammered in the slog overs. Pace does helps..

  • US_Indian on June 15, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    Well I can agree with Roberts that indian fast bowlers cut down pace. But even most west indies bowlers including himself were all not about pace but variety, and if you have a look at most tear away fast bowlers, they have not survived for long, if I remember a comment from Mc.Grath to Shoaib Akhtar , he said pace is not the only requirement, it is mind which actually works, he was absolutely right, how many tear away bowlers have lasted long just compare Walsh, McGrath with say Shoaib, Tait, Bond or Brett lee and see Akram's career he was tear away fast bowler in the beginning but not that effective but when he started thinking smartly he turned out to be a deadly bowler, cutting pace, adding variety, adding new stuff to his repertoire, taking clue from him and Mc.Grath most bowlers including zaheer have done that and been successful. So nothing wrong in Munaf doing that as far as he is effective and productive. If roberts has seen Zak,Munaf and even Srishant hade touched 148km in WC

  • TheLight on June 15, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Tino best is fast, but wayward. what would you prefer in a bowler?

  • mogan707 on June 15, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Andy Roberts comments on Munaf Patel ,if taken in the positive sense, means that he must increase his pace.Munaf patel in early days is exceptional in reverse swing and his inspiring spell against England in the warm-up match in Ind-Eng home series 2005-06 has earned him his place in Indian team.His injuries may have cautioned him a bit and if he needs to be at his previous best, he must be rehabilitated at some stage. for team India to be a more dominant force ,the pace attack of the Indian team must be increased apart from spin.A Fast bowler is more intimidating than a medium pace bowler.A fast bowler can assure the team, wickets whenever he gets the spell, especially in one-day and test cricket. In this context I need to comment about IPLorT20; if the fast bowlers bowl in T20 the batsmen intimidates the bowlers to go after them and in that context they vary pace and while you play a lot of T20 cricket ,it becomes habit and bowlers lose pace.Thus Tests r highest stds of fastbowling

  • vipin.panwar on June 15, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    because of that thinking only india dont have any genuine fast bowler yet bcause they are not fit enough to be a genuine fast bowler first they proof them self and then they showed like they are doing big favour by playing for india even with a speed like spinners

  • on June 15, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    But india does not need too many spinners in the squad. His pace variation may be effective in 20/20 or at the maximum in 50/50; Certainly not in test matches

  • bibhutiking on June 15, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    I think we are the worst while reacting to a criticism, however it may be positive. I we cant take it in positive manner we should not ask such questions to the greats of the game. Also indian journalist are having a habit of asking question about the greatness of Sachin Tendulkar to every individual sports person. It doesnot matter whether one is Usian Bolt or anybody else. I think when Messy visits india this year he will be quizzed about Tendulkar...

  • ramsharat on June 15, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Indian bowlers are skillful. they are masters in it. only thing is that they dont have pace. Indians have shown that even without pace u could trouble the batsman. last 3-4 years Indians achieved important test wins because of their pace bowling. on pitches like perth,durban etc indian pace bowling was excellent. Indians are showing to the world that even without pace u could form a potent force to knock out batsman!!!!

  • krishn_4m_india on June 15, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    india has bowlers who can bowl good line and length, we need one maverick fast paced bowler, at least when they are in early stages of their career may be later with age they can cut down on pace for career longevity, but initially one should bowl fast and furious. Steyn, Brett Lee...few of them. We need some one like these. I mean we have sehwag for batting now we need someone like him in bowling department as well, Someone who is exiciting to watch.

  • on June 15, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Javagal Srinath commenting on what Andy Roberts said on munaf patel is terrible poor joke . I have seen both perform and What Roberts & co did, nether can ever come again in this age nor ever will the cricket world see . Srinath a MRF lillee pupil did what his frame allowed " bowl fast medium " and that was that Andy & Co could bowl, bouncers from a good length and I have seen what they did to our then batting greats . What is more we surrendered a test match because half of our meek players were battered & bruised at Jamaica as we could not play the " good length bouncers" . That was a sad day for Indian cricket .The only Guy with real Guts and technique was our Jimmy Amaranth. Notwithstanding our batting might now I not sure if they would be able to handle the stuff. The bowling quality has deteriorated beyond comprehension . We do not get any thrill out of a fast bowler measuring his run up or running in & delivering thunderbolts and the ball thudding into the keeper!!

  • concerned_cricketer on June 15, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    India are ODI champions. India are also ranked 1 in tests. No fast bowlers - So what?

  • on June 15, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Andy Roberts is not criticizing Patel but only pointing out the differnce in his wicket taking technique. Indian media is known for its provocative and glamorization of trivial facts. If nothing new, they will take a genunine statement and alter it to make it look like a preemptive verbal attack. By doing that they are only compromising the integrity and honestly of pure Journalism.

  • kool_Indian on June 15, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Guys - calm down. As pointed out by 'mits6' - his comments were plain n simple - nothing provocative. Extract from the interview with K Shriniwas Rao of TOI. He is blaming the ICC and the boards for the standard of pitches - not munaf patel. "The Antiguan legend blames the International Cricket Council for reducing cricket to a spinner's game. "Look at your Munaf Patel. Even he is spinning the ball these days," says Roberts. In his opinion, the fast bowler is dead and buried and cricket, therefore, is ruled only by the batsman."

  • DaGameChanger on June 15, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Indians would be happy to be World Champions forever even it means they dont have out and out super express bowler ever. I guess any fan from any country would like that.

  • binojpeter on June 15, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    It doesn't matter at what pace do you bowl, as long as you get wickets. If someone can bowl consistently above 145 for above 10 years, kudos to him. But the experience shows only very few were able to do that, Former WI greats, Ambrose, Walsh, Hadlee, Akram, Waqar etc. Only one who currently does that is Steyn but has to see how he goes in coming years. But experience with Indian bowlers show that their body usually does not withstand the stress of bowling at that pace for long period. They will naturally forced to cut down the pace to increase longevity in International cricket.

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    What a ridiculous comment. Yes, Munna bhai likes to roll his finger on the ball - indeed, a very effective technique employed also by Kallis - but it's ridiculous to say that he 'spins' the ball. He can, at times, get great movement off the seam as we saw in South Africa. In the game versus RSA where they failed to chase 194, Munna showed he can use the seam to a great effect. Plus, I firmly believe that performance is what matters. All great bowlers (no, I'm comparing Munna with them) were the ones with immaculate control opposed to express pace, for example: Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, etc. As long as he's delivering for the team, I don't think anyone cares even if he's bowling at 20 kmph. Wickets and economy are what tell about a bowler, not his speed. Amen

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    If munaf bowls at 140 he will be gone to 140 for his 10 overs in ODI.

  • nlambda on June 15, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Agree with Roberts. We need to look past our nose. Munaf picked up a few wickets over the past 2 months. That does not hide the fact that our "fast" bowlers are bowling a good 20-30 kmph less that those in other teams. 120 KMPH is not okay. Srinath etc. are all being defensive and making excuses.

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on June 15, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Well, Munaf can preserve more energy by reducing his bowling run like an off spin bowler (may be he will get more energy plus more spin...;)

  • ABP235 on June 15, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    If Roberts (with due respect, he was a great bowler no doubt) had not worked on Irfan Pathan on the ill advise of Greg Chappell, we would not have lost him. Irfan's swing and bounce was key for taking a lot of wickets in Australia, but Chappell spoilt it completely. Our Board thought they appointed Chappo as Indian coach, but in effect, he was trying to ruin everything in Indian cricket (perhaps to benefit his country to stay on top). But now I think, Chappo has no mission or plan since he does not have any cricketing head (with due respect, he may have been a good cricketer in his time) to coach or select as we see his episode with Katich. Anyway, long story short, Munaf is successful at his pace, but faster men like Sreesanth and Ishanth are not. Munaf is doing what McGrath used to do (when Brett Lee at greater pace was not successful). Barring Dale Steyn (and a bit of Morne Morkel), there is no real fast bowler around. Sadly we lost a talent in Mohammed Aamir.

  • IlMagnifico on June 15, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    "...What would you prefer, a wayward fast bowler or a slower one who gets you wickets." -- Er....those are NOT the only two choices. An accurate, agreessive, vicious fast bowler who takes wickets is what I would want as a coach. Given above average talent, such as Ishant or Munaf, a coach can do two things 1. "Dumb it down" so they concentrate on line-and-length and hope they don't have to face the truly great batsmen (for they will take them apart, no matter what line-length) or 2.Light the fire within the bowler so he aspires to be a truly great **fast** bowler, one whose very name inspires shock-and-awe (Mr. Roberts, along with his fine friends exemplified this). How a bowler turns out is a reflection on the coach's ability to mold/groom talent. Again, it's sad to see so many people get defensive and defend moderately-successful-mediocrity instead of aspirations of being an all time great.

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Yes Indians cut out on pace and concentrate on line and lenght and it WORKS. All the raw pacers usually prove very expensive. They might take a wicket taking spell once in while but majority of times leak runs in millions. Look at statistics of Akthar against India. One winning spell in 1999 and then after that has scored fewq centuries while bowling and finally got injured. On other hand take case of Balaji against Pakistan. It is almost similar record. Its just pace looks good on TV and Balajis bowling type looks dull boring but is equally effective.Like a spinner is useless withiut dry track similar pace is useless unless there green track and on a greentrack even Indian bowlers speed is equally effective as express bowlers.

  • Ashwintej on June 15, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Roberts is partly right and even our Srinath is right. But the fact is that Munaf rose to the occassion when he won SPEEDSTER competition held in 2004. through this he made debut into the first class cricket. Once the famous Akram said indian pacers lack energy. Among Indian pacers in the recent past, I think only Srinath, Agarkar and even Zaheer maintained a decent pace throughout their career.

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    dont worry munaf........carry on your good work the way you have done it so far.all the best for test matches.

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    roach has a pace of above 90 mph and he is consistently bowling with it.look how many wickets he has taken in this series against the 2nd line of indian batting.why not robatrs comment over their own bowlers who are literally good for nothing.it is just to gain some cheep publicity by commenting over a bowler who belong to a cricket creazy nation and thanks to our media who is giving so much weight to someone who is not being asked even in his own nation.robarts...you might be among some great bowlers off alltime but it seems you have lost your cricketing brain. i wonder robarts might come out with same views for zaheer also because he is also not lightning quick.will we again start such a rubbish debate again if robarts do so????

  • IlMagnifico on June 15, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Roberts' comments are a reflection on the sad state of bowling in international cricket. The game has become so batsmen-friendly that most bowlers do not think it's worth their while to go all-out and GET wickets. They just wait there, waiting for the batsman to make a mistake. The bowler with the most patience gets most wickets.

    I don't think Roberts is dissing Munaf. He's only commenting on the attitude of the bowlers and coaches in general. It is interesting to see all sorts of people get defensive and jump on Roberts' throat.

    There are only a handful bowlers left in the international areana that can genuinely make the batsman cower in the crease. Mr. Steyn, Mr. Lee are fine specimens of a dying breed.

  • on June 15, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    I dont compare him to mcgrath..bt somone tell this former crickter that even mcgrath always bowl in 130s

  • on June 15, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    I have great respect for past west Indian fast bowlers.But i feel they still believe in pace.They have to remember the fact that batsmen played without proper protection those days,So when they bowled with pace and bounce batsmen didn't take any chance and they were scared.But now a days Even a batsmen with no proper technique manages to get six of a high paced bouncer via those slashes which flies behind keeper.Past west Indian fast bowlers need to know this fact.Express pace goes for runs these days,only smart bowlers shine now a days.

  • on June 15, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    This is ridiculous, why can't they have both pace and line/length...the real simple reason is that they dont want to be inured and risk IPL $$...Munaf is pathetic n lazy, he doesnt take wickets, batsmen throw them away in most cases, i think i bowl faster than him and have a good 'line/length' too...pick me!!

  • Percy_Fender on June 15, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Andy Roberts was a great pace bowler. Probably one of the greatest that ever was. He was the pioneer of the greatest reservoir of fast bowlers that played this game. If I remember correctly, he did not have too much success,though either as the coach of West Indies some years ago or in bringing back Irfan Pathan when his advice was sought for by Greg Chappell in 2007. In view of these facts regarding his lack of success as a coaching staff member, I am not too sure if he could help Munaf Patel bowl faster.The fact that cannot be denied is that in reducing his pace and bowling in a style reminiscent of Glen Magarth, his success rate has certainly increased. In fact it would be interesting to see Munaf bowl at the Sabina Park which we hear will have a wicket like in the olden days. His bounce and accuracy is in my opinion more important than the pace he used to have. If Eric Simmons has done well with any bowler, it is with Munaf. I wish he carries on at the same pace

  • on June 15, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    Munaf is bowling well and so is Praveen Kumar, india is pretty set for the time being with fast medium bowlers, P. kumar, Munaf, Ishant, Zaheer ..plenty of options, just stear clear of sreesanth. Also with spin we have Ashwin and mishra going great and harbhajan is always pretty good. My 1st test line up would be Vijay, Makund, Kohli, Badrinath, Dravid, Laxman, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Mishra, M. Patel, P. Kumar

  • CricEshwar on June 15, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    All said, we still would like to see an express pace bowler in Indian ranks. Munaf has done quite well recently and he should stick to what is working for him;

  • Jama on June 15, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Manuf and Ishant are spinners. Jahee Khanr is a fast bowler. He win world cup

  • mrms on June 15, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    As a matter of fact, what AndyR said is correct. He did not say that Munaf is a bad bowler, or he does not help the teams cause by bowling slow or he does not get wickets. All he said was regarding the pace, and that too, probably as an answer to the question asked by the interviewer. It is true that almost all the Indian pacers reduce their pace after coming to the international arena. Kinds of pitches that we have in India are one of the major reasons behind this. Also, I would really like to see what Munaf can do in test matches with his type of bowling.

  • Willowarriers on June 15, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    I have always come up and defended comments against India players. But this time I have to agree with Roberts. I am a vegetarian myself. "Also, there is this aspect of conserving energy" ----> I think this is a RIDICULOUS comment by Srinath, a fellow veggie. Even Gavasker keeps referring to conserving energy in his comments. This is utter nonsense. Fast bowlers should be made to eat meat and beef up. You are playing for your country and you want to conserve energy! Its such a weak attitude that I can help but thinking how is an Indian fast bowler ever going to be aggressive like Steyn, Morkel, Shoaib Akhtar, Lee etc? No wonder noone thinks twice before stepping out to Munaf and tonking him over his head. How is it that only Indian bowlers like Srinath, Munaf etc keep thinking of conserving energy but bowlers from other countries don't? its the same sport they are playing and this kind of attitude reeks of weakness - not suitable for a fast bowler.

  • Triple_A on June 15, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Let Munaf be, we cant improve him...Its Ishant we should kick out...He's been meriting a confirmed place in the indian side only because of his height and Aus series. No pace for international matches, terrible economy rate, several no balls, no swing or threat...try someone else India! Otherwise, post Zak, India's bowling will be useless!!

  • on June 15, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem You have a point about bowling fast in the ODIsHow many wickets has Kemar Roach taken in the Pakistan and India home series.But the likes of McGrath and Bracken who represented Australia still maintained an awesome record.Even in Pakistan Mohammad Asif was a more threatening prospect than the 156.2 KPH Mohammad Sami where the latter had one of the worst test bowling average of 52 in 35 tests.How many tests has Mr.Tait played?Akhtar played only 46 tests in his 14 year career and Dale Steyn has played the same in only 7 years.We have seen Akhtar huffing and puffing after 4 overs of bowling in Dubai which cuts a more sorry figure than a bowler "spinning" a ball.My point is Munaf has decided to only concentrate in ODIs and let him do what he likes.If he doesn't perform he will be out of the team anyway.Simple.We never had a fast bowler in most of our cricketing history even though we would welcome one.

  • givemefood on June 15, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    Thank you but no thanks Srinath. Andy Roberts didn't say that Munaf had to be fast to be effective. He's just saying that is no longer a fast bowler implying that Munaf's profile be changed to a spinner.

    I'd, any day, take Andy Roberts' words over yours... You couldn't even bowl a yorker!!!

  • VivGilchrist on June 15, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Why do some of you Indian fans get so defensive? One of the worlds greatest fast bowler is giving his opinion on a current bowler. Take it for what it is.

  • on June 15, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    as indian im agree with roberts as well becoz becoming number 1 is one thing and staying on top is another..yes india is best in the world but not becoz of line and length bowling but becoz of talented young fast bowlers like rpsing,pathan,ishant,sreesanth,munaf..yes zaheeer is an exception becoz he knows all tricks in bowling manual and also he still can generate above 140+'s occasionally..to get good batsmen out in test cricket u need pace with swing or seam and not just line and length seam or swing....maunaf will struggle in test cricket....and its real form of cricket ....in odi's and t20 even i can get wickets if batsman is going after me..but in test u got to bowl with agression like steyn ....need mixture of pace is ideal way but bowler need to hit that mark of 145+ other wise after zaheer india could struggle..varun aaron is better than munaf in test cricket i guess

  • CricketChat on June 15, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    To stay an out and out fast bowler requires you to be in peak physical condition at all times and requires high amounts of discipline. No to mention amount of work load and pitch conditions. Then the paradigm shift in viewer expectations in the last decade. Now, fans are interested in seeing the ball smashed to all parts of stadium than a battle between bat and ball. Due to all these factors, bowlers go for containment, because they know they will a wicket if they can build enough pressure on the batsmen, rather than express pace.

  • shannu152 on June 15, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Ah Roberts, havent you seen what these pitches have done to the fast bowlers? Malinga, Bond, Tait et al. Blame too much cricket as well...

  • douglondon on June 15, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    I agree with Srinath on this. Pitches around the world, and probably in India more than anywhere, are slower now than 10-20 years ago. As such, express pace won't get you as far. That said, it's noticeable how Munaf and Ishant's records (in Tests at least) deteriorate outside of the sub-continent, compared with, say, Zaheer, who's more able to perform in any conditions

  • jimbond on June 15, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    We would do well to remember why Munaf got into the team- not because he was McGrath incarnate (though McGrath in his youth was reasonably fast). Munaf was picked because he was regarded as very FAST. Which is why he was fast tracked into the national team. Same with Yadav and Aaron. The only reason that Munaf continues to be in the team with the slow bowling is that, he is better than the alternatives- injured players such as Irfan Pathan(currently injured), Praveen Kumar (till recently injured), Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan (also often injured), Nehra (Always injured), and ishant sharma (once in a while injured and out of form). No use jumping on Roberts for this statement; Munaf's loss of pace is something that has appalled lot of people in India,

  • bobagorof on June 15, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Srinath is right - as long as a bowler is effective, they deserve their place in the team. But Roberts has a point. India do not have fast bowlers; every time they find a fast bowler, he loses his pace after a year or so. All other countries (except maybe Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe in recent times) have been able to find fast bowlers who continue to bowl fast throughout their careers - Australia have had Lee and Tait, and Gillespie, South Africa have had Steyn and Morkel, and Donald, New Zealand have had Bond, West Indies have Roach along with too many others to name, England had Harmison and Flintoff in recent times (Flintoff actually increased his pace as his career went on), Pakistan of course had Shoaib as well as others, Sri Lanka have Malinga. Some have restricted the formats they play but each has found success bowling fast, on responsive and unresponsive pitches. So it seems a curious problem with the Indian setup. Mind you, they're still No 1 in the world at the moment!

  • Abhigandre on June 15, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    No doubt Munaf is doing good job without pace. But will love to see Roberts like pace from an Indian bowler!! Its something we dont have in Indian cricket. BCCI should work on it.

  • shaantanu on June 15, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    When Andy Roberts says something about fast bowling its worth noting.lets concede the simple fact that India has never produced a genuine fast bowler.yes i agree tht fast bowling is a view to behold.But who cares as long as we are winning with our fast spinners and slow spinners plus our batsmen.......the end is all tht matters not the means

  • on June 15, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    I agree with srinath on this..munaf these days has become a very intelligent bowler..though he has lost some pace,but still he is very effective...!

  • gsk_dutt on June 15, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Munaf is bowling excellently these days. If he was not there in world cup squad or did not tour south africa, India would not have got a replacement for Praveen Kumar. He has had an excelent comback. Just to remind of Spin Bowling by fast bowlers what was Fanie devilers doing against sachin almost every ball in south africa and placing a close fielding just for that mistimed hit. WASNT THAT SPIN BOWLING. Or is Shahid afridi bowling spin bowling with a 140kmph speed.????????????????

  • sridharpp on June 15, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Srinath and Binny: if (line&length) then "!speed" else "speed"

    Andy: #include<line.h> #include<length.h> #include<pace.h> main() { printf ("good bowling"); }

    I personally prefer the second option. You aint a pace bowler if you dont bowl pace. Period.

  • banter123 on June 15, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Indian Cricket fans are just not ready to accept it,by asking who the hell is Andy Roberts is not the answer.He was a great bowler who played in the invincibles team,pretty sure he is disappointed by the state of west indies cricket but the way in which Munaf introduced himself and set up high hopes downs the passionate followers of Fast bowling.

  • on June 15, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    "Maybe the players are better off without these coaches" - It came to my mind many times watching Dhoni's batting and umpteen number of Indian pace bowlers. Dhoni scored effortlessly in the earleir stages, now watching him batting is like watching a farmer ploughing. Now they are working on Gowtham Gambhir - beware, Gowtham! Likewise, a number of bowlers, Sanjeev Sharma, Atul Wasan, Debashish Mohanty, Ajit Agarkar, VRV Singh, Tinu Yohannan, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Balaji, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel all came into talk as who could bowl at 140 kph. When they were started out with the national squad, they did justice to the tag for the first year, then eventually lost the pace, then lost the accuracy.When they lost their place and went back to Ranji and Deodhar, we have seen them blasted by domestic players. Something is seriously wrong. Revise your coaching manuals.

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Well. Yes. It is true that Munaf is still taking wickets and troubling batsmen and till he does that, as far as the selectors are concerned, he'll be alright. But let's not forget how he got into the side- with the reputation of being India's fastest bowler. Somewhere in between, he wanted to try to become an Indian Glenn McGrath choosing accuracy over pace.

    In that respect, it can actually be a hit or a miss. Ishant Sharma tried to pull off something similar and lost his sting. He came back in the IPL earlier this year, bowling again in the mid to late 140s and was a joy to watch.

    Conversely, Punjab's VRV Singh came into the team to a similar reputation as Patel and literally got hit out of his international cricket career.

    So, that's that. If cutting on pace does indeed make you a better bowler you should go for it. Though I ask this- if bowling in a particular style has served you well enough to get you to the international stage, why not put your belief into it?

  • CricketMaan on June 15, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    of all the fast bowlers in the world, we have only 2-4 genuine quicks so what is the problem here..gone are those days when we will see genuine fasts, for they play too much cricket, so not bad if you can conserver energy and play long..

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Roberts is absolutely right. Indian coaches do tend have the line and length mentality. Perhaps because they were medium pacers too. We have to admit we have hardly produced any fast bowling greats. Why do we have instantly attack the messenger even when they are tellingbthe truth, harsh as it may be. I remember munaf in one test in Pakistan wherebhe was swing the ball at great pace. He took 5 wickets. Pure pace is a thing of beauty, every great side has gad a couple of fast bowlers that other teams fear. We do need to build a tradition of fast bowling. Otherwise we will have always be reliant solely on our batsmen.

  • aqua_omer on June 15, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Afridi's faster one would be quicker than what Munaf and Ishant can bowl in a whole spell...it's surprising to see that a population of 1 billion can't produce a single fast bowler who can bowl at 90 mph..I know India is ranked as No 1 test team but have they won a series in SA and Australia?? coz u can only win on bouncy and fast tracks when u have genuine fast bowlers like Roberst himself in his haydays...

    and coming to Mcgarth, he was nippy when he first came to the scene and was never a medium slow bowler like Munaf..plus he had an extra advantage of height so please don't compare him with medium pacers like Roger Binny, Srinath or Kapil...all who makes into India's all time world 11 but will struggle to make into any other 11 othern than Bang and Srilanka....

  • stormy16 on June 15, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Isnt there a theory that on flat tracks the faster you bowl the faster it comes off the bat? Isnt that why most of the teams opened with a spin bowler in WC in India? In one dayers I dont think pace is as important as tests but then again Munaf doesnt play test. If you look at a guy like Zak - he bowls around the 130 KMH mark but what he does with the ball is what matters and he couldnt execute his bag of tricks if he was trying to bowl fast.

  • spinkingKK on June 15, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    I totally agree with Andy Robert's comments. Srinath's and Binn's reply only confirms the problems in the Indian coaching. But, it is only a problem if you look at in the right perspective. When young fast bowlers are turned into slow medium pacers and spin bowlers, they may still take wicket. Doesn't Ramesh Powar take wickets? But, we dont' ask Brett Lee to bowl like Powar, do we? Come on Srinath. Roberts wasn't talking about taking wickets alone. People are heartbroken when a talent like Ishant Sharma turns into a truddler. I live in Australia and it was unbeleivable to see how many Australians and even chinese (who doesn't follow cricket that much) turned into an Indian supporter, just because there is Ishant Sharma in the team. It was not just because his head was almost touching the sky. It was beacuse his kind of players makes the cricket a sport played with aggression. Otherwise, it will look like a recreation game which can be played by the grandpas and grandmas.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on June 15, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @aina maria waseem Shoaib akhtar how many test matches he has played over a span of 13-14 yrs only 46,lee is the only fast bowler of this decade dear u gotta look at avgs strike rates and consistency of playing series and over everything DISCIPLINE I thinl only wasim akram is world respected fast bowler from pakistan infact he was the only one who greeted every indian with smile after losing 03 WC encounter at centurion and ur keeper sledged to sachin when he had already got out 97 winning match comfortably

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    cricket needs genuine quicks..doesnt matter where they come frm..r dey tryin 2 tell us dat if ya bowl quick,u cant stick to line n length!!!dats ridiculous..n if u get injured,dus dat mean u need 2 drop pace;do all quicks do dat......come on...jus admit dat u aint fit enough...and we aint got any1 in dat indian camp who's motivated enough to luk for decent quicks..thats it

  • guesswhoitsmeabhi on June 15, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @man007- dude how can you say BD was never a nation of batsmen or bowlers??haven't you seen the classy & artistic batting of the great akram khan,javed omar,or the 'PROLIFIC','PRODIGAL','WORLD CLASS TALENT' ,the star batsman of BD,Md.Ashraful,with a career average of 23?? or the 'FAST' bowling prowess of 'TEARAWAYS' like khaled mahmud & syed rasel,hurtling down the red cherry at 65 mph & burning the pitch?? :) @banglafan- u agree with me,don't you??

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    well its not about good bowling or bad bowling or wicket taking or containment, its just about bowling fast. munaf toured westindies in 2006 n was very quick, still he bowls an odd delivery over 90 miles but the great Andy Roberts was reffering that now he is not concenterating on fast bowling rather he is more interested in spining the ball, thats it. this means he is now a meduim pacer and not fast bowler. @ aina maria, you are perfectly right in comparing the art of fast bolwing and what Andy roberts said as in his entire career he was a fast bowler like shoib, waqar, lee, bond so how knows better then srinath and the other one.

  • concerned_cricketer on June 15, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    In this day and age, cricketers have to also conserve their energy and bodies to be playing the amount of cricket that they are. How would the west indian fast bowlers have fared if they were playing as much cricket as this? (Don't give the reply that they need not play as much cricket, as that is a given.) I would much rather they are effective bowlers capable of taking 20 wickets on any pitch (more in line with Zaheer Khan's style) rather than fast bowlers only effective on picthes that assist pace when the number of playing days are much fewer. @Bilal_Choudry, Prsad Kumar is a very effective bowler who is very good breaking up opening partnerships. He was very effective in Aus in 2008 in ODIs and the only reason he wasn't in the WC was because of injury. Sheer speed doesn't matter anymore. I think Andy Roberts and co have got into the nostalgia trip watching Fire in Babylon.:)

  • Prats6 on June 15, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    I agree Munaf is doing a good job in the current scenario, but its only when the main job is done b Zak. If he was that good, imagine India have 3 bowlers like him, exactly the problem WI has right now.

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Talking about Munaf's wicket taking ability in the longer format.. he last played a test 2 years ago. he averages a modest 36. Ok.. But 12 matches are not enough to measure one's ability. And now that he has got his chance just wait and watch. Judge him by his first class record. Thats good despite of the fact that he plays on dead Indian pitches.

  • KiwiRocker- on June 15, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Man007- Your comments on most occasions make no sense and this one did not either. Mate, Bangala fan might be an Indian? Why are you dragging B'desh into this. In all honesty, Bangaldeshi current fast bowlers are far quicker than Indian lot...What are you going to say next? Pakistan never produced fast bowlers?

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Why would a team want a pace machine when you can win matches by taking wickets. At the time when Andy Roberts played, pace was the ONLY thing that got wickets. Now, it can be done with intelligence. Although we still have bowlers like Steyn Morkel and Malinga who have express pace with which they unsettle the batsmen. But Munaf is not a feared bowler fr his pace bt he fools batsmen with love and get them out. Good enough for any team I would say. :) :)

  • joseyesu on June 15, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    We need to accept that we cannot boast of players like Lee, Bond, Steyn

  • on June 15, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    I think hes right....But we want a fast bowler with good line and length.... yah this is right that India s no 1 in test cricket and world champions but Indian bowling attack is not good.. Like Irfan pathan and Ishant Sharma.....I just want to say that speed s not everythng but yah upto some instant it is....Indian team bowling is not upto that effective like world champions team should have..... Thats it... Like Ausi they have Glen Mc Graw and Gellespie but they also have Brett Lee..... We really have to work on Indian Bowling.....

  • mits6 on June 15, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    @ cooio78 Roberts did not just wake up & made the comment ,actually he was asked in an interview to comment upon . Whole matter was made spicy by media to... u know.The interview excerpt i read was totally nonprovocative .

  • on June 15, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Munaf's bowling is fine for ODI's but bowling as he does these days will not allow him to bowl through test sides.

    Also I'm not sure if this style of bowling will be as effective on faster pitches.

  • Aussie_Mike on June 15, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    Its a fashion to comment on Indians as it gets most traction from Indians and more so from Non-Indians. Everyone has limitations. Fast and accurate, only a few have managed both and those are the great fast bowlers. Brett lee was neer expected to take wickets when Mcgrath was in the team. As long as the player is contributing to the team wins, it is fine. Would be good to see more genuine fast bowlers in intl cricket though.

  • akash5491 on June 15, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    its true that his adaptability is making him an increasingly successful bowler... he can be fast and bouncy as he was in ipl and this will helpful in england and australia in the forthcoming tours... westindies has pitches that suck out all the energy if bowlers try to put too much pace on the ball... its a sour statement by andy.... we have won the series and with great credit to munaf and mishra... doesnt hurt us

  • CandidIndian on June 15, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Well these suggestions by Andy Roberts should not be taken in a negative way.As an Indian fan i am grateful that he pointed out something which can be of help in future.Munaf is doing well alright but its true that if a bowler has pace along with swing he is much more lethal.For the long run India needs such bowlers.Roberts is correct in pointing out that Indian bowlers lose the pace,Irfan and Munaf used to ball at 135-140 at the start of their career and now they have lost the pace considerably.We wont get a Marshall,Wasim ,Wauqar straight away but the process should start.

  • on June 15, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    And the saga continues...Irfan started out the same way losing pace and insisting he was still taking wickets and once he lost swing, he had neither pace nor guile left...and to the folks talking about McGrath...he had really good pace at the beginning of his career and then settled into the 130s but he always had the capability of bowling good bouncers and surprising the batsman with pace if needed even at the end. Yes you can take wickets by being intelligent but on certain pitches you need a Steyn to force batsmen out and India is not going to gain by converting all promising fast bowlers into medium pacers.

  • reghuh on June 15, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Shikhar Dhawan- Club standard player who does not deserve a place in Indian team-His 50 was the ugliest ive seen from any opener. Manoj Tiwari- should be asked to bat at middle order (though Uthappa,Saurabh tiwari,Valthatty,Rayudu were better options) Wridhiman Saha- Does not deserve to be in Indian Team (Dinesh Kartik,Parthiv ,Rayudu are lots better ) Ishant Sharma- should be taken to school of basics or sacked from the team- Mad bowler with no direction,consistancy or focus.Just runs in and throws the ball. Windies is a club like team and loosing to them is a disgrace to the world champions..even local school teams in India have capability to beat windies every game and this loss is such a disgrace to the 5 million fans out here in India INclusion of people like Shikhar Dhawan,Ishant Sharma,Wridhiman Saha, Mukund etc is a shame to the fans of cricket and the cricket players back in India , World champions.........

  • indianzen on June 15, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    it doesn't matter anything for me until the team keeps winning, even you can ask Munaf to open the batting and Dravid to open the bowling, all we want is the Indian Win in every soil and No1 spot in everything... Talent... arrogance... no fear...

  • on June 15, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    india has no strike bowler lik steyn.....!!! take irfan plzz...!! he is a bright all rounder....!!!

  • vswami on June 15, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    I wonder how fast Andy Roberts really was. There is a lot of hype about yesteryear cricketers as none of them were really measured under the speed gun as modern day cricketers are. And commentators are self serving by pumping up the aura about yesteryear cricketers and putting down everything that cricketers these days do. The problem for cricketers today is that they are overexposed and every minute issue is blown up.

  • Shankar on June 15, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem; Andy Roberts may be a better fast bowling authority than Binny or Srinath, but I think Binny and Srinath understand Munaf better. I doubt whether his body can take bowling fast. So, Srinath is right, it is better to maximize your results with whatever resources you have, and look at the problem of grooming fast bowlers independently.

  • T.SB on June 15, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    As long as he perfoms well with the ball,it does it matter wether he is bolwing fast,slow,spin...at the end of the day what matters is the wickets he took.

  • on June 15, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    conserving wholesome energy while playing for country and spending it for IPL,cool

  • REH223 on June 15, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Death.Magnetic : LOLLLLLLLLLLLLZ

  • Amarjitmadan on June 15, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    In normal circumstances Munaf will be at first change.He has reduced speed but is quite effectiv which is more important.Kapil , Mcgrath and Pollock are other examples of bowlers who compromised with speed but were match winners in both Tests and ODIs.Roberts started at a time when sheer pace and bumpers could flat a good batsman but not any more,Tait is a good example..

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 15, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    @banglafan. Agree. And BD was never a nation of either batsmen or bowlers!

  • on June 15, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Andy Roberts was right.It is this attitude of former Indian medium pacers which is killing fast bowling in India. Munaf and Ishant were really quick when they started and this attitude turned them into slow bowlers.All those who argue that India never had fast bowlers should think why SriLanka and Pakistan are having fast bowlers in plenty without hitech training institutes like in India.People like Srinath who could not maintain pace throughout his career due to lack of fitness should listen to greats like Andy Roberts.For taking wickets in placid tracks, a bowler don't have to reduce pace.WestIndian fast bowlers like Marshell,Holding and Roberts and Pakistani Wasim Akram and Waqar have proved it on unhelpful tracks in the subcontinent.BCCI should appoint Andy Roberts as our bowling coach immediately.

  • on June 15, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Munaf is an awesome bowler he spins the ball r bowls pace doesnt matter , as Javagal said in modern day cricket the line and length is important.In t20 format bolwers were made tothink and he should have more wepons ( slower ) in his armour. Bowling Fast is real cricket and its beauty to watch end of the day its about wickets and containment tht matters

  • srkrishnan16 on June 15, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Even Steyn doesnt always bowl at 140s in the ODIs.... maybe in the T20s! But even Steyn sometimes bowls well in the late 130s! Its not like pace is what makes u a fast bowler! I still remember Ishant bowling faster than DALE STEYN consistently in the recently concluded IPL match against Kochi where Ishant took a five-for! So its not really like theyve lost pace. and it doesnt matter if they have! A well-aimed bouncer at 135 kphs is loads better than a 160kphs bouncer sent half way down!Its all about line and length these days, especially when Batsmen are looking to go after u all the time, so theres no mistake SPINNING the ball, if thats how they call it!

  • sweetspot on June 15, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Comments from the former great of a team currently ranked #8 about one of the leading performers of a team ranked #1 and is World Champion. Munaf can bowl at 30 kmph for all I care, as long as he gets wickets and does not get mauled. The faster bowlers go for plenty these days. It will be fun to have a real quick bowler, but if they figure out how to get batsmen out with other factors, who can complain? Look at how many wickets Sammy gets! It's ridiculous.

  • on June 15, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    Even as an Indian fan, I agree with Roberts' comments to some extent. Granted Munaf is doing a fair job bowling as slow as he is, but the fact that Indian quicks cut down on pace soon after they appear on the international stage is disappointing, indeed. I just hope the next generation of Indian quicks (Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron) don't go down this path.

  • on June 15, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    i think andy roberts should see what WI is doing before saying anything aboit no 1 ranked test team and odi world champions even glen mcgrath wasnt so quick he was effective and thats what munaf is he is doning his job well in WI did well in IPL and was described by many as the unsung hero in the WC including indias bowling coach

  • on June 15, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Munaf's strike rate is better than that of Roberts in ODI's ...................does that mean he is better than Andy...no never .. ....Andy pointing right issue

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 15, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Munaf is too soft to be a genuine fast bowler. He's a nice guy, a decent bowler, but he's a soft cuddly teddy bear. Name me one great fast bowling teddy bear in history of cricket? Exactly.

  • jonesy2 on June 15, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    the fact is that india have never produced a world class fast bowler and it looks like they never will. they love spin bowling.

  • pvwadekar on June 15, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    I think that Roberts is living in a different world. Does it really matter what is the speed of the fast bowler as long as he is taking wicket ? and winning matches. All the 'fast' bowlers say that all they need speed but it is equally important to have the fast bouncy wickets that were conducive to the fast bowling .. WI had them during the 1970 and 1980..However if there is no juice in the wicket (as is the case now), then why would any fast bowler waste his time and energy in trying to bowl fast.. Just look at the stats Mishra and Martin (spinners) are the highest wicket takers for their respective teams, the next highest is Munaf with 8 wickets and he is the only fast bowler. Roach, Sammy , Russel have 4 and Rampaul has 3 despite playing more matches then Munaf. They are definitely much faster then poor old Munaf.. how does Mr Roberts explain the lack of wickets. People (old timers)just like to shoot their mouths and try and live the glory days.

  • gandabhai on June 15, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    At the end of the day its all about RESULTS . India, No 1 Test Team & ODI World Cup Winners . As they say ,' Look in the book '.Who cares what wasim & wan 'oops ',waquar did .I dont think they ever played in a No 1 ranked test team.

  • on June 15, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    hahahahahaha! Entertaining comments! Yes if you're getting wickets it doesn't matter how you get them but it must be conceded that on fast bowling atleast, Andy Roberts is a more superior authority to Srinath and Roger Binny. If he says Munaf is so slow he is spinning the ball he has a point. Afterall, these bowlers were hardly Lee, Tait or Shoaib to begin with. Roberts is commenting on Munaf and Ishant as "fast bowlers" not as "wicket takers" or "run restricters" specifically. Who can deny the charm of a tearaway pacer? It is understandable to see the chagrin of past greats since Shoaib Akhtar has retired and Steyn and Morkel need to play some more cricket before achieving the magical status, i.e. entrench themselves in the hearts of fans.

  • b4u8me2 on June 15, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    I think Andy Roberts comments are very valid in regards to test cricket. We all worry about the slow death of test cricket and if fast bowlers and even spin bowlers are going to worry more about containment than being aggressive then they are indeed slowly killing the game. No need to look at Patel's ODI record and say he has taken more wickets bowling slow. We need to remember that in ODIs batsmen get themselves out going after runs and any bowler sometimes can take wickets in ODIs. This however is not the same in test matches. What is Patel's test record for example? Pollard takes wickets too bowling slow. Does this make him any good in test matches? We do need aggressive bowlers so right on Andy. Fidel Edwards for example is such a treat to watch when he is bowling aggressively. He cuts his pace in some of his spells and he gets boring to watch. We need to decide if we wanna save test cricket or not.

  • banglafan on June 15, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    India was never a nation of fast bowlers.

  • ATIMAYANK on June 15, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Munaf is getting wickets and that's all that matters. Remember the best fast bowler in tests, Glenn Mcgrath, wasnt all that quick, but he was effective and took wickets. Munaf needs chance in the Test matches and he will prove his mettle.

    Fun fact: Munaf's strike rate is better than that of Roberts in ODI's

  • Death.Magnetic on June 15, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    next he would say McGrath was a leg-spinner.

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on June 15, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    with indian pitches what do you expect them to do?

  • Nuxxy on June 15, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Sure, it works in ODIs, where containment is a skill. It's not just Munaf, and not just the fast(?) bowlers...even Harbhajan's test bowling has suffered by aiming for containment. Roberts is right in reference to tests - India could do with at least one attacking quick. The only Indian bowler who still shows agression is Sreesanth.

  • coolio78 on June 15, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Everybody and anybody just want to be in the news... just give some baseless comments and get some reactions being sparked from all over... and Voila... you are in the news...! I don't think Roberts comments will have any affect on the player he's commenting on, orthe board or the team management. So why make such comments?

  • Bilal_Choudry on June 15, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    i hope parsad (the guy whos run up was faster than his bowling) is not coaching

    him

  • NabeelAziz on June 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    I would prefer fast wicket taking bowlers like from Pakistan and Australia. Andy is not asking for wayward fast bowling. Fast bowlers are beauty to watch. Cut down pace near the end of the career like waqar and Waseem did but not when you are just 2 years into the intl cricket.

  • Hindh on June 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Indian fans dont give two hoots until munaf is getting wickets whether he spins the ball or does bowls leg spin....

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  • Hindh on June 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Indian fans dont give two hoots until munaf is getting wickets whether he spins the ball or does bowls leg spin....

  • NabeelAziz on June 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    I would prefer fast wicket taking bowlers like from Pakistan and Australia. Andy is not asking for wayward fast bowling. Fast bowlers are beauty to watch. Cut down pace near the end of the career like waqar and Waseem did but not when you are just 2 years into the intl cricket.

  • Bilal_Choudry on June 15, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    i hope parsad (the guy whos run up was faster than his bowling) is not coaching

    him

  • coolio78 on June 15, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Everybody and anybody just want to be in the news... just give some baseless comments and get some reactions being sparked from all over... and Voila... you are in the news...! I don't think Roberts comments will have any affect on the player he's commenting on, orthe board or the team management. So why make such comments?

  • Nuxxy on June 15, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Sure, it works in ODIs, where containment is a skill. It's not just Munaf, and not just the fast(?) bowlers...even Harbhajan's test bowling has suffered by aiming for containment. Roberts is right in reference to tests - India could do with at least one attacking quick. The only Indian bowler who still shows agression is Sreesanth.

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on June 15, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    with indian pitches what do you expect them to do?

  • Death.Magnetic on June 15, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    next he would say McGrath was a leg-spinner.

  • ATIMAYANK on June 15, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Munaf is getting wickets and that's all that matters. Remember the best fast bowler in tests, Glenn Mcgrath, wasnt all that quick, but he was effective and took wickets. Munaf needs chance in the Test matches and he will prove his mettle.

    Fun fact: Munaf's strike rate is better than that of Roberts in ODI's

  • banglafan on June 15, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    India was never a nation of fast bowlers.

  • b4u8me2 on June 15, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    I think Andy Roberts comments are very valid in regards to test cricket. We all worry about the slow death of test cricket and if fast bowlers and even spin bowlers are going to worry more about containment than being aggressive then they are indeed slowly killing the game. No need to look at Patel's ODI record and say he has taken more wickets bowling slow. We need to remember that in ODIs batsmen get themselves out going after runs and any bowler sometimes can take wickets in ODIs. This however is not the same in test matches. What is Patel's test record for example? Pollard takes wickets too bowling slow. Does this make him any good in test matches? We do need aggressive bowlers so right on Andy. Fidel Edwards for example is such a treat to watch when he is bowling aggressively. He cuts his pace in some of his spells and he gets boring to watch. We need to decide if we wanna save test cricket or not.