Probably I have mellowed out as I have got a bit older. When I was younger I was probably a bit more aggressive. I don't know, I suppose when you get a bit older in life in general you mellow out a bit, don't you? I think sometimes you don't want to look like too much of an idiot! I don't mind being aggressive if it helps your bowling in the right way, to intimidate a batsman or put a batsman off his game. But if you are going to be aggressive personally, I think it is not right. And it doesn't look good on TV. It doesn't look good for anyone. You lose respect if you carry on like a pork chop all the time. You have got to have some sort of humility and use your aggression the right way.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It goes both ways. You run in and bowl fast, try and intimidate batsmen, try and take wickets, and be aggressive in that attacking way. Some days it goes your way - you might get two early wickets. Some days you might get none for 25 off two. It has been like that through my career - I had some really good games, I had some really bad games. You've got to roll with the punches and get on with it.
Well, it was. I played those two games. I didn't bowl very well. I didn't do myself any favours. But it was nice to get picked again after a long time. Our best fast bowlers were injured. I had a decent Big Bash and I was bowling fast and they picked me.
"I am a very simple person and a very simple cricket player. That's it. There is nothing else there. It is what it is. I run in and try and bowl fast"
It has been ten years. It is harder now. It used to be a lot easier for a fast bowler. The batsmen, they weren't really sure of what to do in T20 cricket - there used to be a bit of a laugh, bit of giggle. Now it has obviously become very, very serious. Batsmen have learned to develop their skills really well. Bowling at the death, for example, used to be quite easy: you ran in and bowled yorkers and hit the stumps. But now batsmen can hit yorkers, they can play sweep shots, can face bouncers as well. Most of the guys can pull. So it has definitely become more difficult over time.
That is the only way I have sort of known. To be honest, in PSL I slowed down a little bit and tried to get a bit more control. I was a bit wayward a couple of times in the Big Bash, and then the two games I played for Australia, again I was really wayward. I tried to bowl too fast.
People come to the game to watch entertainers. You need fast bowlers. You need guys who can bowl 150 because it is great for the crowd to watch as well. Sometimes it goes against me but it is still entertaining. (chuckles)
Yes, it is not easy. It hurts. It hurts the body. But I have found a way to do it for close to 14 years now. I am not playing Test cricket but it still hurts, even in T20 cricket, every time you bowl.
That is true. Sometimes I lose sight of that. I just run in and try and bowl really fast and it doesn't work and I get hit for runs. Some bowlers are better and smarter at playing to the conditions. That is probably something I should have been better at in the past.
I am starting to agree with that more now. The last game I played [PSL], I bowled to Grant Elliott, and instead of trying to bowl every ball a yorker, I bowled length outside off stump to try and get him to nick, and it worked. I just backed myself to bowl hard, fast, on a length and it worked. Length is the most important thing in T20 cricket, no doubt. Yes, there are times when you have to bowl the yorker, there are times when you have to bowl the wide yorker and change the batsman's hands and the batsman's thinking. So I agree with what Bondy said.
I feel that if you can run in and bowl fast, you are different. And there are not many people in the world who can do that. If I start bowling 135 all the time or every second game, I am the same as everyone else. If a team has a want for a guy who can bowl 150 or 145, then that's me. And it is not always easy to develop all these different things. My slower ball has never been a strength of mine. I can bowl it every now and then.
"You lose respect if you carry on like a pork chop all the time. You have got to have some sort of humility and use your aggression the right way"
Absolutely. Most fast bowlers will tell you the same thing. When younger fast bowlers ask, "How can I bowl faster?" the answer is, "You simply have to hurt your body, take your body to the limits." You have to play with pain. You have examples like Zaheer Khan, Shane Bond, Dale Steyn, Brett Lee - all these guys have played through a lot of pain.
I try and tend to bowl to the batsman. If I change what I do too much, it takes my mind away from what I should be doing and I end up messing it up.
That was in Delhi, in 2010. And I was told to bowl bouncers every ball, bowl short. I did not agree with that. I think I went for 54 off four overs. I tend to listen to the captain a lot, but I also set my own fields as well. Sometimes the captain has a gut feeling and he will want that field and that is it.
Here he is [as Kevin Pietersen passes by]. Speak of the devil. Attacking batsmen are a bit different. Guys like Luke Wright are ones who come out and just flay away first ball. I actually enjoy bowling to those guys, because you always feel like you can get them out. Or a Brendon McCullum. You feel like you have a chance to get them out, but if you don't, you are in big trouble. If they get away with it, they could do a lot of damage.
The two guys I found hard to bowl to in T20 cricket are Kevin Pietersen and [Virat] Kohli. Those two are the hardest guys to bowl to at the moment. I'll have to admit there's no real obvious way to get them out. I can't see through Virat Kohli's weakness. I don't know what it is. I think Kevin Pietersen's the same. Early on, if you bowl a good, full ball, lbw maybe. A good bouncer. I got him [Pietersen] out the other night, caught at long-on. I think Kohli also I had once caught at long-on as well. So not exactly blasting through them.
It is probably just at myself now. Even if I take it out on the batsman, it is about myself - not bowling how I should be bowling. I am a bit better now at controlling my anger.
That will have to be definitely Brendon in Christchurch. If you have the chance to look over YouTube, he actually did a sort of somersault - he went across the off stump and he hit it [scooped it] and did a somersault. It was a 155.2 delivery.
You need them in the game. If you look at the really good fast bowlers, they have still got good T20 records. Dale Steyn is still getting picked in the IPL.
I have to agree with that. Or then all the youngsters will stop bowling fast. Look at the days gone by - Lillee, Thomson, Ambrose, Waqar, Wasim, Donald, Steyn, Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar. They are all entertainers and they are all big names in cricket because they bowl fast. No one talks about a medium-pacer that bowls 128kph often, do they? Because it is boring. So to keep cricket entertaining, it would be good to see some more fast bowlers coming through.
"If I start bowling 135 all the time or every second game, I am the same as everyone else. If a team has a want for a guy who can bowl 150 or 145, then that's me"
I am a very simple person and a very simple cricket player. That's it. There is nothing else there. It is what it is. I run in and try and bowl fast.
Probably the 2010 World T20 in the Caribbean was the best I bowled over a period and the fastest. I was bowling consistently in the 150s and bowled economically. And I was succeeding. We made the final, where we lost to England.
You just have to keep believing in what you are doing and stick to it. A lot of guys over the years, they slow down their pace. Sometimes you are afraid of getting smacked.
I could be a lot fitter. That is one thing I can do, and I am going to go home and get a lot fitter. Hopefully I can stretch it out a couple more years.
Wahab is a genuine fast bowler. He is extremely confident in his own ability. He does not like to beaten. The one thing I can learn from him is getting up for the big occasion. Shane Watson walks out to bat, automatically Wahab Riaz bowls faster. The exchange he had with Ahmed Shehzad [against Quetta Gladiators], he changed the game for us. Not the actual incident, but he started bowling really fast and well after that. He gets in the zone. I used to be able to do that but now I have lost the ability to get in the zone a little bit. So I find it hard to kick into the next gear. Probably being out of international cricket is one reason. Probably a bit older…
I don't see myself playing for Australia ever again. I am not hurt [not being part of the World T20 squad]. The selectors wanted to see how I went in the T20I series against India. I knew exactly what it was: if I bowled well, I get picked, if I didn't, I wouldn't. In hindsight, I could have bowled a whole lot better. I would love to win a tournament, a Big Bash maybe.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo