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Sreesanth, Latest Entrant in India’s Hall of Bowlers Gone Slow!!

I thought that it was some sort of off-season injury or some other weird reason that Sreesanth was bowling so slowly during the first of the one-dayers against the South Africans. As it turns out, that wasn’t just a one-time thing. Like many other of his young Indian counterparts, he has actually slowed-up remarkably although there is no injury and neither has he been used excessively. This is some sort of a virus that seems to affect every speedster coming from India who has some promise to offer. Further, it seems that his bowling action too has changed a bit. Sreesanth never really did have remarkable line or length to boast of—it was swing bowling at some good speeds that got him all the wickets and made him a tough customer if the pitch had anything to offer. He even showed signs of being able to use the old ball. Now, he can hardly cross the 130 km/hr barrier and his swing is lacking due the change in the manner in which his is delivering the ball. Yes, the seam is still very upright—one of young Sreesanth’s typical bowling traits, but now the shrug-like movement that he had at the time of releasing the ball has gone and has been replaced by a more controlled sort of stride that may be prettier from a technical aspect but sure as hell doesn’t make him a better or a more lethal bowler.

3 comments:

  1. I really don't agree with the Indian bowlers being deficient in terms of natural pace, yes, the major reason could be the fact that these guys are playing so much of cricket that it takes a toll on their bodies to such an extent that bowling fast on a consistent basis becomes so difficult and as a result, the pace drops gradually.. irfan pathan's case is a major exception, that guy went totally bonkers after tasting some initial success.

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  2. It is not just the existing or former bowlers who have this problem. Have you looked at Tyagi or Mithun? They struggle to even cross 130 when most young bowlers around the world at steaming-in at around 140+ km per hour. I think this is something to do with the mindset of bowlers that happens basically because of the dead, flat sub-continental pitches these guys play on from the very first moment they step into competitive cricket.

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  3. I don’t really know much about the mindset part or the pitch factor but one most visible facet is the lack of physical development among the young, Indian bowlers. These guys grunt and force themselves but just cannot get their pace up simply because they lack the shoulder strength to bowl fast, consistently. If you referring to the present moment, just look at Morkel or Steyn. Both of them aren’t exactly body builders but they do have athletic forearms and developed shoulders/chest that comes handy in bowling fast. Further testament to this is Zaheer, though now a bit flabby, he is easily amongst the most well-built of Indian bowlers and also one who can consistently bowl at 135+ without seeming drained-out or even Lasith Malinga—140+ with ease—the guy has got some serious muscle mass. If it was purely the pitch factor, how do you explain the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram or Aquib Javed who were all express on a consistent basis?

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