The Indian Cricket Team’s Latest Song Of Distress: Where Have All The Good Fast Bowlers Gone?

Posted on February 4, 2014 in Sports

By Moh’d Babar Shahid:

How many times have we witnessed Indian cricketers win one-day internationals and test matches with huge margins playing in India, on slow, spinning pitches? However, on fast, bouncy pitches, they falter. Currently, India has lost the one-day series against New Zealand and along with that, their no.1 position in one-day cricket – owing to a lack of world class fast bowlers.

Ishant Sharma

When India can produce batsmen of the class and caliber of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli, why can’t India produce world class fast bowlers? Among the list of top batsmen in the world, Indian batsmen are always featured; but in the list of best bowlers, there is no mention of Indian bowlers. Is it because batting is recognized in India and not bowling, while this is not the case with other countries?

There is no shortage of good batsmen in any country, but the game of cricket is not won just with good batting. You need a combination of good batting and great bowling, along with exceptional fielding. India is a country of over 1.2 billion people which can’t seem to produce better pace bowlers than countries of significantly lower populations, in which the game of cricket is not even that popular.

The introduction of new rules in one-day cricket has degraded bowling and made cricket pointless. Although the intention was to make cricket more exciting by helping batsmen hit more fours and sixes, it has reduced the value of boundaries. Earlier, a four actually meant something — it was a great shot. Now, with the introduction of new rules, pitches tailored for good batting, five extra overs of field restrictions, bats designed to help batsmen score, faster outfields, and smaller grounds, a four is meaningless.

Batting records are being broken left, right, and center. Three batsmen have already scored double centuries in one-day cricket, the fastest hundred record was broken on the first of January this year, and the highest record for partnerships, individual scores, team scores, etc. have all been demolished. This is unfair to batsmen who set the records before the introduction of the new rules, and makes it unfair to bowlers now, who will have a much tougher time breaking bowling records.

The new rules add to India’s bowling woes. The question is, who will want to become a bowler today? If cricket wasn’t already termed a batsman’s game, it has become even worse now. Will Indians grow up thinking they can serve the team with their bowling, or does every youngster want to be another Tendulkar?