Former Pakistani pacer and Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar lashed out against the Indian pacers in a recent interview with Cricbuzz. Akhtar said that the Indian pacers did not know how to accurately utilize the old ball and felt that the pacers should improve big time. Below, are the excerpts from his interview with Cricbuzz.
India’s pacers, however, struggle to pitch it right.
Jasprit Bumrah has made a very impressive start to his career and certainly looks like he brings a lot of qualities. Otherwise, this Indian attack has been struggling with injuries. Shami had to pull out, Varun Aaron is unavailable. There’s just Ishant, who has struggled to move on to the next level.
Adapting to conditions seems to be a bigger problem?
The problem is simple. Indian pacers don’t know what to do with the old ball. They can’t reverse. As it is, so many new rules have tilted the balance against the bowlers and in the given space, it’s been a challenge for a pace bowler to constantly keep adapting. And if you’re not willing to learn very quickly and adapt, you’re going to be left behind. Zaheer Khan had reached that stage when he was enjoying bowling with the new and the old ball and while he was around, he did a great job for India. It’s good to see Ashish Nehra back but that aside, what else?
You think the lack of proper mentoring has been a big reason?
Well, the Indian pacers should be made to spend six weeks with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. They need to learn the finer nuances at the international level. There are two kinds of bowlers, ones who bowl their heart out and the ones who use their brains. I was the first kind. I didn’t have to learn to bowl like a lion because the lion was inside me, inspiring me since I was a kid who would watch Imran Khan take the field and bowl his heart out. The current Indian bowlers do not know how to reverse. They just don’t know what to do with a ball that has lost shine.