First of all, millions of the die-hard fans of Indian cricket might be relieved after seeing Indian bowlers striking in the first test in England. I have been vigorously following the opinions/write-ups and sadly most of they were based on a pessimistic approach. Although the track record of most of the young Indian bowlers during away series is well below satisfactory, but then most of them do not have much exposure in the fast grassy wickets.  Even if their skill and capabilities are adjudged to be not good enough, it is not fair to rule out any possibility of a good performance. It is not right to be simply predicting that India cannot win as our bowlers are not able to get 20 wickets.

Many of the fans simply do not agree with this notion. In absence of fast pitches, from the very beginning our bowlers develop their skills on spin friendly pitches. But unless a time bound program is chalked out for providing quality training, preferably by a foreign coach from a very young age, no long term solution will be found.   

In fact, many fans do believe that the problem has got much deeper roots. At the very first instance, the parents, coaches and academies tend to promote batsmen instead of bowlers. The reason is very simple. A bowler has to put in a lot more sweat and toil to become effective but the glamour, the status and the money earned by a successful batsman is a far off dream even for the most talented bowler. I intend to give just one example: Anil Kumble is far behind in the popularity charts in comparison to Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly.

But to address this grave problem, we will have to ensure that the desired fitness level is invariably maintained among Indian pace bowlers. Unless a pacer is strong enough to bowl long spells, up to 40 over in a day in any test match, he will not prove to be useful. Also, unless a few good academies are set up with bouncy grassy tracks proper nourishing of pace bowlers does not seem feasible.

To resolve this burning issue, many of the fans feel that we should be adopting the policy of “picking them young” and after monitoring the possible talented adolescents, they should be put in training schools with all expenses paid by the state. They should be nourished and ample exposure should be ensured for them.

To sum up, talented young men like Jasprit Bumrah and Sandeep Sharma should be developed. Their place in the squad should be ensured for a minimum period so as to enable them to play freely without worrying about securing a permanent berth. Also, apart from physical training, they should be imparted training to handle the ever increasing stress and competition.

We hope that the right steps in this direction will be taken by the concerned authorities before it is too late!


    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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