India’s young fast bowlers – it’s a bit overwhelming

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India used to really struggle for quick bowlers. These days they seem to have a new Next Big Thing just about every week.

We can think of six young, decent, Indian quick bowlers from a standing start and with only three brews powering our tiny little brain cells. We’ve assumed Zaheer Khan’s a definite in the Indian team now and slightly too old to be a Next Big Thing. All the following are 26 or under:

Lakshmallapathally BalajiLakshmipathy Balaji

Largely injured, but we always thought he was pretty good. Plus, for some unknown reason, his seemingly quite complicated first name landed itself in our cerebellum first time. Our pride in that perhaps highlights how little else we have to be proud of.

Irfan Pathan

Would be in our Indian team regardless of form. Early on he took wickets for fun. After a bit he seemed to lose pace and confidence and no longer looked a worthy opening bowler, but by this point his batting had really taken off.

We’d have still picked him as an all-rounder and fifth bowler. India don’t like having five bowlers though. People actually wrote him off completely during his bowling lull. Ludicrous. He only turned 23 a month ago.

R P Singh

Excellent swing bowler. Excellent side-parting.

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth

Actually quite a good bowler when he’s not being a complete dick. The theory that he’s a standard-bearer for the new, vibrant, go-getting, in-your-face India seems predicated on the false notion that all the other Test-playing nations haven’t been terrified by India for as long as anyone can remember. Everyone’s still terrified – particularly of the nutter.

The classic 'teapot spout' actionMunaf Patel

Quick and takes wickets. You’d have big plans for him unless you were an Indian selector.

Ishant Sharma

Took five wickets in his second Test (for 118). Teeteringly tall and apparently still growing. He’s only 19, but already he’s being identified as a danger for the Aussies on their hard decks.

So what’s the problem?

Well let’s add another name to that list: Pankaj Singh has been called up for the tour of Australia. Munaf Patel’s not been selected – seemingly for fitness reasons, but he only had a mild back sprain and he’s playing again now. Sreesanth’s out as well. He was advised to have surgery on his shoulder injury before the second Test against Pakistan, but he went through a fitness test for that match anyway.

It seems like any chance they get, India’s selectors will blood another youngster – Pankaj Singh being the latest. That’s all well-and-good when they keep making an impact, but sooner or later somebody’s going to have to narrow the field down.

There’s Test experience available, but these bowlers are only getting very meagre portions each.

We’ve always thought that having a few Tests behind you would help steady your nerves in big matches and create a more reliable cricketer.

The situation’s even more ridiculous when you consider that the middle-order batting’s been a closed shop for years.


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  1. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the official MCC coaching manual when I were a lad, so instead of “teapot-spout”, they taught us “cafetiere-plunge”.

    Maybe that’s why i can’t take any wickets anymore?

    Or I’m shit.

  2. India really need to stop concentrating on their fast bowling acadamies, it’s like the EU butter mountain. They’ll be stocking them in warehouses for years!

    A proper spin foundation would be a help. Cos old man Kumble has only got a year or so left in him, and Harbajhan is absolute pony.
    Murali Kartik is OK, but not world class by any means.

    The best teams in the world, dominate by having a world class spinner, just look at England and South Africa.

  3. 1) re the spinners, there’s also Piyush Chawla.

    2) re the quicks, there’s also VRV Singh.

    When VRV played in the Bangladesh tests earlier this year, one of the commentators (I think it was Daryl Cullinan) spent about 15 minutes asking Laxman Sivaramakrishnan the names of all the multi-initialled Indian players, and then spent another 10 minutes learning to pronounce “Rudra Pratap”.

  4. Dear Staff,

    Well, as the matter of fact,as history proves, and whole world understands that for last 63 years since India came into being till today,Hindustan due to it’s very hinduism has entirely no power,agression, health,class in its speciallity,good looks,consistant performance in fast bowling, see the track record than logically debate with me, as a fact of the matter hindu can not be powerfull, aggressive, smart, having good looks, look at the normal hindu, the way he lives, so see the difference between Pakistani fast bowlers, right from 1947 to 2010, with hindustan since 1947 to 2010,the book is open just read for evryone who understand the facts, e-g Kardar, fazal ur rehman, Imran Khan,SARFRAZ NAWAZ, WAQAR YOUNIS,WASEEM AKRAM,SHOIB AKHTAR,MOHAMMAD ASIF, SAMEE, TANVEER,MOHAMMAD AMIR, THAT IS WAHY INDIAN GIRLS ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND STILL ARE DIE HARD FANS OF MUSLIMS AND PAKISTANI CRICKTERS, NOW SHIRI SHANT IS JUST RESEMBLING TO A SWEEPER .TRY THE PHOTO SESSION HAVING MOB IN HIS NAND. BYE BYE

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