Among the things coach Manoj Prabhakar told Pradeep Sangwan when he took over Delhi in 2007 was that he would play for India much before any of the other Delhi young bowlers did, including Ishant Sharma.
Sangwan had shone with 33 wickets in his debut 2007-08 season even before he turned 19.
“A year-and-a-half back when I saw him, I was shocked. I asked him what are you preparing for --- Days’ cricket or night cricket (meaning parties). Sangwan had built his upper body muscles in the gym and lost all suppleness. I told him ‘bowlers need a strong lower part, not the upper part. You’ll lose all suppleness and ability to swing’,” said Prabhakar, agitated.
“It has been a huge waste of talent,” added the former India all-rounder.
Incidentally, around the time he was beginning to make waves in domestic cricket, Sangwan appeared in a television commercial with Gautam Gambhir, promoting a mobile phone. “Players are worried a lot about their looks,” said Prabhakar.
Among the criticism levelled against Sangwan was that he was bowling too round arm.
“He had lost the basic qualities of a good swing bowler. It was quite evident that he didn’t have the right people for guidance. Players these days take a lot of supplements and often they are not tested,” added Prabhakar, who cited Irfan Pathan as another example of a bowler who had lost all his basic qualities by concentrating on building his upper body.