'Can't go from being Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Shoaib Akhtar, it's impossible': Irfan Pathan on swing bowling

  • Irfan Pathan said it would be impossible for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who can swing the ball both ways, to suddenly become an out and out fast bowler like Shoaib Akhtar, who in his playing days was regarded as one of the fastest bowlers of the world.
Irfan Pathan(Irfan Pathan / Twitter)
Irfan Pathan(Irfan Pathan / Twitter)
Published on Jun 08, 2021 07:04 PM IST
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Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan gave the examples of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shoaib Akhtar to highlight the difference between swing and pace, suggesting that while both have their advantages, it is always more difficult for batsmen to handle the moving ball.

Pathan said it would be impossible for Bhuvneshwar, who can swing the ball both ways, to suddenly become an out and out fast bowler like Shoaib Akhtar, who in his playing days was regarded as one of the fastest bowlers of the world.

“The desperation to belong to the fast bowler category will leave you with nothing; you cannot go from being Bhuvneshwar to Shoaib Akhtar, it’s impossible. You will lose your swing, and yet not be quick enough to hustle the batsman,” Pathan wrote in his column for 'The Playfield Magazine'.

Pathan said young bowlers should not compromise on swing just to add 4-5 clicks to their bowling.

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“My one suggestion to bowlers is to not sacrifice swing just to add an extra 4-5 clicks. It will leave you stranded. There is speed that is ideal for swing bowling, respect that,” he added.

Further explaining the ideal pace for swing bowlers, Pathan, who had become the second Indian to claim a Test hat-trick in 2006 against Pakistan mainly because of his swing-bowling, said, it is essential to add skills but not at the expense of your originality.

“A swing bowler generally operates in the 130-135 kmph region, that’s scientifically proven to be the best range of force to get maximum swing. But if the same bowler can bowl a yorker or a slower one or a cutter at that speed, he can survive anywhere in the world. If his body alignment is good, he can bowl any number of yorkers at will, and swing it both ways. It is a reality that you won’t get the same amount of swing with the old ball as with the new because reverse is a different entity. But if you can bowl a good slower one or a yorker, you bring something more to the table.

“Take Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for example. He is not an express bowler but when he swings the ball, he is on song. But the skipper always puts him on at the death because of his ability to bowl the knuckle, the slower one and the yorker. Ball se koi harkat honi chahiye, that is important,” Pathan wrote.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022