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Home / Cricket / ‘India never had a fast bowler’: Kapil Dev reveals incident that spurred him to become a fast bowler

‘India never had a fast bowler’: Kapil Dev reveals incident that spurred him to become a fast bowler

India never really had a genuine fast bowler until a youngster named Kapil Dev arrived at the international scene. Kapil would go on to become one of the fine fast bowling all-rounders in the world and would break Richard Hadlee’s then world record for Test wickets.

cricket Updated: Jul 16, 2020 07:24 IST
hindustantimes.com
hindustantimes.com
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Kapil Dev was the first genuine pace bowler India produced after partition, playing in Tests from 1978-1994.
Kapil Dev was the first genuine pace bowler India produced after partition, playing in Tests from 1978-1994.(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

At a time when Indian cricket is blessed with a variety of pace bowling options and some of them among the very best in the world, it deems fit to look back at a time when India struggled to produce even one world class fast bowler. Indian cricket’s growth as a team that could fight with the top teams on their own turf and that of the opposition started in the 1970s. But those successes were primarily because of India’s batting strength and their famous spin quartet.

India never really had a genuine fast bowler until a youngster named Kapil Dev arrived at the international scene. Kapil would go on to become one of the fine fast bowling all-rounders in the world and would break Richard Hadlee’s then world record for Test wickets. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has time and again mentioned that Indian cricket’s rise bulging cupboard of speedsters is an ode to Kapil Dev, who showed everyone that India can produce genuine fast bowlers.

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In a recent interview, Kapil, India’s first World Cup-winning captain, recalled an incident that made him more determined than ever to become a fast bowler.

“The real change happened when I went for the under 19 camp. You know in the camps, sometimes officials come hard at you. So I had some argument with an official. He said ‘What do you do?’, I said ‘I’m a fast bowler’. ‘India never had a fast bowler,’ was his reply. So rather than encouraging, they discouraged me. I took up the challenge and said to myself, ‘One day I will become a fast bowler to show him, to prove him wrong’. I always liked to prove certain negative people wrong and that’s how the fast bowling started,” Kapil told former India opener and current women’s team coach WV Raman in a YouTube interview.

Kapil Dev scored 5248 runs and picked up 434 wickets in 131 Tests for India. In one-day internationals he picked up 253 wickets and scored 3783 runs. Kapil has coached the Indian cricket team in the 1990s and is an established cricket commentator.

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