‘What is my role here’: Javagal Srinath recalls struggles early in his Test career
Srinath, who made his ODI and Test debuts for India inside two months, narrated how back in the day, India did not rely much on fast pacers and that the bulk of the bowling used to be done by spinners.Updated: Jun 14, 2020, 11:04 IST
Former India bowler Javagal Srinath recalled his initial days playing Test cricket for India, revealing there were times when the fast bowler would have to ask the captain to let him bowl. Srinath, who made his ODI and Test debuts for India inside two months, narrated how back in the day, India did not rely much on fast pacers and that the bulk of the bowling used to be done by spinners.
“I’m not complaining, but that’s the way the situation was. In India there were times when we used to play just one fast bowler. Sometimes we played just for the sake of playing a fast bowler. Wickets were absolute rank turners in the initial part of my career,” Srinath told SportsKeeda.
“You need to be a permanent part of the team and to be getting wickets all the time. Three spinners used to do 80 or 90 percent of the bowling, I would sometimes feel awkward like ‘what is my role here’. I used to go and ask the captain to hand me the ball; at least let me be satisfied for my inclusion for XI”.
Srinath went on to become India’s best fast bowler of the 1990s, but somehow his Test career did not see the heights his ODI career did. Srinath ended his 12-year-long career in 2003 with 315 ODI wickets from 229 matches, but grabbed not more than 236 wickets from 67 Tests. A reason behind that Srinath reckons, is how spin-heavy Indian attacks used to be back then but is happy to see India’s fast bowlers dominating making noises around the world today.
“That was the case. Indian conditions suit spinners better but at the same time it puts you on a faster thinking mode. So the reverse swing came handy but I never lost hope. I understand that winning is more important,” Srinath added.
“Spinners used to rule the roost those days; fast bowlers had little role to play but things have changed now. Today you have three fast bowlers operating before the spinners come on. Just like the traditional way of fetching wickets.”