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'Indian fast bowlers need to mature'

Pace legend Dennis Lillee says Indian pacers must become more 'safe and stable' if they are to match the Australians.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2007 22:53 IST
'Indian fast bowlers have to mature to peform effectively'

Pace legend Dennis Lillee on Wednesday said Indian fast bowlers "have to mature" and become more "safe and stable" if they are to match the Australians.

Drawing comparison with the Aussies and the English bowlers, Lillee said Indians were lacking in maturity.

"The Australian and English fast bowlers are pretty safe, stable and more established in their sides," Lillee said during his visit to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai.

"Maybe they are lot matured being older in age compared to the present Indian lot. The Indians are competing against each other for their positions too. They are quite young when compared to other teams," he explained.

Citing the example of Brett Lee, Lillee said the Aussie pacer showed tremendous grit to overcome poor form and nagging injuries to become the spearhead of the attack.

"It took some time for him to be regular in the team. He was 12th man for a lot of time and injury problems also kept him out. The Indian attack, apart from Zaheer (Khan), is very young. It takes time to mature as well," Lillee said.

Lillee said selectors have every right to drop players who do not perform.

"I guess it is because of lack of performance. If they are not performing well both in wicket-taking abilities or economy, the selectors are within their right to drop them."

Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel are presently training under Lillee at the academy and the former pacer said the former still had it in him to become an all-rounder for the team.

Lillee also cautioned S Sreesanth against trying too many things and should focus on line and length.

"We do not want him to be trying too much," Lillee said.

TA Sekhar, Chief coach of the MRF Pace Academy, said Pathan was 99 per cent fit to make a comeback but he would not comment on Munaf as the bowler has not been able to bowl at full throttle.

"If Munaf has been advised a programme to follow since his back injury, I do not want to change it. I am not a qualified physio or a trainer and I do not want to interfere with his programme."

"Unless and otherwise, he feels comfortable and can run at full throttle and hit the deck, then only I will ask him to bowl with full run-up. I do not want to be blamed. It is up to him to tell me that he is willing to bowl at his full run-up."

As for Pathan, Sekhar and Lillee said, "He does not have a shoulder injury. Because of a fault in his action, he is using different group of muscles, which is normally used for throwing the ball. He was not using his front arm fully but now he has started using it to a greater extent."

"He says he does not have any pain while bowling. He is around 99 per cent of getting in to the team. He now needs to play some matches to measure himself," they said.

On the Indian Board handling of the appointment of a coaches, Lillee said, "It is not so much foreign or local coaches. The best available should be there. Does not matter, if he is from Mars. Nowadays, most countries have separate coaches for batting, bowling and fielding. It depends on the country's situation."

First Published: Jun 27, 2007 22:26 IST