?Our bowling has been exposed?
He saunters along the sidelines of the Harbaksh Stadium on Friday, with one eye firmly fixed on the proceedings of the Ranji one-dayer between Punjab and Haryana. At the same time, National selector Bhupinder Singh Sr is an anxious man. He needs to sort out the dilemma facing Indian cricket at the moment.india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 22:12 IST
He saunters along the sidelines of the Harbaksh Stadium on Friday, with one eye firmly fixed on the proceedings of the Ranji one-dayer between Punjab and Haryana. At the same time, National selector Bhupinder Singh Sr is an anxious man. He needs to sort out the dilemma facing Indian cricket at the moment.
With the new BCCI regime making a rule --- that one National selector is always present to watch domestic cricket --- Bhupinder's presence only gave the competing players an extra incentive to display their prowess but also brought them hope --- that somewhere, someone would notice what they do and it would count.
When HT caught up with the former medium-pacer, he was at his chatty best and in a world of rather guarded speech, his candour was appreciable. "Our bowling has been exposed in Pakistan and has been the weakling," said Bhupinder, his demeanour definitely tensing, when asked to explain the Indian bowlers' languid showing across the border.
"It is a very worrying sign for us as we lack variety in the bowl ing department. Our present attack relies more on swing and movement than raw pace and when the conditions are not conducive to swing, they could be easily found out, as was illustrated in Lahore and Faisalabad. We've simply lacked the ammunition to bundle Pakistan out.
"Ergo, it is imperative that we find someone who can hit the deck, ruffle the opposing batsmen and bowl constantly at 140 km/h. Also, our attack is getting a bit monotonous at the moment with three left-arm medium-pacers who do not offer anything drastically different from each other," he elucidated.
So has he identified any potential candidates who could prove to be the panacea for India's ills? "VRV Singh and Munaf Patel have all the ingredients to become top-quality pace bowlers but they have been unlucky with injuries. Also, we are keeping a discerning eye on up and coming youngsters," he said thoughtfully.
Bhupinder still defended Irfan Pathan, whose bowling, leaving Karachi aside, has left a lot to be desired. "Pathan is essentially a swing bowler and he is performing exceptionally well. I'm not too concerned about the theories that have bee going around that he has lost pace. He is currently bowling at 126 km/h, and even if he improves it to 132 km/h, that is not going to make much of a difference. His swing is his forte and when bestowed with favourable conditions, he can really cleave any batting line-up," he said.
Bhupinder also said that it was a well-devised and meticulous plan "hatched" by Bob Woolmer to provide placid wickets in the first two Tests, so that Indian bowlers would lose confidence and then Pakistan could use that in turn, to their advantage. "Woolmer is a very shrewd and implacable coach and Inzy and gang have connived well to dent our young bowlers' confidence by providing atrocious wickets in the first two Tests. And then they used it to their advantage," he alleged.
First Published: Feb 12, 2006 22:12 IST