December 20, 2012

Former Pakistan speedster says it’s futile to blame the wickets, England bowlers were simply better than the Indians.

India’s inability to pick 20 wickets in a Test match was exposed as the visiting England side won a series in India after 28 years. In an exclusive chat with from Karachi on Wednesday, former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram believes that the future of Indian bowling is rickety.

“To be very honest, the future of Indian bowling looks bleak. Zaheer Khan looked average in the three Tests and then got dropped. Ishant Sharma was okay in patches but after five years at the international level you have to be more consistent. I am afraid he is going the Mohammad Sami way – a wasted talent. Umesh Yadav seems to be injury prone and the selectors don’t pick Varun Aaron,” said Akram.

Apart from Pragyan Ojha (20 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (12), no Indian bowler bagged more than 5 wickets in the series. Akram feels it’s time to ring in bowling changes for the future of Indian cricket.

“It’s time that India look for new faces or tell the present bunch to shape up or ship out. I will suggest a certain Shami Ahmed to get a look in. The Bengal pacer is just 22 years old but has tremendous potential. Having worked with him for Kolkata Knight Riders from 2011 season, I believe bowlers like him are the forward for Team India,” the KKR consultant said.

A medium-pacer from Bengal, Shami made his first-class debut in 2010 against Assam, picking up three wickets. In a Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad this season, on a green top at Eden Gardens, he took 4/36 and 6/71, and scored 15 not out from 6 balls in the second innings to help his side win the match by 4 wickets, along with Wriddhiman Saha.
The MS Dhoni-led team has come under intense criticism from all quarters and even coach Duncan Fletcher is under scanner. Akram believes England’s support staff was better equipped than its Indian counterpart.

“The lack of planning in the Indian team was pretty visible even on the television screens and that reflected on the bowling front as well. It seemed the bowlers were going through the motion rather than planning their wickets. England’s team director Andy Flower, bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmad and batting coach Graham Gooch were all in sync unlike the Indian backroom staff,” said Akram.

By Faisal Kamal
Courtesy: ESPN STAR

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