Kolkata: Where does Pakistan get their fast bowlers from? That question has done the rounds for decades now, but as exceptional quicks keep emerging from across the border with amazing frequency, one can't but help ask it over and over again.
In a short series like this, two new pacemen have already caught the imagination of fans; they were still gushing over seven-footer Mohammad Irfan when Junaid Khan burst on the scene with his impressive swing and speed. "Junaid has been amazing. If he keeps up the good work and performs consistently, we might have a left-arm bowler as good as Wasim Akram," said Younis Khan, showering rich praise on the 23year-old.
While Pakistan are understandably jubilant with their fast bowling resources, they can't put a finger on the exact reason for this inexhaustible supply.
“It's really difficult to pinpoint one reason why we keep getting one pace bowler after another. Maybe genetics has got something to do with it. Our bowlers have good build and stamina that goes a long way in bowling quick,” said Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. Surprisingly, he feels the lifeless wickets in Pakistan too contribute to developing good fast bowlers. "The tracks are not helpful at all and the bowlers have to put in a lot of hard work to overcome this. That too helps them become better bowlers."
Sadiq Mohammad, the former Pakistan opener, feels the aspiring bowlers have great role models to look up to and find inspiration. Besides, he feels the involvement of former greats like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, facilitated by the Pakistan Cricket Board, plays a huge role in developing the raw quicks. “They give them the best possible education... how to bowl,
how to use the crease, how to reverse-swing, and all of that. They get very good coaching from two of the greatest bowlers produced by Pakistan.”
Another common aspect amongst the Pakistan bowlers is their stints in county cricket, which helps them develop as bowlers. Wasim Akram would any day vouch the positive effect the county stint has on the bowlers.
“We see our young bowlers going to county and coming back as completely different and evolved bowlers. The county stint injects a sense of discipline in their thinking, eating habits and their game. Even Akram turned into the bowler the world knows only after he went to play county cricket,” said a senior Pakistan journalist.
India too have witnessed the benefit first hand. Zaheer Khan, struggling with fitness and his bowling rhythm, went there in 2006 and returned a transformed bowler.
Nevertheless, the trend hasn't apparently caught on among the Indian pacers with their fragile fitness telling on the national team's performances.
Yet another explanation for this striking trend in Pakistan is tape-ball cricket.
“The tennis ball is wrapped in tape and the bowlers need to generate high speed to beat the batsmen. It takes a lot of effort from the bowlers to bowl with it ...it prepares them a great deal to play at the higher level,” said another Pakistan journalist.
Above all, as Shoaib Akhtar told Sourav Ganguly on a recent TV show, Pakistan is simply blessed with speed merchants.
No dearth there as Pak keeps revving it up
County to contraption, all sorts of reasons are being attributed to Pakistan's inexhaustible line of pacemenBy Subash Rajta | Hindustan Times | Yahoo! Cricket – Wed 2 Jan, 2013 9:58 AM IST
- No live matches are in progress.
MORE TOP STORIES TODAY
Chennai defeat Mumbai by 48 runs in the first Qualifier at Kotla. More » Kings boss their way to fifth IPL final
[SPOT-FIXING ROUND-UP] Actor Vindoo Dara Singh arrested. More » SPOT-FIXING: Cops to grill Sreesanth for five more days
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Pune Warriors India, owned by Sahara India Pariwar, pulled out of the already scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) Tuesday and announced that they will not renew their sponsorship … More » Sahara pulls out of IPL, Indian team's sponsorship
He might be a bad boy, but he wasn’t a bad bowler. More » A character who was let down by his character
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Hit by the recent spot-fixing scandal, the Rajasthan Royals will have to come out strong to take on the impressive Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) eliminator … More » Shaken Royals take on rising Hyderabad
Corruption in cricket is as old as the apathy of the sport's administrators. More » [VOX] Crime and lack of punishment
Sir Ian Botham is confident James Anderson will far exceed his England record of 383 Test wickets after the Lancashire seamer broke the 300 barrier during last week's series-opening victory over New Zealand … More » Botham backs Jimmy to break his record
LONDON, May 21, 2013 (AFP) - England on Tuesday named an unchanged squad for the second Test against New Zealand at Headlingley, after batsman Ian Bell and spin bowler Graeme Swann both overcame illne … More » Bell, Swann fit for second NZ Test
When the two face each other in Qualifier 1 of the Indian T20 league on Tuesday, with a spot in the final the reward for the winner, the rivalry will demand a lot more than usual. More » More than just spot in the final
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma doesn't want his team to get distracted by the spot-fixing controversy in the Indian Premier League. More » Focus is on playing good cricket: Rohit
"The feeling is quite similar as no one gave the SunRisers a chance in the tournament, and we have qualified for the playoffs" More » 'Hyderabad's success reminds me of 1983'
It seems Rajasthan Royals, caught in the middle of the spot-fixing scandal involving three of their players, want to stay away from the spotlight as much as possible. More » Rajasthan feel heat ahead of playoff
Cricket Australia said Tuesday it had no immediate plan to curb the use of social media by players after a Twitter rant by David Warner, but suggested it could happen in the future. More » Australia don't plan on Twitter clampdown
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said it was disappointing that spot fixing has overshadowed the IPL but hoped that the tournament would finish on a winning note. More » 'Corruption shadow over IPL's good work'
SG Test balls may be used for Ranji Trophy and junior tournaments. More » Kumble moots neutral venues, SG balls
"The contracts of all three players have been suspended pending enquiry," a team statement said. "We have already filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against all three players." More » Rajasthan suspend tainted players
Sensational revelations may be fine but the police needs solid evidence to prove the charges against ricketers arrested for spot-fixing to secure their conviction in court. More » Delhi cops face challenge in building case
Sreesanth had plans to party all night “with as many women as possible” on May 15, the Delhi Police have said. More » Revealed: Sreesanth's wild party side
Bookies have relied on 'gullible' players who've failed to make it big. More » 'Disillusioned' players on Police radar
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori could play his first test for 10 months after spinner Bruce Martin was ruled out of the rest of the tour of England with a calf injury. More » Vettori replaces Martin in Test squad
"Warner is alleged to have breached Rule 6: Unbecoming Behaviour, regarding comments posted on his Twitter account," CA said in a statement. More » Hearing set for Warner over Twitter rant
James Anderson showed why it is so important for the hosts he remains fit for the Ashes with a first innings haul at Lord's of five for 47. More » Anderson confirms spearhead status
The NZ captain has faith in his batsmen after an "hour of madness" cost the team dear at Lord's. More » McCullum backs New Zealand batsmen
Hyderabad enter the play-offs on the back of a nervous five-wicket win over Kolkata. More » Sunrisers draw the blinds on RCB
Warriors avoid last-place finish with big win in last game. More » Pune banish Delhi to the bottom
Stuart Broad bowled England to victory in the first Test as New Zealand suffered a dramatic fourth-day collapse at Lord's on Sunday. More » Broad leads England rout of NZ
One of the rooms was used by Sreesanth and the second one was used by his friend Jiju Janardhanan More » Both rooms booked by Sreesanth
[ROUND-UP] Srinivasan refuses to blame the IPL; Shukla promises strong punishments. More » Cash, laptop seized from Sreesanth's room
Australia opening batsman David Warner will face a disciplinary hearing for his Twitter outburst against two senior Australian cricket journalists. More » Warner to face disciplinary hearing
Rajasthan Royals will file a police complaint against its three players arrested for spot fixing while the BCCI set up a panel to probe the scandal, board president N. Srinivasan announced. More » Rajasthan to slap charges against players, BCCI sets up probe panel
England captain Alastair Cook was satisfied with his team's performance after they beat New Zealand by 170 runs in a fluctuating first test at Lord's on Sunday. More » Cook happy with Eng's performance
Spot-fixing Scandal: No decision on life ban yet, Royals to file case against tainted trio More » Srinivasan: We can’t control bookies