With fast bowlers in India seen more at the National Cricket Academy than on cricket fields, experts feel that they needs to concentrate more on sweating it out on the training ground than in the gym.
Kapil Dev, Madan Lal and Venkatesh Prasad said that there can be no substitute for running and working on the legs and core muscles. They feel that lifting weights and building muscles can at times trigger injuries.
Lal said that the present crop of fast bowlers are too inclined to hit the gym and often look to make a comeback even before they are fully fit.
“The fast bowlers nowadays look to hit the gym and avoid sweating it out on the ground. We used to run for close to 45 minutes and strengthen our legs and cores. But nowadays it is all about weights and pumping up the body,” Lal told M AIL T ODAY . “ Also, the players are insecure and feel they need to be back in the squad as early as they can so that their position in the team isn’t taken by anyone else. They need to realise that the quicker you return, the sooner you will sustain another injury,” he said.
Former India skipper, Kapil echoed Lal’s sentiments.
“You need to run to build a strong body, an essential if you want to be a strong fast bowler. I would like to see more of the present players running on the ground,” he said.
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Former India bowling coach Prasad, too, feels that the current crop needs to be guided properly to avoid getting injured frequently.
“When we started playing, we would keep bowling for hours. Even during long series, I remember bowling close to two hours every day and there would be no shortcuts.
And we looked after ourselves properly. So we would work on the cores and the shoulders and not the biceps and triceps. I just don’t understand why nowadays it is so important to have bulging biceps and triceps as a fast bowler. The players are getting hamstring injuries, stress fractures, etc and yet all they have are muscles in the upper body,” he said.
Prasad feels the problem lay in lack of professionalism.
“The cricketers need to be more careful about their routine. Only when they get injured do these players realise that it’s just not about hitting the gym. Fast bowling isn’t such an easy job after all,” he said.