India's weakness against pace bowling is nothing but hogwash

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 05:36 hrs

Pakistan's capitulation to South Africa would have baffled all those who believe that having fast bowlers in your domestic cricket means it should
be easy to play that sort of bowling anywhere. The most common reason given for India's failure to get the big scores abroad is that the Indians can't play fast bowling. 

Yes, the pitches are also a factor but the commonly held belief is that since India's batsmen don't get to play real speed bowling at home in its domestic cricket its batsmen struggle against that type of bowling. If stats are to be produced you will find that India's batsmen have done rather well against quick bowling than those who play it regularly in their domestic cricket. 

Fact is there has never been a batsman in the history of the game who has been entirely comfortable playing top class and sustained fast bowling. Each batsmen finds a method to survive and then as the bowlers tire, look to score but nobody simply nobody in the world likes to play fast bowling. 

Pakistan despite regularly producing quality fast bowlers succumbed to Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander to be dismissed for 45 in the first innings and did slightly better in the second but still lost the game by a big margin. They may well have had good nets against their own quick bowlers but out in the middle the late swing of Dale Steyn was just too much.

Steyn gets the ball to move away from the right-handers at such a pace that it is tough for batsmen to make the adjustment and it is not just the
Pakistanis but even the Australians who have fallen to the South African pace attack for not too many. The Aussies were dismissed for a similar score, so all that talk about only the Indians not being able to play fast bowling is nothing but hogwash.

At least the Indians have the excuse that they don't get to play fast bowling in their domestic cricket but what about all the others who have two or more quick bowlers in each of their domestic sides and yet get dismissed for under 50 when confronted by the quality of Steyn and Company.

Australia will be in India shortly to play a four-Test series and they will certainly take heart from the manner in which England defeated the hosts.
Just like the invincible feeling that Roger Federer, Tiger Woods evoked in their opponents so also that helpless feeling playing India in India has
been wiped out with the England win. 

The Australians will be delighted at the form of Mitchell Johnson but it is another Mitchell that the Indians will have to watch out for. While Johnson still has not quite mastered the one that swings into the right-handers, Starc gets it to dip late and at pace and so could well be a handful for the Indians.

It is a series which gives the Indians the opportunity to win back some self esteem that went after the loss to England.

Dale Steyn was run pretty close by Mitchell Starc and AB de Villiers who set a record for catches behind the stumps as well as  scored a ton but it is the South African attack spearhead who is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.

Professional Management Group

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