Shoaib Akhtar –the fastest bowler ever in the history of the game of cricket, on Friday, gave his verdict on India’s pace attack, saying there is still a long way for India to become a good fast bowling nation.
Although the Men in Blue have lost the Freedom Series to South Africa, Indian bowlers have done a decent job with the ball in the rainbow nation. At the moment, Indians have a generous pool of fast bowlers likes –Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
There are many cricket pundits who rate the current Indian pace battery as one of the best pace attacks have ever had the country, but former Pakistan fast bowlers is not agreed with them, saying the ‘Indian bowlers are gradually improving’. However, the "Rawalpindi Express" is impressed with their recent performance with the ball, and called it a "healthy sign".
According to a report in PTI, Shoaib Akhtar said when he was asked is it one of the best pace attacks India have ever had, “I would not say that. I would say they are gradually improving and there is a long way to go before India can call itself a good fast bowling nation. Five years ago, I had thought that Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami will be the ones to lead India's pace department on overseas tours. But that did not happen with Aaron having fitness issues, Yadav being good in patches and erratic other times, like Wahab Riaz.”
The legendary pacer further said, “...And the thinking that (Virat) Kohli and the team management seem to have, they will only get better. India have always been known for their batting but nowadays you are seeing the emergence of fast bowlers too but still, I would say a long way to go.”
Commenting on India’s latest Test series defeat in South Africa, Shoaib said, “I saw the first two Tests in bits and pieces. It would be wrong to say that it (India's loss) was expected. It is still one of the best Test teams. Yes, they did not play well. The batsmen should have applied themselves better. It is, maybe, a result of a bad combination. Not taking wickets at the right time, not scoring enough runs. Most of the guys in the team are right up there. They need to go back to the drawing board. I am quite impressed with (Hardik) Pandya as well. It is just the batsmen who did not apply themselves on pitches that were not so tough to bat on.”
He signed off by saying, “They have a chance to turn it all around (in England and Australia later this year). I would look at it like that. To lose a series like that could be the best thing that could happen to them. Before England, they have to utilise the time in the right manner, get the practice right. Lot of improvement is required in batting. England is a good team at home but you cannot write off India.”