To reduce the menace of chuckers, a proper system has to be in place, writes Makarand Waingankar
The case of Gujarat off-spinner Mohnish Parmar is becoming curiouser and curiouser. It has been three years since doubts were raised by umpires and players regarding his now infamous doosra and yet the BCCI let him play in all the domestic tournaments. He was even picked for India ‘A’.
There have also been reports of his visits to the National Cricket Academy to get his action rectified. These visits don’t seem to have solved the problem as adverse reports continued from the umpires and the match referees.
Based on the reports Parmar was sent to Australian Institute of Sports at Canberra in the first week of December last year and the report confirmed that his action needs remodelling.
Funnily even after his return from Australia he was allowed to play the remaining matches of the Ranji Trophy and only later dropped for the Duleep Trophy. He can now go to NCA but the fact is he is unable to bowl as instructed by the NCA coaches.
Parmar who relies more on his doosra than any other variety is not convinced that his action is suspect and that is the real problem. Unlike Laxmipathy Balaji who was convinced that he needed to remodel his action after the back injury if at all he had to get back to competitive cricket, Parmar feels he will lose the doosra if he changes the action.
It took the combined hard work of coach W.V. Raman, video analyst Ramkrishnan of sportsmechanics and Balaji to work on a solution for close to nine months.
More than the technical it is the mental block that has to be removed if a player has to work on his new action. Balaji stayed in the present and did not bother about the future whereas Parmar and his association are keen that he does not miss a season.
Srinivas Venkatraghavan on behalf of the BCCI has been identifying the problems in the bowlers. Being an off-spinner himself, there is no better person than him to rectify Parmar’s problem. It will take quite a few months.
The player and his association must be informed about it because Venkatraghavan doesn’t have a magic wand to sort out problems in one month. The number of bowlers with suspect action is gradually increasing. Instead of working on short-term solutions, the coaches have to be educated on how to identify and then rectify.
Parmar has been allowed to play first class cricket for the past three years. Now that he has perfected the illegal action, he is finding it difficult to correct it. Also allowing such a player to continue sends out the wrong message across the board.
It may be because the bowlers play tennis ball cricket regularly, they can’t get used to cricket ball and have a problem. This is what seems to be happening with Pakistan cricket and the NCA. Pakistan’s coaches spend more time in rectifying their actions than producing quality fast bowlers.
Hopefully the Australian bio-mechanist at the NCA, Bangalore, will put the system in place so that the menace of chuckers is reduced.