Cricket

Kapil Dev laid the foundation for India’s fast bowling unit, Kohli building on it, says Ian Bishop

Kapil Dev./ File photo

Kapil Dev./ File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

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The former West Indies pacer says India is a dominant force in the world game

Former West Indies speedster Ian Bishop said the foundation of India’s “another level” fast bowling unit was laid by the likes of Kapil Dev and built on by current captain Virat Kohli, who believes in attack.

Bishop said Kohli’s passion to put together a strong fast-bowling unit has made it easier to build on the foundation that Kapil laid.

“Let’s remember that this group of bowlers did not emanate right now. The foundation was laid — if you go back to Kapil and down the line, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth,” Bishop said.

“Now it’s been built on with a captain who likes fast bowlers, who believes in them. But also the fact that you’ve found a generational talent in Jasprit Bumrah. Generational because he plays all formats of the game very well. And (Mohd.) Shami has taken his game to another level. Ishant (Sharma) has also gone up another level,” he added.

The 52-year-old Bishop, who took 161 wickets in 43 Tests, said he couldn’t have predicted that India’s fast bowlers would come to the Caribbean and do to the West Indians what they did to others so many decades ago.

“Credit to Bharat Arun, the bowling coach, and the administrators and captains. I couldn’t see this much (improvement), but I thought there was a great deal of promise in having guys who could bowl close to, or over, 90mph,” he said.

He, however, refused to compare the Indian unit to the fearsome West Indians of the past.

“Well, they (Indians) have been performing that well that the comparisons are going to come. I would want to stay away from it, because I don’t know how you measure it. When people talk about (Michael) Holding and (Joel) Garner and (Malcolm) Marshall and (Colin) Croft and (Andy) Roberts — who bowled together for so many years — how do you compare with that?” he asked.

Bishop was also reluctant to pick the best among the current crop of fast bowlers in the world.

“There are so many. Jofra Archer. I almost feel when he’s on song that it’s the perfect streamlined technique. Naseem Shah. Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Shami — oh god, I love Shami! That whole core group of what India bring, where I don’t want to pick anyone and say, ‘this one more than the other’. If I had to pick the best technique right now, Jofra Archer when he’s firing. But, I am salivating about world cricket (because of fast bowling talent). That is exciting.”

Bishop also named uncapped 21-year-old Uttar Pradesh pacer Shivam Mavi and 19-year-old Rajasthan’s Kamlesh Nagarkoti as the future prospects for India.

“I’m eagerly waiting to see if Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti can be fit and continue their progress. Nagarkoti, in particular.”

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:00:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/kapil-dev-laid-the-foundation-for-indias-fast-bowling-unit-kohli-building-on-it-says-ian-bishop/article30169704.ece

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