Traditionally, the Indian team wasn’t renowned to produce fast bowlers like the Australians and the West Indies.
Back in the days, the Indian team were dependent on its spinners to provide breakthroughs. However, it changed during the 90s with the Karnataka duo of Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad who formed a substantial partnership in both forms of the game.
The next generation of seamers, between 2000-2015, consisted of left-armers Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan and RP Singh.
Now, Prasad has heaped praises on the current Indian pace attack, tagging them as the best in the world.
The five-pronged Indian pace attack comprises Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
The likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur are making giant strides in white-ball cricket parallelly.
“The present set of fast bowling is one of the best in the world. With (Jasprit) Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, and a couple of other guys as well. The current Indian bowling attack under Virat is amazing, talented, and best in the world,” Prasad told TOI.
Moreover, Prasad reckoned that Zaheer did not have adequate support at the other end consistently to form an ace bowling attack.
“Zaheer Khan was the one extremely successful guy. But he didn’t have good partners. They came and went. Ashish Nehra was there for some time, Ajit Agarkar continued for a while, then there was RP Singh who came in, Praveen Kumar was there,” he added.
Further, Prasad affirmed that just for the sake of variations, the management should not back a left-armer such as Khaleel Ahmed.
“Look, just because you want to have a variation in fast bowling doesn’t mean that you bring in some left-arm seamer. They have to be good in their skills and in executing their skills, like Zaheer Khan, RP Singh and Ashish Nehra,” the former Indian bowling coach asserted.
To substantiate Prasad’s claims, unlike his peers, Khaleel’s performances in white-ball cricket has been lacklustre in recent times at the international stage.
“If you don’t have, means you don’t have. If you have got somebody, for example, Khaleel Ahmed, because he’s a left-armer, you’ve got to encourage a youngster like him. Of course; but just to have a variation in your bowling attack doesn’t mean that you bring in a left-arm pacer even if the skill is not up to the international standard. So those are the things one has to keep in mind,” Prasad concluded.