Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes one should not sacrifice swing for some extra pace. Citing examples of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shoaib Akhtar, Irfan said that ‘desperation’ to enter the fast-bowling club will tarnish a bowler’s ability to swing the cherry.
“The desperation to belong to the fast bowler category will leave you with nothing; you cannot go from being Bhuvneshwar to Shoaib Akhtar, it’s impossible. You will lose your swing, and yet not be quick enough to hustle the batsman,” Pathan wrote in his column for ‘The Playfield Magazine’.
“My one suggestion to bowlers is to not sacrifice swing just to add an extra 4-5 clicks. It will leave you stranded. There is speed that is ideal for swing bowling, respect that,” he added.
Irfan, the first Indian pacer to pluck a Test hat-trick, further said that a swing bowler can bring ‘something more to the table’ with slower deliveries or yorkers instead of buckling down to just pace.
“A swing bowler generally operates in the 130-135 kph region, that’s scientifically proven to be the best range of force to get maximum swing. But if the same bowler can bowl a yorker or a slower one or a cutter at that speed, he can survive anywhere in the world.
“If his body alignment is good, he can bowl any number of yorkers at will, and swing it both ways. It is a reality that you won’t get the same amount of swing with the old ball as with the new one because the reverse is a different entity. But if you can bowl a good slower one or a yorker, you bring something more to the table.”
“Take Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for example. He is not an express bowler but when he swings the ball, he is on song. But the skipper always puts him on at the death because of his ability to bowl the knuckle, the slower one and the yorker. Ball se koi harkat honi chahiye, that is important,” Pathan opined.