Image courtesy of: The Telegraph
Holding believes pace bowlers nowadays spend too much time in the gym
Legendary West Indian pace bowler Michael Holding has announced that India’s current bowling attack is nothing more than “ordinary” and added that many of the fast bowlers, like Ishant Sharma, were in fact losing pace than gaining it.
“It’s ordinary,” Holding said bluntly. “That’s all I can say. I’ve seen a few fast bowlers, who come in and bowl quick when they start, but they don’t last which is unfortunate. Something is going wrong. I don’t know if it’s the training or whatever.”
Holding continued to uphold Sharma as an example of a bowler who came into international cricket with raw pace, but slowly started to lose it as his career became turbulent with injuries and a bad run of form.
“Look at Ishant Sharma,” Holding said. “When he came in, he was quick. Now he’s no longer quick. He’s not the only one. I’ve seen it happen to quite a few others too. They are still good bowlers, but the pace is not there and they don’t create as much havoc as they should.”
Known for his blistering pace back in the day, Holding stated that too many bowlers nowadays were focused on building muscle in the gym rather than concentrating on becoming fitter by running everyday.
“I was chatting with Sudhir Naik about all the theory that’s going into fast bowling and stuff like bio-mechanics and everything,” Holding added. “They are still breaking down. There is too much theory. Going into the gym is great but some of them over do the gym. They need to do more running and less gym.
“Hitting the gym is good but there is too much emphasis on gym now. And what happens is they get big and powerful and don’t stretch enough and the slightest bit of stretching causes them to tear a muscle. Remember one thing, if you don’t have muscle, you can’t tear it.”
The West Indian legend then went on to talk about South Africa seamer Dale Steyn, who he is an avid fan of, but pointed out that the South African may not last long since he was being overworked by playing all three formats of the game.
“Yeah, he’s best fast bowler that’s around,” Holding said. “He’s fantastic. But he’s playing so much cricket, how much is he going to last? I don’t see a lot of fast bowlers in the world anymore. In the 70s, 80s and even 90s, every team had one or two genuine fast bowlers. When I say fast bowler, I don’t mean someone who is running in from the fence, I mean someone really fast.”