It’s about the pace group, not one individual: Kapil Dev

  • 1

CHENNAI: The Indian pace bowling attack is in the middle of a golden run. In the 14 Tests that Virat Kohli’s side played during 2018, the pacers bagged 179 scalps at an impressive average of 23.70. While Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma accounted for over 75% of the dismissals, other medium-pacers – Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav too chipped in with their contributions. The pace battery’s exploits on the field have earned them a lot of plaudits from experts the world over.
Indian legend Kapil Dev joined in the chorus – labeling the current attack the best ever in the last half-a-century. “In the last 50 years or so, I don’t think any other Indian team’s fast bowling attack has achieved the success this pace attack has. (It’s just) unbelievable,” Kapil said on the sidelines of the inauguration of Tamil Nadu’s first robotic knee-replacement institute at SIMS hospital on Wednesday.
While Bumrah has been Virat’s go-to man in Tests in the last 12 months, Kapil believes the presence of other quicks in the Indian attack gave it a more potent look. “When you come as a group of fast bowlers, there is not much time to relax for the opposition team. If there is (just) one fast bowler, they will play him out. West Indies (of yesteryears) had four fast bowlers and you didn’t have time to relax for (even) five minutes. When every bowler is coming out and attacking, it will test the temperament of the batsman and that’s what is happening with this Indian bowling unit,” Kapil said.
More than anything else, the 59-year-old is impressed with the pace bowling culture prevalent in India. He felt the current crop’s success will only spur more to take up this craft in the coming years. “I have never seen this culture of an Indian fast bowler coming out and playing so hard. It is good to have a change of culture. It is fantastic. It is the fruition of the last 15-20 years of hard work. We have set the benchmark very high and now you will find more fast bowlers coming through,” Kapil said.
Virat may have copped criticism in the last few weeks for his over-aggressive demeanour, but Kapil wants the Indian skipper to be himself. “As long as he is performing on the field, giving good results, it is fine. I judge him based on his performance on the field. As long as India are winning, that’s what I look for,” he said.