The enfant terrible of Indian and world cricket Bishen Singh Bedi made a telling observation a few years back about the pace at which bowlers deliver: – ‘The fast bowlers are order generic cialis bowling slower and the spinners are bowling faster’. Well, if you have followed the IPL over the past few years then […]

The enfant terrible of Indian and world cricket Bishen Singh Bedi made a telling observation a few years back about the pace at which bowlers deliver: – ‘The fast bowlers are order generic cialis bowling slower and the spinners are bowling faster’. Well, if you have followed the IPL over the past few years then you would have noticed that slowly but surely the focus is shifting as far as fast bowlers are concerned towards bowling with a lot of ‘variety’- which means the slower ball, the ultra slow ball, the leg spin slower ball, the off spinning slower ball and even a slower bouncer. However, there is no mention of a delivery which is fast, swinging, nasty and at the batsman’s throat.

Chris Gayle During the PWI vs RBC In Bengaluru 300x199 The Slower Ball Malaise in the IPL

Some Instances Which Showed Fast Bowling Can Work

Only last week we all saw how Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Mallinga went to work on the murderous Chris Gayle. Now Gayle, as well all know can take the game away within a period of 5-6 overs but both the above mentioned bowlers went back to their strongest suit- fast, swinging deliveries bowled at the batsman’s body. Naturally, the big Jamaican was cramped for room and because of the pace and the swing was neutralised with a sort of ruthlessness that can hardly be associated with Chris Gayle’s batting in the IPL.
In this regard, the only team which used a fast bowler to devastating effect in their home games have been Rajasthan Royals and their most notable performance came against the Kolkata Knight Riders when the unheralded Rahul Shukla went after the KKR batsmen who had no clue what hit them . Moreover, he confessed in an interview that he was asked to bowl quickly and ‘at the body’, which as we all saw yielded great results for the RR. However, it must also be mentioned that the Jaipur pitch along with the one in Mohali are perhaps the only venues where the faster bowlers have some purchase.

A Decent Mix Of Both Is Needed

It was in the late 90s and early 2000s that the slower ball became a surprise weapon used with great effect by bowlers in the sub continent so that they could thrive on the sluggish wickets of the region but it was the surprise weapon like the bouncer and not a stock delivery, which it has become in the IPL. I am not suggesting even for a second that bowlers should do away with slower balls and slower bouncers altogether because they should be a part of every bowlers’ armoury but it is unfortunate when you watch bowlers like Brett Lee not being a part of the team because the franchisees believe that the slow, loopy slow medium pace of Balaji would do the trick against quality batting teams.
A genuine quick bowler who is able to swing the ball will be able thrive on any pitch under any conditions as has been proven over the years by the performances of Wasim Akram, Allan Donald, Glenn McGrath and other such fast bowlers in the sub continent. No batsman likes to face a bowler who will make life uncomfortable by bowling quick; true, he might be top edged for six in the small Indian grounds but aren’t slower balls going for sixes? Moreover, with the sort of cricket bats which are manufactured these days, a batsman has a greater chance of sending a slower ball into the stands than they had before.

Lasith Malinga Bowling 230x300 The Slower Ball Malaise in the IPL

IPL And The Slower Ball

The IPL is after all a celebration of the different skill sets which are brought to the table by cricketers from all across the cricketing world and it would be a shame if the audience is robbed of the spectacle of a top fast bowler going flat out against a top batsman. After all, a slower ball is only a surprise weapon and it would itself lose its sheen if it is seen in every other over.

Image Source : IANS

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