Post India’s 10-wicket defeat to England in the T20 World Cup semifinal, former Pakistan pace duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis pinpointed India’s pace bowling of being too slow, and one of the reasons as to why they weren’t able to trouble England openers in conditions that didn’t assist bowlers much.
“Something I noted about Indian bowlers during Asia Cup. They drop pace post IPL.” Akram said on A Sports. “For instance, Avesh Khan was bowling consistently at 145kmph but after one season of IPL they play the pace drops to 130-135 kmph. So BCCI need to check the reason behind that because he got paid some 12-13 crore Indian money.”
He further added, “I think IPL need to have a pay cap for young players so that they understand bhook hoti kya hai, what it feels to be hungry. If I was earning Rs 24 crore a month in Pakistan, then I don’t think I will work that hard once my job is done. The culture we come from, hum khud ko dheela chhod dete hain.”
To further emphasize the importance of pace, Akram cited instances from his playing days for Pakistan.
He said, “Back when I was young and was playing a drawn Test match, the general idea was to rest your frontline bowlers but Imran Khan bowled a four-over spell with all his mights and asked me to do the same from the other end. That’s because when you are tired you use all your energy to bowl fast, you increase your speed as it strengthens your muscle. The more you bowl, the faster you get. But nowadays the general idea among bowlers is that I have to bowl 18 deliveries and leave but that’s not how it works.”
Adding to the points of his bowling partner back in their heyday, Waqar Younis said that even as a coach, he would encourage a quick bowler to work on not losing their pace.
“I don’t know exactly why they are dropping pace but when I used to play and then worked as a coach,” he said. “I always emphasised on bowling quickly. If you are quick then bowl quick, that’s what Wasim and I did throughout our careers. If you have pace, you learn the other bits. But if you slow it down and swing the ball, then somewhere T20 cricket and modern-day coaching is at fault for that. I don’t know what’s being taught in the Indian camp but pace matters.”