Kapil Dev: Indian fast bowlers ‘unbelievable’ in Australia

Kapil Dev, the former World Cup winning captain, is pleased to witness the changing culture of fast bowling in India.

Smile of success: The likes of Mohammed Shami (left) and Jasprit Bumrah have shone through in the bouncy tracks of Australia.   -  Getty Images

Performances by India’s fast bowlers in the ongoing tour of Australia have impressed Kapil Dev, the legendary Indian all-rounder and the former World Cup winning captain.

Speaking at a function in Chennai, Kapil said, “In the last 50 years, no other [Indian] team has done [as well as this team] in pace bowling. It is unbelievable.”

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Kapil Dev said he was impressed by the culture of fast bowling in the country. He believed it was bound to inspire the next generation of cricketers. “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 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,” he said.

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In 2018, the Indian fast bowlers picked up 179 wickets in 14 Tests at an impressive average of 23.7. Fast bowlers Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have accounted for 136 of those.

Little time to relax

What helped the Indian fast bowlers outshine their Australian counterparts? “I think when you come as a group of fast bowlers, there is not much time to relax for the opposition team. If there is one fast bowler, they will play him out. Back then, West Indies had four fast bowlers and you didn’t have time to relax for even five minutes,” Kapil said.

Kapil Dev at a promotional event in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: R. Ravindran

 

“When every bowler is coming out and attacking, it is about how much temperament a batsman has. You are playing with his temperament and that’s what happened,” he added.

Kapil, who is widely considered one of India’s best captains, said he had no issues with Virat Kohli’s aggressive demeanour on the cricket field. “As long as he is performing on the field, giving good results, it is fine. I judge him based on the performance on the field. As long as India is winning, that's what I look for,” Kapil said.