Michael Holding: Bumrah needs action that puts less stress on his body

Using such a short run and being so explosive at the crease puts a lot more stress on the Jasprit Bumrah's body, says West Indian great Michael Holding.

Michael Holding reiterated his stand that the amount of cricket being played today is not conducive to fast bowlers staying in the game   -  Getty Images

After a stress fracture in the lower back ruled Jasprit Bumrah out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa, West Indies legend Michael Holding reiterated his stand that the amount of cricket being played today is not conducive to fast bowlers staying in the game -- and staying fit.

“Let me start by repeating what I have been saying for the last decade: There is too much cricket being played in the modern era and all cricketers are suffering because of that,” Holding told Sportstar.

It is believed that Bumrah’s lower back issue is not in the “danger zone,” and although he was in slight discomfort after the Antigua Test, he played the Jamaica Test only because he was bowling well and among the wickets.

READ: Bumrah will travel to UK to seek opinion on stress fracture

The 25-year-old speedster — who has taken 62 wickets at 19.24 in 12 overseas Tests — is yet to play a five-day match at home, and Holding feels a tweak in his action could serve Bumrah in the long run.

“I wouldn’t be able to say that Bumrah’s action has caused him to have stress fractures as I have no idea where those stress fractures have occurred, but what I know and have said to him is this: If he wants to have a long career, he needs to have a run-up and action that puts a bit less stress on his body overall,” Holding said.

“Using such a short run and being so explosive at the crease puts a lot more stress on his body than, say, a Joffra Archer, who has such a smooth rhythmical run-up and action that allows him to distribute the workload over his body more efficiently,” he added.

Holding emphasised that fast bowlers will suffer more than the rest because of the physical and strenuous nature of the job, while also highlighting the role of strength and conditioning coaches in building a strong and fit fast bowler. “I had a few minor injuries throughout my career, but nothing major. My worst was having to have knee surgery to remove damaged lateral cartilage in my left knee,” he recollects.

“I have no problem with fast bowlers going to the gym. It’s a matter of managing what is done in the gym. You need strength to bowl fast along with stamina work of course, but the strengthening in the gym has to be managed and the programme has to be set out by someone who understands the job of fast bowling and not just by someone looking to create a Hulk.”