'Kerala has a lot of potential for pace bowling'

"I think there is more depth in Kerala than Mumbai or Karnataka when it comes to pace bowlers," former Australia fast bowler Jeff Thomson said after holding a fast-bowling camp in Krishnagiri.

Jeff Thomson was also impressed with the ground and facilities in Krishnagiri.   -  P. K. Ajith Kumar

Jeff Thomson is impressed by the depth Kerala has in pace bowling.

The former Australian fast bowler had a close look at the present and the future of Kerala’s pace bowling at a two-week long camp, which concluded at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium here on Thursday. It was organised by the Bowling Foundation launched recently by the Kerala Cricket Association and IDBI Federal Life Insurance.

At the camp, Thomson, who is regarded by many as cricket’s fastest ever bowler, worked with the cream of Kerala’s pace-bowling talent. “I found many of them pretty good,” he told Sportstar. “I think there is more depth in Kerala than Mumbai or Karnataka when it comes to pace bowlers; I have seen a larger number of talented players here than those two places, where also I had conducted camps.”

Thomson, who took 200 Test wickets from 51 Tests and formed a lethal new-ball combination with Dennis Lillee, said the Kerala bowlers were strong and willing to work hard. “Boys like Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi, M. K. Asif and Tilbin Joseph look pretty good,” he said. “I see a lot of potential for pace bowling in Kerala.”

For Kerala’s young bowlers, it was indeed an excellent opportunity to work with one of the legends in fast bowling. “We learnt several new things about bowling fast from him,” said Sandeep. “He did not make any major changes technically, since the new season is just a few weeks away, but ironed out some rough edges.”

Thomson said he was looking forward to working with the boys again. “I am also impressed with the ground and the facilities here,” he said. “The weather has been nice too. I have enjoyed my time here. It is so quiet and cool, quite unlike Mumbai or Bengaluru.”