McDermott: ‘Ishant can trouble Windies batsmen’

"I like Ishant Sharma. He has been a real workhorse for India. Look at the number of balls he has bowled at such young age (13,419 balls). If he can hit the right length at that pace of 140-145 kmph, he can trouble the West Indies batsmen," said former Aussie quick Craig McDermott.

Craig McDermott denied that T20 cricket causes fast bowlers to disrupt their line and length.   -  R. Ravindran

Craig McDermott feels that Ishant Sharma’s workhorse-like ability will give Virat Kohli's men the edge against the West Indies as the four-match Test series starts today.

“I like Ishant Sharma. He has been a real workhorse for India. Look at the number of balls he has bowled at such young age (13,419 balls). There are times when he has bowled short as he is a tall guy. If he can hit the right length at that pace of 140-145 kmph, he can trouble the West Indies batsmen,” said former Australian pacer McDermott.

The 51-year-old was the Australian bowling coach and had seen the Indian bowlers up close when they visited in 2014-15. The other bowler who caught his attention was Varun Aaron, who is with the India A team.

“I had seen Aaron when he came to Australia last time. He gets some shape with the ball which is a good thing. What I like about India is that they now have five genuine quick bowlers to fall back on,” he said.

Having been to West Indies first as player and then a coach, McDermott has witnessed a transformation in the character of pitches from being fast and bouncy to slow turners.

“In West Indies, the length will be key as the wickets would not have much bounce. They are playing in Antigua where it will be low bounce. At Kingston in Jamaica, it has become very slow. In St Lucia, I remember Australia playing an ODI where there was fair bit of bounce. But this Indian attack I feel is well versed.”

McDermott denies that T20 cricket affects the bowlers’ line and length.

“I think that can’t be an excuse. Don’t Virat, Steve Smith play all formats and play successfully? Why can’t bowlers do that? Hitting the channel boils down to practice.

But it’s tough being a bowler with bigger bats, flatter pitches and balls not doing much.”

About the Aussie left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, McDermott said: “Starc has developed as a complete bowler in red ball cricket. He can bowl reverse swing which is a big attribute. I am looking forward to the next five years which will be exciting.”

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