Brett Lee impressed with Navdeep Saini, Prasidh Krishna

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee feels India will do well in the World Cup for the strong bowling unit led by Jasprit Bumrah.

Former Australia pacer Brett Lee demonstrates the side-arm action at an event in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  PAUL NORONHA

 

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee — a veteran of 310 wickets in 76 Tests and 380 wickets in 221 ODIs — is impressed with young Indian pacers Prasidh Krishna (Karnataka) and Navdeep Saini (Delhi).

Lee spoke on the art of fast bowling at an event in which Runwal Group announced its tie-up with Cricket Australia for a Cricket Education Programme.

“It's my dream to find the next Indian fast bowler through this programme. I am impressed with the current Indian fast bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah to me has been a class act. He has got good pace and a different action. Prasidh (Krishna) has been bowling at 145k or thereabouts in this IPL. Then Saini, he is another promising fast bowler coming through. The pleasing thing about the current Indian fast bowlers is that they have got good pace.

Prasidh Krishna.   -  PTI

 

“Prasidh and Saini have nice actions. I do believe that these bowlers can go some more quicker by fine-tuning their approach, their action and follow through. Our aim, through the programme here, is to take a young fast bowler with a nice action, hone his skills and make him a faster bowler,” said Lee.

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Lee also revealed that as media commentators, they fell into a trap by saying that 130k is good pace. “But we all now know that 130k or 135k is not good pace. I would say its slow or medium pace. What is good pace is over 145k. We have seen some Indian bowlers touching that barrier. This should be exciting for Indian cricket and India should do well in England because they have the bowling. If you can bowl at 135k doing it both ways, you are a different style of bowler. I am talking about pure fast bowling. Myself, Shoaib Akhtar, Shaun Tait and Allan Donald were express bowlers.”

Lee also said that to train a fast bowler from the age of 15, the first thing he would do is to make him run. “I will teach him to be a sprinter first. You have to be a good sprinter. When you look at the fast bowlers who bowl at 160k, they have all been good athletes, good sprinters; that's what I did throughout my career. Sprinting actually allows you to get the momentum to the crease.”

Navdeep Saini.   -  AP

 

Touching in detail to improve the fast bowling crop in India, he said: “I would urge the ground-staff to prepare pitches that are a bit more conducive to fast-bowling. I want to see the pitches with a little bit more in it (for the pacers); keep little grass, to make the bowlers smart and give them more opportunities to bowl fast. So one needs to create the incentive.

“If India wants to keep creating good fast bowlers, then they need to make sure the pitches compensate them. In Mohali, the ball normally gets through. I think the wicket here (in Mumbai) is good now. I reckon the wickets are getting better. If you had asked me this three years ago, the wickets were shocking, but now the wickets are giving a little more to the bowlers. I am not saying I want a green top which flies through, but there should be something for the (fast) bowlers to make it an even contest.”