Kapil Dev: 'Broad, tough to face'

Elaborating on Broad’s methods, Kapil said: "There is a split-second pause in his action which gives him time to study the batsmen, see his initial movement and then release of the ball. Such bowlers are tougher to face."

Kapil was delighted by the ‘beauty’ that Mohammed Shami delivered to dismiss Alastair Cook in the first innings here.   -  M. VEDHAN

What does it take for a paceman to bowl in the Indian conditions where the spinners often prove winners.

The manner Stuart Broad bowled in the Indian second innings here proved it was possible for pacemen to make an impact on dry sub-continental tracks.

Kapil Dev is the best possible man to talk to on the subject because as many as 219 of his 434 Test wickets came in India.

Speaking to Sportstar, Kapil Dev observed, “First of all he needs a big heart. Then, he needs to be consistent. Even if the ball does not swing, he has to try and hit the seam. Always remember, a ball moving a foot will not get you wickets but a delivery that deviates just six inches may get you the nick.”

Best spell

On Broad’s spell on day four, the legendary all-rounder noted, “It was one of the best spells I have seen in India by a fast bowler in a long time. He bowled some very good cutters, leg-cutters in particular, using his wrist. Bowling here is not about reverse swing alone.”

 

Elaborating on Broad’s methods, Kapil said: “There is a split-second pause in his action which gives him time to study the batsmen, see his initial movement and then release of the ball. Such bowlers are tougher to face.”

Kapil was also pleased with Alastair Cook giving Broad an eight-over spell in the morning session. “Broad sent down eight overs without losing intensity. These days it has become fashionable to give pacemen just three or four-over spells. You take an over to get warmed up and after that it is over too soon.”

Kapil was delighted by the ‘beauty’ that Mohammed Shami delivered to dismiss Alastair Cook in the first innings here. “Shami’s wrist position and release are so good. You can see the seam hitting the pitch. Whenever a bowler does that, he extracts much more from the wicket.”

Although remarkably successful in the Indian conditions, Kapil was not willing to zero in on the length he bowled. “My length varied from batsman to batsman. I used to study them. Those days there was no video analysis but your brain is the biggest computer.”

On Hardik Pandya being a part of the Indian Test squad despite an ordinary first-class record, Kapil said: “He needs to bowl a lot more in first-class cricket, not just four overs. Hardik must not confine himself to just one-day and Twenty20 cricket. I think the BCCI must send him to England to play county cricket for a season.”

Kapil further said Stuart Binny should decide whether he wanted to be a batting or a bowling all-rounder. “I was a bowling all-rounder and someone like Jacques Kallis was a batting all-rounder. You need to be sure in your mind what you want to become and work extra hard in that department.”

R. Ashwin, Kapil observed, was a genuine all-rounder. “I would give him ten out of ten in batting and bowling. The only thing against him is that he is not an athlete on the field.”