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Scrutiny
  
Where are The Bouncers?
Producing more fast Bowlers who can Bowl Bouncers is a must for India
14/04/2011

One Day Internationals (ODIs) are not only about power hitting and scoring loads of runs, but also about bowling fast and bowling bouncers! In ODIs, one bouncer above the shoulder per over is an allowed luxury. A bouncer, in general, is unplayable. Now consider this – if a team were to successfully bowl 50 such deliveries in 50 overs, that would optimally result in 50 unplayable deliveries – or rather, a little more than 8 overs. In other words, the batting side would in effect get only 42 overs or so to play rather than the actual 50. This is what the best sides in the world do – if not 50 deliveries, they make at least 25 to 40 deliveries unplayable for batsmen.

Teams from Australia, South Africa, and to an extent Pakistan, use this rule too shrewdly, which makes them amongst the most formidable bowling sides. Australian fast bowlers (Bret Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait & Shane Watson) are more than capable of bowling unplayable bouncers, and so are South Africans pacers (Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn & Lonwabo Tsotsobe). Pakistan too has a deadly pace attack (with the likes of Shoaib Akhtar & Umar Gul). In contrast, the Indian team has almost never made it mandatory for its pace bowlders – Munaf Patel, Srisanth, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan – to bowl that one bouncer necessarily in every pace over.

The top 3 bowlers with best figures in ODIs are Chaminda Vaas (8 for 89), Glen McGrath (7 for 15) and AJ Bichel (7 for 20). They were all fast bowlers who regularly bowled accurate bouncers. The three most economical bowlers – with an average of 3 runs per over – who played more than 100 ODIs, were also similarly gifted – Joel Garner, Richard Hadlee and Michael Holding. Can the Indian bowling coach also consider this option please?

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