Former Indian all-rounder, Irfan Pathan reckons that it’s not worth it for the fast bowlers to sacrifice their swing for some extra pace as “becoming Shoaib Akhtar from Bhuvneshwar Kumar was impossible”. Pathan cited Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s example to explain that a fast bowler who can swing the bowl can survive anywhere in the world and pace was not the only essence of fast bowling. In his column for The Playfield Magazine, Irfan said that swinging the ball while bowling between 130-135 kmph was scientifically proven.
Irfan Pathan also reckoned that swing bowlers can add variations and bowl yorkers to add to their variations and just going for the speed was not a good decision.
Irfan Pathan said, “The desperation to belong to the fast bowler category will leave you with nothing; you cannot go from being Bhuvneshwar to Shoaib Akhtar, it’s impossible. You will lose your swing, and yet not be quick enough to hustle the batsman. My one suggestion to bowlers is to not sacrifice swing just to add an extra 4-5 clicks. It will leave you stranded. There is the speed that is ideal for swing bowling, respect that.”
He further explained, “A swing bowler generally operates in the 130-135 kph region, that’s scientifically proven to be the best range of force to get a maximum swing. But if the same bowler can bowl a yorker or a slower one or a cutter at that speed, he can survive anywhere in the world.”
Talking about the importance of body alignment for the fast bowlers, Irfan Pathan said, “If his body alignment is good, he can bowl any number of yorkers at will, and swing it both ways. It is a reality that you won’t get the same amount of swing with the old ball as with the new one because the reverse is a different entity. But if you can bowl a good slower one or a yorker, you bring something more to the table.”
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to miss international cricket for over a year but made a stunning comeback during the white-ball home series against England. Bhuvneshwar, who is known for his swing, took 6 wickets from 3 ODIs and scalped 4 wickets in 5 T20Is. Against a strong England batting line-up, Bhuvneshwar bowled at an economy of 6.38 in the shortest format.