It’s impossible to go from being Bhuvneshwar to Shoaib Akhtar: Irfan Pathan

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said that one cannot mould himself from being a conventional swing bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar to one bowling with express pace like Shoaib Akhtar.

Irfan Pathan is a firm believer in the fact that bowlers who depend on swing and those who back their pace have advantages of their own. However, the 36-year-old also feels that the moving ball causes more problems for the batsmen than the one that hurries onto them.

In his column for The Playfield Magazine, Irfan Pathan explained the disadvantages of bowlers not backing their natural ability to swing the ball and looking to add that extra yard of pace to their bowling.

“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,” Irfan Pathan wrote.

Irfan Pathan on importance of variations for bowlers

Irfan Pathan is of the opinion that instead of trying to add pace, bowlers must work on having additional variations like slower-ball and cutters in their repertoire. He believes that once the ball stops swinging as it gets old, these variations will come in handy for the bowler to remain in the contest.

“A swing bowler generally operates in the 130-135 kmph region, that’s scientifically proven to be the best range of force to get 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,” Irfan Pathan asserted.

The 36-year-old also gave the example of how Bhuvneshwar transformed himself from being an out-and-out swing bowler to a clever white-ball specialist due to his variations.

“Take Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for example. He is not an express bowler but when he swings the ball, he is on song. But the skipper always puts him on at the death because of his ability to bowl the knuckle, the slower one and the yorker. Ball se koi harkat honi chahiye (there should be movement from the ball), that is important,” Pathan concluded.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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