Former India pacer Paras Mhambrey stated that developing all-format pacers is a really tough job these days, and that the focus of the coaches and management is on the format-specialist fast bowlers.
Paras Mhambrey emphasised the workload of bowlers at the highest level while making this opinion. Apart from a jam-packed international schedule, bowlers also go through an intense 2-month IPL every year.
Hence, he reckoned, keeping pace bowlers fresh and fit throughout the year for all the three formats is extremely difficult and a lot of effort of the support staff goes into that.
“We have kind of reached a point where we need specialist pacers for formats. We will be happy to lay a path maybe not for all three formats, but two formats to start with. You have someone like Bumrah right now. He did play the longer format but for a long while it was only the shorter format. But a lot of work goes on him off the field. If you have guys who are really ready to put in the hard yards to go through the workloads, I think you then can create an opportunity,” Paras Mhambrey told Times of India.
We don’t have fast-bowling all-rounders at grassroots: Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey, who recently toured Sri Lanka alongside Rahul Dravid as part of the coaching staff with the second-string Indian team, also highlighted the struggles of Indian cricket in producing fast-bowling all-rounder – a struggle which has been perennial since the departure of Kapil Dev.
The extensive toll which fast-bowling takes on the bodies of players becomes too much at times. Hardik Pandya, who was touted to be the next Dev, has been away from Test cricket for three years as he isn’t allowed to bowl due to his back issues.
Paras Mhambrey, who played in 5 international matches, said that there is a lack of such all-rounders even in the lower levels, and hence the national team has to be short of the perfect balance at times.
“It’s always going to be hard. We don’t have them at grassroots. At the U-19 level, we had a couple of them but they couldn’t make it. We need to bring them under one umbrella and focus on them. Even the state associations need to work here.
“There is a definite challenge at the higher level that these allrounders worry about getting injured and that’s why they don’t put much stress on their bowling. They need to get the confidence from support staff that they will be taken care of. If they can work through it, the rewards are there,” he added.
The 49-year-old is part of developing for the Under-19 team for the next World Cup. India lost the final of the under-19 World Cup last year to Bangladesh.