One of India’s fast-bowling revolutionaries, Javagal Srinath, has opened up on his retirement, 17 years after taking it. Javagal Srinath retired from all forms of cricket after the 2003 World Cup where India lost the final convincngly to Australia in the final. Although he picked up 16 wickets from 11 games, the final ended wicktless for him, conceding 87 runs in ten overs.
His former teammate, VVS Laxman, described Javagal Srinath as the one, who triggered the pace bowling revolution in the Indian team. The Indian team of today have reputed and potent fast bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah, who give a real run for money to teams like Australia, England, and South Africa on their soil.
Srinath, who grabbed 236 Test and 315 ODI wickets, revealed that his physical limitations caught up to him. When he was the veteran fast bowler in the team, only one amongst Zaheer Khan or Ashish Nehra would get the nod. Moreover, being 33 at that time, it used to take a real toll to bowl on Indian pitches. The Mysore Express pondered to play for another year; however, the knees made it challenging.
“My hands and knees had gone down. At that time, Zaheer and Ashish were there. When I used to play, only one of them used to get a chance. I also went through the same phase before when Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar were there.
Sometimes on the pitch, if there are only two fast bowlers, it used to become difficult. And I found it difficult to bowl on India pitches. I was already 33 at that time. I could probably play for another year, but my knees made it difficult.” Srinath stated in the Star Sports Show Diggajara Danthakathe.
“When that happens, the bowling team dynamics will be missing” : Javagal Srinath
The 50-year old went on to say while Venkatesh Prasad consistently stayed for five-six years, others remained in and out due to which there were disruptions. In the final part of his career, Srinath played mentor the likes of Zaheer and Nehra, who were rookies at the international level.
Those were the times when they were able to produce results. Nevertheless, the potency Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh brought as spinners was missing for most part of his career.
“There should have been another two to three players consistently with us. Venky [Venkatesh Prasad] was there for five to six years. But others kept changing. When that happens, the bowling team dynamics will be missing.
“We build strategy on our strengths. But that became difficult because of the changes. Later on, Zaheer and Ashish came, and ramped up quickly. At that time, we were able to produce results. Spinners Anil and Harbhajan formed a terrific pair together. Fast bowling used to miss that a lot.” the cricketer-turned referee added.