Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Khan spoke about the art of swing ball as well as its limitations. While both swing bowling as well as fast bowling have their advantages, batsmen find it harder to deal with the moving ball.
Pathan also went on to add that someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar who can swing the ball both ways can never end up becoming a pace merchant like Shoaib Akhtar. The Rawalpindi Express is believed to be the fastest bowler in the history of the sport.
“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,” Pathan wrote in his column for ‘The Playfield Magazine’.
He also mentioned that youngsters and budding cricketers should never compromise on their ability to swing the ball just so that they can add another few clicks of pace to their bowling.
“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 speed that is ideal for swing bowling, respect that,” he added.
Irfan Pathan had been a master of the craft of swing-bowling himself. His spell against Pakistan where he became the second Indian after Harbhajan Singh to take a Test hattrick in 2006 can never be forgotten by Indian cricket fans.
Pathan ended his international career with 83 wickets from 120 ODIs and picked up 100 wickets in 29 Tests.
“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. 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 because reverse is a different entity. But if you can bowl a good slower one or a yorker, you bring something more to the table.
“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, that is important,” Pathan wrote.