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Indian fast bowlers not eating right: Holding

LONDON: Fast-bowling legend Michael Holding has claimed that the Indian team will continue its present form in test cricket until it unearths a few good fast bowlers.
“Champion teams have always had good fast bowlers. You can’t win Test matches or remain on top without real pacers. If you look at history, you will find that the top teams of different era had top fast bowlers,” the West great Holding told TOI during the India-England fourth one-dayer at Lord’s.
Holding pinpointed the problem as a lack of ‘appetite’ to bowl fast, referring to not only the diet of the Indian bowlers but also the passion which is required to be a genuine tearaway.
“The Indian team did well in Test matches in the recent past because they had a quality bowler in Zaheer Khan. He is missing and so the team is struggling. You have to generate some pace to make it count. Otherwise you can’t dominate world cricket like the way the West Indies and the Australian teams did in the past,” he added.
He said consistency was a major issue for the Indian fast bowlers.
“When they join the team, they come with a lot of reputation. But by the time they have played two to three years of international cricket, they lose the appetite to bowl fast. Munaf Patel is the prime example. When he burst on the scene, he was a tearaway fast bowler but after a few years, he lost his pace and is currently know for his good line and length.
“When I saw Ishant Sharma in Australia in his debut series, I was very excited with the way he bowled there. But after two years, he is not the same bowler. He has lost a bit of pace. I was surprised but I have understood what is happening with the Indian bowlers. They are unable to take care of their diet and that affects their body in the long run,” Holding said.
“There is nothing wrong with their technique. If you don’t take care of what you are eating, then you are bound to lose your strength.”
Holding, however, asserted: “If Pakistan can produce fast bowlers, why can’t India?”
He also took a swipe at the IPL and the BCCI by saying, “Injuries to some of the key players were a big blow to the Indian team. But how come they never miss the IPL with injuries?”

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