‘Can’t go from being Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Shoaib Akhtar’: Irfan Pathan on swing bowling

Irfan Pathan believes that desperation to bowl fast can actually cause more harm than good for swing bowlers.

Citing examples of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shoaib Akhtar, former India seamer Irfan Pathan underlined the difference between swing and pace and stated that batsmen always find it more difficult to handle the moving ball.

In his column for The Playfield Magazine, Pathan said that while both have their own share of advantages, swing bowlers can’t become fast bowlers as it would result in losing their swing and not having extra pace.

“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,”

“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 the speed that is ideal for swing bowling, respect that,” he said.

“A swing bowler generally operates in the 130-135 kph region, that’s scientifically proven to be the best range of force to get a 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 one because the reverse is a different entity. But if you can bowl a good slower one or a yorker, you bring something more to the table,” he said.

Pathan also had a word of advice for youngsters and said that they should not compromise on the swing just to add 4-5 clicks to their bowling.

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