Former captain Salman Butt feels that Pakistan’s pace bowlers need to develop their skills and gain experience by playing domestic cricket before inviting comparisons with their Indian counterparts.
According to Butt, Pakistan bowlers seem obsessed with bowling fast at the moment, which is not enough to succeed at the top level.
In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Butt pointed out why Pakistan’s fast bowlers have a long way to go before they can be compared to Indian pacers. He explained:
“There is a difference in the skill levels. Skill is developed with experience and bowling lots of overs in first-class cricket. You have to work out batsmen in Test cricket, as they are in no hurry. It is a mental game and test of nerves. Pakistan’s bowlers are really young. There is Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah. Shahnawaz Dahani hasn’t played yet, and there are a few others. The combined experience of all these fast bowlers is less than 25-30 first-class matches.”
“In India, Siraj alone has played over 40 first class games. Ishant Sharma would have played over 100 first-class games. Jasprit Bumrah too has credited the improvement in his bowling to Ranji Trophy. He was not selected in the Indian team by bowling two balls over 145 kph. Pakistan’s problem is that they are only obsessed with bowling at 140 kph regularly,” Butt added.
Pakistan’s bowlers are very talented, but they need to learn more skills: Salman Butt
The former Pakistan captain also pointed out that, at the international level, batsmen are not scared of pace. He opined that once Pakistan’s young pacers feature in a few seasons of domestic cricket, they will get better in terms of skill, saying:
“No one is scared of bowlers bowling at 140 kph. James Anderson is doing it at the age of 40. Australia’ pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc also bowl fas,t but they still lost in Bangladesh (Cummins is not part of the series).”
“Pakistan’s bowlers are very talented, but they need to learn skills and gain experience. Once they play 35 first-class matches, you will see the difference. The ones who will pass the test will be long-term prospects. So now is the wrong time to compare Pakistan with India’s fast bowlers. You can compare their pace not skill,” he concluded.
Pakistan recently defeated the West Indies 1-0 in a rain-marred T20I series. They next face the West Windies in a two-Test series starting August 12 in Jamaica.