Natarajan was my hero of this IPL: Kapil Dev

Tags: Indian T20 League 2020, Thangarasu Natarajan, Kapil Dev

Published on: Nov 21, 2020

Legendary Indian former all-rounder Kapil Dev insists that swing is more important than pace even in today’s T20-dominant era. In a conversation with senior journalist Ayaz Memon on day 2 of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Kapil added that even in IPL players have realised the importance of swing.

“I’m not happy with fast bowlers. The first ball cannot be bowled with a cross seam. Players in IPL realised that swing is more important than pace. All the bowlers who were moving the ball at pace were more successful,” the man with 434 Test wickets explained.

Elaborating on the success of SRH pacer Sandeep Sharma, Kapil added that even while bowling at 115-120 kmph, Sharma tasted amazing success. “It was more difficult because he (Sharma) was moving the ball. Bowlers have to understand it’s not the pace, or cross seam, can you swing the ball? They should learn but are running away from the art. They are learning the slower ball or the knuckle ball but not the basic,” the legend added.

Kapil was all praise for T. Natarajan, who made a massive impression with his yorkers. “Natarajan was my hero of this IPL. Young boy was fearless and bowling so many yorkers. That’s why I say not yesterday or today, yorker will be the best ball even hundred years from now,” Kapil added during the summit.

Citing the examples of the likes of Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath and Richard Hadlee, Kapil stressed on the fact that young bowlers must learn the art of swinging before going for variations.

“Keep your wrist straight, hold the ball seam-up. Whenever the ball moves Test matches become important. Wasim, Botham, Willis, Hadlee, McGrath, look how good they were. The art of swing bowling should come back. Learning the knuckle ball and all is fine. If you don’t know how to swing the ball, everything is waste,” Kapil added.

The former India captain is pleased with the current lot of Indian fast bowlers with the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma being match-winners in their own right.

“I think IPL also and the value of fast bowling they understand now. I read a column last week when Brian Lara said I don’t mind facing Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath or Zaheer Khan, but I wouldn’t like to face Bumrah. It was such a great feeling for me. Our top fast bowler has been recognised by a top player in the world.

“ We have started giving respect to these fast bowlers because they are winning the matches. Shami, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Ishant hats off to them. And there are so many who are waiting in the pipeline. I have no words to express my happiness,” Kapil said in praise of India’s bowling attack.

--Renin Wilben

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