Mumbai: Fast bowlers are like 350-cc motorcycles. They need to be oiled or nurtured for consistent performance. They need to ply on the right roads. If taken to a dirt track without apt wheels, they will collapse and will struggle to recover.
James Anderson, who took 21 wickets in the recently concluded Tests against India, was taken to the cleaners during England's infamous whitewash in the 2006-07 Ashes. The same Anderson, who struggled to make the Lancashire XI then, was eager to turn out for his county side just two days after a Test against Sri Lanka recently. That's because the wiser Anderson realises the need to keep the engine in sound shape.
Many applauded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 'resting' key fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth for the tour of West Indies. But former India fast bowlers Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad were unsure if the decision would backfire. Zaheer and Sreesanth, who hit rhythm in South Africa (January), had no further exposure to the longer format until three days before the Lord's Test on July 21.