Hyderabad: There is some good news for Hyderabad cricket. Even as there is a rapid decline of spinners in the city, there is a rise of young crop of fast bowlers. Even in the recent Ranji Trophy campaign, the trio of fast bowlers — Ravi Kiran, CV Milind and Mohd Siraj — had played a prominent role in taking the team to the quarterfinal and thereby qualifying to the knockout stage after four years.
Hyderabad Cricket Academy of Excellence (HCAE) director MV Narasimha Rao said they have good fast bowlers in the city. It was not that Hyderabad did not have fast or medium fast bowlers in the past. It was bowlers like Abid Ali and Govindraj who were part of the Indian team’s tour of West Indies in 1971.
Abid Ali went on to play 29 Tests in the sixties and seventies. There were others like Khan brothers — Sardar and Habeeb — who were reputed to be very fast in the sixties and seventies. Later, bowlers like Jyothi Prasad and Sainath excelled for Hyderabad. Rajesh Yadav bowled a huge part in Hyderabad’s Ranji Trophy triumph in 1986-87 and later on Narenderpal Singh was a very skillful swing bowler late in the 90s.
When HCAE decided to set up an academy for fast bowlers, there were nearly 240 applicants and out of which 26 were chosen. “Some of them bowl pretty fast and we have taken in under-16 and under-19 categories. We looked at potential value of each bowler. There were a few exciting bowlers like 16-year-old Prithvi, who is over six feet tall. He bowls at a good pace and he is very raw but there is a lot of talent in him,’’ said Rao.
Former Ranji opener Vijay Mohan Raj pointed out the new fast bowlers at the camp have shown the eagerness to learn. “The fast bowlers are very encouraging. We working on their fitness and other aspects of fast bowling,’’ he said.
Rao said they were laying special emphasis on fielding of the fast bowlers also. “Usually, we tend to forget their fielding aspect but here we are making the fast bowlers work on their fielding and the throws, particularly from the deep.’’