Ian Bishop, legendary West Indian fast bowler, who represented WI International team in 1980’s and 90’s before an injury cut off his career, used to instil fear in the mind of batsmen when on song. West Indian great, who bowled with Malcom Marshal (One of the famous West Indian Fast Bowling Quartet) for a part of his career, in a recent interview talked about the current crop of fast bowlers and the resurgence in bowling standards the world over.
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Ian was happy to see that in recent times the bowlers have been calling the shots for their teams and after a decade and half that was dominated by Batsmen, it’s the tearaways again making the headlines.
He was optimistic about the positive change in the West Indian Cricket in past two years as they are back to making fast bowling pitches that suits their strength and reminds the world of the great West Indian team of 1970’s and 1980’s when the famous bowling quartet of Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and Colin Croft and Andy Roberts ruled the world.
He said, “There was a determined effort in the last two to three seasons to make the pitches more seamer-friendly. We changed to the Dukes ball in the Caribbean, so the Gabriels, the Roaches, the Holders, have benefited from that shift in approach.”
When asked whether current Fast Bowling Indian Quartet of Jasptit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, all of whom can bowl at 90 clicks or more, can draw comparisons with the Great WI bowling quartet, he replied, “Well, they have been performing that well that the comparisons are going to come. I would want to stay away from it, because I don’t know how you measure it. When people talk about Holding and Garner and Marshall and Croft and Roberts – who bowled together for so many years – how do you compare with that?”. Also adding that he has never seen such a great deal of improvement in just over two years. So it’s a welcome scenario for world cricket.
When asked about his favourite bowler he un-hesitantly named Jofra Archer whom he love to watch most for his smooth run-up and the speed he is able to produce with that. He said to espncricinfo, “There are so many. Jofra Archer. I almost feel when he’s on song that it’s the perfect streamlined technique. Naseem Shah. Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Shami – oh god, I love Shami! That whole core group of what India bring, where I don’t want to pick anyone and say, “This one more than the other.”
Ian Bishop is currently in India for his commentary stint in the upcoming series. India and West Indies will play three-match T20I series starting from December 6 followed by the same number of ODIs.