The Present

The Future

B S Chandrashekhar B S Chandrasekhar

E-Mail this feature to a friend

The cricket legend on the best bowlers in Indian cricket

It was very difficult to formulate a list of my favourite Indian bowlers because so many bowlers I reviewed seem very good. Besides, I am not really a very good student of the game. I do not study it regularly, watch styles, tabulate scores and performances.

I have just tried to assess the performance of various Indian bowlers that I consider to be very good, and finally selected this list based on what I consider to be their strengths and weaknesses. My list attempts to span the spectrum from 1950 to 1999, although I myself have never seen some of the people I have included actually play.

This list is not absolute, and I might well have left out some genuinely deserving Indian bowlers by oversight.

Bishen Singh Bedi Bishen Singh Bedi: Both Bedi and Pras had the same sort of flight to their balls. Bedi was an intelligent bowler who used his brains a great deal for his game.

E A S Prasanna E A S Prasanna: Except that he was right-handed and Bedi was left-handed, I don't see too much difference between their games. They were both intelligent players, arranged their fields to their choice and played to them. If they did not succeed, they would try to change the field and bowl accordingly. I never did all that, I just concentrated on my lengths. I needed just 2, 3 specific places where I depended on fielding.

S Venkataraghavan: Also an intelligent bowler, but much faster than Pras and Bedi. Like them, he too was a good student of the game.

Salim Durrani: He could have been one of the best allrounders of Indian cricket, but never reached that status. He had all the right qualities to be a truly world class player, but did not use them properly. He never went far because he was too moody, and that got in the way of his true class. If only he had kept his head on his shoulders all the time, there would have been no stopping him. I have played with him, and this was my assessment of him even then. He did do a lot, and won some matches for India, but that was nothing compared to his true potential.

Vinoo Mankad: Both he and Gupte are eternal greats, in my opinion. cricketers all over the world have praised them.

Subhash Gupte: Sadly, since there was no television in those days, I never could watch Mankad or Gupte play. But all that I have read and heard about these two convince me that they definitely belong on my list. I have also spoken directly with people who have played with them, and they too say the same thing.

Anil Kumble Anil Kumble: I don't watch much cricket these days. So I do not profess to know very much about the present lot of bowlers. But Kumble and Srinath to deserve to be on this list. Kumble has a good line and length to his balls. He is fast, and does not spin the ball at all. He has a good nip off the wicket that can trouble any batsman in the world. He is consistent, and can cope equally easily with one day cricket and Test matches.

Javagal Srinath Javagal Srinath: Even with his shoulder problems, he has come through on the top, and proved to be one of the most dangerous bowlers in the world. Srinath has an excellent reputation amongst cricketers from other countries as well.

As told to M D Riti

Tell us what you think of this list