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Reid's mantra: Bowl more yorkers

Ashish Shukla | January 29, 2004 17:33 IST

India's bowling coach Bruce Reid feels Indian speedsters should bowl more yorkers if they are to fox the Australians in the VB tri-series which builds to a climax next week.

"I will work on fast bowlers to improve on their yorkers -- it could be a big weapon in the coming matches," said Reid, who will join India for the remaining two league games at Perth as well as the best-of-three finals beginning at Melbourne on February 6.

Reid has been so impressive that the Indians have continued to avail his services even though his formal arrangement extended only till the Test series.

He has been mostly missing in the tri-series because of pressing family commitments but would resume his association from Perth, his hometown.

"I have been spoken to by John (Wright) last week who wanted me to join in Perth as well as in finals," said Reid whose work with Indian bowlers has received widespread appreciation.

Reid has followed India's progress on television and though he rates it impressive, he intends to contribute his own inputs about field placements and the line they should be bowling to Australian batsmen in the coming days.

"I will give inputs about what line the bowlers should be bowling at batsmen as well as the field placements. It's important the bowlers don't get hit for many boundaries," said Reid.

Reid underplays his role with the Indian fast bowlers saying he has only been reminding them fast bowling is hard work -- this is what they are going to do day in and out and that is what they must learn to enjoy. His take on each Indian bowler on the tour:

IRFAN PATHAN: He is doing very well for a 19-year-old. I like his attitude. He has the potential to be a very good bowler, provided he adds a yard of pace. He swings the ball and even reverse swings it.

He still bowls at 138K and I reckon he has a bright future. He is a young man so he likes to experiment a bit which is alright. His batting could also come on for he likes playing very straight. He could be the all-rounder India is looking for in the future.

ASHISH NEHRA: Ashish has to reassess his bowling style. I reckon he has to completely redo his methods. He is averaging 40 plus in Test cricket which is reasonably high for a strike bowler. I am told he was a good swing bowler early in his career but lately his wrist action is not very steady.

A couple of ideas could help him but he would have to take that major decision about his bowling ways. He is pretty set in his style and he would have to dismantle it. It would not be easy but he can't avoid it if he wants to have a long Test career.

He has to do couple of things straightaway -- he has to be fit and again, he could only be fit if his front foot comes down in line with the pitch. At present his back leg is pointing towards mid-off and it is a very damaging bowling style for any bowler, leave alone a fast bowler. But as I said, he has to take that critical decision about his career.

ZAHEER KHAN: It was disappointing for India to lose Zaheer Khan in two of the four Test matches. I really felt bad when he broke down in Melbourne. It was a pressure game and India had to draw or win and Zaheer was missed. He also has to worry about his fitness standards.

If he can be fit, India can look forward to a youngster who has the right attitude and is extremely intelligent. He swings the ball in and is very confident about his methods. He also has a good rhythm in his run-up.

AJIT AGARKAR: Ajit has been the prime example of what a bowler can do if he understands his limitations. He now knows he can't be a genuine fast bowler, still he can touch 140K which is still very good. He now concentrates on a good line and length and swinging the ball around. It has served him beautifully on this tour.

ANIL KUMBLE: I am not a spin bowler but I did work with Anil. Generally I chatted with him on the field placements. I spoke to him about going round the wicket and using the roughs a little more. The wickets in Australia are peculiar -- they can crumble around the batting crease but generally the middle of the pitch remains good.

I think he had a talk with Shane Warne before the start of the tour and came back with a few ideas which stood him good in the Test series. Warne told him about changing his grip and you now see him bowl a very good slower ball. Even in Hobart, against Zimbabwe, we saw him bowl a tossed up delivery and Grant Flower was beaten in flight and dismissed. You can see he is beginning to use that ball far more frequently.

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