'The art of swing bowling should come back. Learning the knuckle ball and all is fine. If you don't know how to swing the ball, everything is waste.'
Former India skipper Kapil Dev on Friday expressed his unhappiness on the waning of the art of swing bowling.
The 61-year-old cricket legend said fast bowlers opting for too many variations saddens him.
"I am not happy with fast bowlers (these days). The first ball cannot be cross seam. Players in IPL realised that swing is more important than pace. Sandeep (Sharma), who bowled 120 kph, was tougher because he was moving the ball," he explained.
"Bowlers have to understand it's not the pace, it's the swing. They should learn but are running away from art. T Natarajan was my hero of IPL. (The) Young boy was fearless and bowling so many yorkers," the legendary all-rounder said referring to the two Sunrisers Hyderabad pacers.
Kapil feels variations are a waste if one doesn't know how to swing the ball.
"Keep your wrist straight, hold the ball seam-up. Whenever the ball moves Tests matches become important. Wasim (Akram), (Ian) Botham, (Bob) Willis, (Richard) Hadlee. (Glenn) McGrath, look how good he was.
"The art of swing bowling should come back. Learning the knuckle ball and all is fine. If you don't know how to swing the ball, everything is waste," said the great all-rounder.
However, the battery of pacers that India possesses now pleases Kapil immensely.
"Look at (Mohamed) Shami, (Jasprit) Bumrah. As a cricketer, it gives me a lot of happiness to say that today we depend on our fast bowlers. Our bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets in a match. We've had spinners – (Anil) Kumble, Harbhajan (Singh), but today no country would like to say 'give them bouncy wickets'."
He also appealed to the ICC to ensure Test cricket doesn't die in the age of T20 cricket.
"If it (Test cricket) dies, I would say ICC have done the worst thing... Let us not let it die... Yes, cricket has changed. People around the world only want to play IPL, BBL and tournaments like that...
"I would say IPL has given us strength. What used to be county cricket, every player used to play there (in England) but today IPL is giving the same benefit to us as the players are coming and playing in India.
"...Don't just think about T20 or IPL, you have to look after first class cricket, Tests and ODIs. Yes, money-making factor is there but we should not forget our tradition. Tennis for example, we still have Wimbledon played on grass," said Kapil.
He also added that whoever wins the upcoming India-Australia series, the team should go on to the win the World Test Championship.