Mumbai: Former India pacer Manoj Prabhakar blamed India's woeful bowling performance for the defending champions' exit from the Asia Cup yesterday. Time and again Indian bowlers have let the team down. If one takes into account their debacles in the Asia Cup and recent CB Series Down Under, it is only the batters who have been the saving grace on most occasions. Out of 11 outings, Indian bowlers have helped the team win only once (Asia Cup opener against Sri Lanka by 50 runs).
"If India is depending on Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan to get breakthroughs, then they are surely out of their minds," former India pacer Manoj Prabhakar told MiD DAY. "They don't know how to bowl yorkers, which is a fast bowler's main weapon in ODIs. They are struggling to bowl well in the slog overs. We are fortunate that our batsmen are chasing well, but that is not how a World Champion team should function," added Prabhakar, who played 39 Tests and 130 ODIs.
Prabhakar was particularly livid at bowling coach Joe Dawes, who replaced Eric Simmons recently. "These foreign coaches have no knowledge of wickets in the sub-continent. It is their role to help our bowlers adapt to different conditions," he said.
Indian bowlers have been found wanting after their frontline pacer Zaheer Khan was rested for the Asia Cup. "Zaheer is not a machine; he's human too. You cannot rely so much on one bowler. It is time for an overall change. The selectors should unearth fresh talent," said Prabhakar.
Prabhakar accused Indian bowlers of stagnating. "Look at batsmen around the world, they are evolving everyday. They are playing new innovative shots, but sadly our bowlers are not evolving. "It is time they start thinking of new weapons in their armoury," he concluded.
PK, Irfan need to be patient: Sandhu
Former India swing bowler Balwinder Singh Sandhu advised struggling pacers Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan to be patient when things aren't going their way. "Their strength is swing. But when the conditions are not in your favour, you need to be patient. You have to bowl a disciplined line and length. They were trying too many things. They need to address this issue quickly," said the 1983 World Cupper. On pacer Ashok Dinda, Sandhu said: "He looks promising, but he needs to work hard on his bowling skills. He will take time to mature."