" --IANS/RAY"
Manchester, Aug 6 (IANS/RAY) India's former legendary all-rounder and captain Kapil Dev, now a television commentator, believes India's current quick bowlers are frequently getting injured because of an excess of cricket.

I used to play only five months of cricket in a year, they play 10 months of cricket a year these days, he said to a question.

The point was raised with Kapil in the context of Ishant Sharma once again breaking down. Sharma, the most experienced of the Indian bowlers, spearheaded India's victory in the second Test at Lord's with career-best figures of seven for 74 in England's second innings. He, then, missed the third Test at Southampton (which India lost) and is likely to be unavailable for the fourth Test here at Old Trafford, as well.

Sharma's ankles have over the years been vulnerable to the pounding they experience under the weight of a fast bowler. Once again, he was reported to be suffering from an ankle problem when left out of the playing 11 at Southampton.

Mohammed Shami, who last year and over the winter was bowling at 90 miles per hour, is now barely crossing 85 mph. This can only be interpreted as being a result of either a tired body or the bowler deliberately cutting down on his pace to shoulder the 10-month-a-year workload.

The number of Indian fast bowlers who have flattered to deceive in recent years is now legion.

Kapil added: The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) needs to take a good look at the amount of cricket an international player is being put through.

--IANS/RAY

vs/rr


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