Why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers?

Why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers

Has anyone thought upon a very crucial topic that why fast bowlers in India are not genuinely fast enough to be called fast and hence called as why india can't produce genuine fast bowlersmedium fast bowlers ? We have produced a whole lot of talented pacers who have rocked at the International scene with a bang e.g. Kapil Dev, Chetan sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma etc. but very few of them have actually fulfilled the criterion applicable for the genuine fast bowlers. I have tried to point out few reasons for the lack of genuine fast bowlers in India.

At first lets decide the criteria for a genuine fast bowler. A fast bowler should easily cross the 145 kmph barrier and sometimes should be on the later part of 150 kmph mark on the measuring meter. Then he should be able to swing the ball at that speed without much difficulty and with good accuracy hence making it difficult for a batsman. Then again he should be able to make those short pitch bouncers scary for a batsman and he should be able to hit those toe crushing yorkers at that speed with same accuracy. Now among fast bowlers in India these characteristics are rare and only a few can possess all of them. So lets start with the analysis of why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers.

PHYSICAL STRENGTH : The main reason why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers

Physical strength is one of the most essential components associated with a fast bowler. why india can't produce genuine fast bowlersFast bowlers in India naturally lack that level of strength which is needed at international level to be successful for long. When Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel etc came into the scenario they were clocking 140 kmph barrier easily but slowly and slowly their speed faded away and now they have become a medium pacer. The reason behind this has been their physical strength. Indians are naturally not athletic enough to be called as a fast bowler and hence they have to push themselves in order to maintain that speed with same accuracy and in this process they usually get injured or pull their muscles which forces them to reduce their speed and that has been among the main reasons for why fast bowlers in India usually lose their pace in order to continue their stint at the international level.

Take the case of Varun Aaron. When he came in the limelight he possessed the speed which could keep him in the category of genuine fast bowlers but bowling continuously at that pace did him the damage and now he has been injured since last 2 seasons. The main reason why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers can be attributed to poor physical fitness of the players.
There are few more examples but lets concentrate upon few other reasons.


Another important reason for the dearth of fast bowlers in India has been the domestic conditions. In Indian domestic circuit the pitches why india can't produce genuine fast bowlersprovided for the game are normally spinner friendly or batting friendly. On those pitches it gets difficult for the pacers to bowl and take wickets as only speed is not enough to take wickets. In order to maintain their position in the team by taking wickets fast bowlers in India prefer to reduce their speed so that they can bowl with more accuracy which might result in wickets sometimes. In this process India loses their upcoming genuine fast bowlers and they too become just medium pacers. The dead domestic pitches are is one of the root cause why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers. Thus fast bowlers in India face a difficult test to pass through in domestic cricket and only those who are able to maintain their speed and accuracy comes to the National team with the reputation of a genuine fast bowler. Indian domestic tracks can be termed as a graveyard for fast bowlers and it adds up to the cause of “why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers”

Poor facilities are also another reason why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers

Before a player comes to the domestic circuit he is needed to be perfectly trained. For that one needs basic facilities in the school or college level cricket. He needs to be perfectly coached and harnessed. In India normally there has been a good number of batting or spin coaches, reason India being a batting and spin fond country which has produced some legends in those fields. But when it comes to fast bowling we lack those trainers who can provide a good basic training needed for a genuine fast bowler and hence they concentrate more upon swing and accuracy which results in the depreciation of their raw pace and simultaneously results in the scarcity of genuine fast bowlers in India.


why india can't produce genuine fast bowlers
Lack of fitness is one of the main reason why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers

Inspiration too comes on the top when it comes to reasons behind playing cricket. Not only cricket, in every field it comes on the top.
Inspirations comes from the people who have already been successful and have achieved greatest heights in certain field and cricket too possess certain legends who have been the reasons for new breeds of players to take up this holy game. In India we have been the witnesses of the puissance of few greatest batsmen and some greatest spinners. We have had heroes in fast bowling too but they were not genuine fast bowlers. They were more a swing bowler than a genuine pacer. When it comes to inspiration our kids who are taking up the art of fast bowling get inspired by them and hence become a swing bowler rather than a genuine fast bowler. So this has been among the main reasons for the absence of genuine fast bowlers in India.

Though swing bowling also is a unique art and not many can have a complete mastery over it but fast bowling too has its own empire. And to be a complete cricket nation we need to master this art too. And for that we need to produce some legends in this field too so that they can become the inspiration for the upcoming breed of fast bowlers in India. This adds up to the reasons why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers.

So far we have seen the reasons behind the scarcity of genuine fast bowlers in India. Now let’s have a look upon how we can solve this big problem and produce some masters in this field too.


There are few things which could prove to be a defining step in order to produce some genuine fast bowlers in India.

Firstly we need to provide our young brigades who are going to be our future heroes with some top class facilities and coaching. For that our board should pick the talented youngsters from the extract and send them to good coaching academy in country or outside the country in order to harness their raw skills. Though BCCI has been doing this but they need to do it on regular basis and they should reach upto the far slums where we can find a very good number of talented kids.

Secondly pitches in domestic circuit should be seamer friendly. Though we can’t afford to lose our spinners and batsmen so we need to provide them with pitches of their help too. But at the same time to help in growing confidence among the young pacers we need to provide them with good pacer friendly pitches.
To balance all of them we should provide spinner friendly or batting friendly pitches in the league matches but we should provide seaming conditions in the knock out matches so that pacers can feel their importance. It will also help in harnessing the skills of young batsmen against good pace attack. And that will be able to make them successful on away tours too which is not common among Indian batsmen these days.

When it comes to inspiration, that can be achieved only when we first produce some genuine fast bowlers in India. For that we need to fulfill the other needs.
Only then the Varun Aarons, Ishant Sharmas, Umesh Yadavs would be able to maintain their pace and accuracy and could be the new sensation in international circuit. Only then we would be able to go to Australia, SA or New Zealand and defeat them easily in their own den. So we need to support the upcoming fast bowlers in India mentally and physically in order to extract best out of them. If these steps are followed, I don’t see any reason why India can’t produce genuine fast bowlers.

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Viplav is a 20 year old student who has been passionate about cricket and is the Managing Editor of Cricmatez. Do interact with him on social media to share your knowledge about the game and to listen to his thoughts. He has also covered international matches. Apart from being a cricket writer he has also been a sketch artist and write on other contemporary issues too. He has been working for women empowerment and got honoured for his work by National Commission for Women and Haryana Police. He is open to criticism and suggestions, so feel free to share your views in the comment section.


  1. Its not all about strength and pitches then we have in India. its about the legends that we have produced over the years. We have got great legends in batting talking in terms of defense, attacking and playing sensibly but when it comes to bowling we have got one great faster bowler who our bowlers can look fwd Kapil dev and one great spinner Anil Kumble rest all have been succesful in bits are parts. So basically india has failed producing faster due to lack of legends and role models who the youngsters can look forward too and groom themselves.

  2. Its not all about strength and pitches then we have in India. its about the legends that we have produced over the years. We have got great legends in batting talking in terms of defense,attacking and playing sensibly but when it comes to bowling we have got one great faster bowler who our bowlers can look fwd Kapil dev and one great spinner Anil Kumble rest all have been succesful in bits are parts. So basically india has failed producing faster due to lack of legends and role models who the youngsters can look forward too and groom themselves.

  3. Firstly Indians aren’t using raw talent as when a bower of india a bit experienced comes into the team bowling at a speed of 145-150 km/hr, he thinks maybe his line and length is affected by his pace he starts bowling slowly. Secondly we rn’t offering hard and grassy tracks like Australians and Africans do

    1. Once again, you Indians have a country right next door who has 3 to 4 bowlers clocking 160 kmph and ending up in the Guinness Book, which is way faster than Australians and Africans, and you can’t come out with a consistent 150 kmph?

  4. How is India different from Pakistan in terms of Geo conditions ? Why Pakistan has produced class fast bowlers time and again where as India has been struggling in this area .

    1. Prem its becoz of the lack of inspiration. pakistan has produced some of the legends in fast bowling over the years so youngsters look up at them as inspiration and when it comes to india we have produced some greats in batting. So obviously our youngsters find them as their hero and get motivated.That’s the difference. Thanks for your words and time Prem. Do read up some other articles on the site too and share your opinions with us. Nice hearing this from you. πŸ™‚

  5. One Question to the Writer… In the Domestic conditions Paragraph you had been mentioned that Indian Domestic Dead Pitches are reasons for not producing Fast bowlers but Even Pakistan has the Same Kind of Pitches(sub Continental Pitches) If they can Produce Top Quality Bowlers why cant we? Answer needed from the Writer.

  6. We are forgetting 1 Big point here I must say Indians are not built strong as Pakistanis are , a lot of difference in culture & eating habits ect,

  7. For those who wonder why Pakistan is able to produce fast bowlers in fact the some of the fastest bowlers ever in the history of the game is again the largely due to Physical strength and then Inspiration.
    Both India Pakistan have spinner friendly slow tracks but Pakistan keeps on producing fast bowlers. Why??
    Traditional Indians diet and nutrition is the most pathetic among all the cricket playing nations which is largely based on carbs and fats and less on protein. How many of us eat more than 50 grams of animal based high quality protein a day?? To give u an idea 1 egg contains 6 gram of protein and half liter milk provides 15 grams, 100 grams chicken gives 25 grams of protein.
    On the contrary we munch on veggies or carbs based food like rice , roti, idli dosa.. all the time that provide miserly 5 grams of protein every 200 grams. Rice, yes that stupid white rice provides 3 grams of protein every 100 grams of intake. However on the bonus it gives u that pot belly inducing rich simple carbs. Thats why we have tons of ugly looking pot bellied or weak skinny fat people in high majority ( >80% of the population) walking around the streets everywhere seeking laddu, peda, cholla bhatura, sambhar, rasam chawal, misti dhoi, aaloo paratha, and similar crap of a low protein food for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.

    Now, we can give birth to another billion or trillion of such Indians still we will never or rarely have real manly quick bowlers. I know it would hurt the ego of most of us Indians but deep in our heart we know the food we eat or fitness levels we maintain as a mass. There can be a few one in a million exceptions of great looking muscular manly guy but what are the Odds of that guy being interested in Cricket and fast bowling. In such a nation where good looking manly guys are a rare commodity percentage wise ( < 5%) such a guy would use this to make it big in modeling, bollywood, bodybuilding or other careers rather than struggling on cricket field.

    To produce fast bowlers first we need to change ourselves as a nation, our stupid, horrible food habits and lazy attitude of maintaining no fitness levels.
    Go to any developed European country and find out how many people look weak or skinny fat and how many tall muscular slim and fit people walk on the streets. They eat high amount of animal based protein like eggs, milk, birds, red meat, whey protein etc on regular basis in high quantities more than 110 grams on average.

    Even in Pakistan due to their non veg food culture they get better protein based diet than us.

    Take shoib akthar, waquar, akaram, Imran, Mohammad Zhaid etc. and take best of our fats bowlers like Ishanth, Vinay kumar, munaf patel, Nehra, zaheer, venketsh prasad etc..
    Ask them to remove their shirts and then.. yes then u can see the difference in the physique is equal to the difference in the bowling speeds of the two countries.

    Now, if it hurts your ego an an Indian then go cry but it will not change the truth.. See videos of Imran khan, shoid akthar, waquar, Akaram,etc on you tube when they run to bowl.. It feels like a big manly beast charging in for a kill at manly speeds of 150 Kmps +

    On the other hand see sissy rice eaters vegetarians like Vinay kumars, nehra, ishants etc.. u would feel like a sissy is running in with no manly muscles of their skinny fat body to show off.

    Instead of breeding more than a billions or trillions of sissy like guys in our country who should restrict our population and use the limited food & nutritional resources and limited Gyms or other fitness training facilities for breeding a few million high quality manly men and then hope a few thousands strong men among these millions can take interest in fast bowling. Such muscular fit men will of obviously bowl at speed of 150 kmps with easy and control over line and length with swings.

    I know a lot of you with hurt egos will write back, calling me crazy or illogical but in your heart you know that you will not admit this fact or truth just because of your ego which wants to come across as a manly hero of a person in spite of the real picture being completely opposite.

    Lets not feed our future generation the crap our ancestors have eaten. Lets provide our kids high quality protein based meals and pay attention to their physical growth and overall health from the early ages at mass scales.
    One day we will produce giant supply of monstrous fast bowlers like the world has never seen and powerful big hitters who can whack the balls way outside the cricket stadiums on regular basis.

    1. You are bang on target, 100%. The problem is to convince people that this is indeed the BIGGEST problem with the situation, not just cricket but every sport in India. With cricket, the effects have been glaringly exposed with us being unable to produce ONE fast bowler in the history of our cricket.

      You are spot on with your comments, I think it will take one or two generations to change the genes, when people realize what they are eating contains sadly little to maintain good health, let alone play sports or consistently hurl a ball at 150+ kph.

      We as a people do work hard, but we really need to take feedback constructively and improve ourselves. You are right that we probably have the highest percentage of skinny fat people in the world. Instead of taking this as an insult, we should take it as feedback and work hard and change our diets.

      In addition to protein, game meats and red meats are rich in iron, zinc, creatine etc. Do not give a religious excuse, the Ramayana and Mahabharata are chock-full of instances of meat-eating, and in particular beef-eating if you care to read them. Susruta Samhita also prescribes meat eating. Why didn’t the kshatriyas train on a diet of rice and vegetables?? If you read the Mahabharata, Bhima used to eat a big basketful of deer at the end of the war everyday. Rama and Lakshmana ate deer, buffaloes etc. in the forest.

      The cholesterol problem is over-hyped. In fact, you need cholesterol to produce a healthy amount of testosterone. If you drink oil while sitting on the couch, of course your arteries will get clogged. But the cholesterol in egg yolks, red meat etc. must contribute to strength or else athletes in strongman, weightlifting or other power based sports would not be eating them.

      Now, someone will come in and say cricket is not weightlifting or bodybuilding. That’s not the point. The point is that when you engage in strenuous physical activity, such as weightlifting, bodybuilding, fast bowling, martial arts etc, you need some food that will help to completely recover from and over-compensate for the training.

      There is also another point which is often ignored. Again look at our epics, Hanuman, Bheeshma, Lakshmana, what is common to them? They were known for their incredible strength and edurance…and they were all brahmacharyas (Lakshmana during exile). Though the example I am giving may be outdated, the concept is not. Look at UFC fighters, I am sure many of them say the same thing. The body’s vital fluid is extremely important. Whatever was written in ancient Indian texts is not some wild imagination or junk writing, it has a lot of value. Wild animals don’t procreate all the time but only in season.

      Fix these two things, and reap the benefits.

      1. Diet explanation is absurd. Wrestling requires much more strength than cricket, and India has produced Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt both of whom are Veg. Even Amit Kumar and Bajrang who have won medals in ast world championship are veg. So why blame diet. If Indians are not strong enough, how come they win medals in wrestling?

  8. Top class facilities? But India has s country right next door with worse facilities but are in the Guinness Book for the fastest deliveries, but facilities might help get India some 150 kmph

  9. I am an Indian and I love my country. I would like to give a unbiased true picture of cricket affairs here…

    In India, only guys who are rich/affluent get to play first class cricket. Here, Recommendation matters not talent. The ordinary talented guys don’t get any chance, that’s why standard is very poor. Here we have talent but opportunity is not given. Even Rahul Dravid’s father worked in millionaire businessman Vijay Mallya’s company, Zaheer Khan’s father was a millionaire hotelier. Hence, they got chances to play for team India. Whereas Street cricketers like Shoaib Akhtar get chance to play for national team in pakistan thats why they could bowl fast and break records

  10. This is how a guy who can bowl 150+ speeds looks like inside the team’s shirt. Check the below link..Mitchel Johnson

    How many of our cricketers and pace bowlers look like this in Indian team, ranji trophy, domestic or even club levels??
    Unless we eat big proteins non veg and work on our fitness we cant produce fast bowlers. Speed comes from manly muscles not from pitches or coaches etc. Girly vegetarians mostly cant have muscles of a real man and hence cant bowl 150+ speeds.

    Lets feed ourselves and our kids better food and give them good training from the early days for their tendons and muscles to grow strong.

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