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Thread: The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

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    Banned vandemataram's Avatar
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    The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

    ROBIN DAVID

    TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2003 02:19:00 PM ]


    VADODARA: Move over Shoaib; Bret, beat it! The Bharuch Blaster is here.



    Yes, if pace legend Dennis Lillee is to be believed, this unknown lad from a nondescript Gujarat village Ikhar in Bharuch has been sending down 140-150 kmph zingers on a regular basis.



    So, this means Munaf Patel has been outdoing the Zaheers, Nehras and Agarkars of the national squad on average. And, believe it or not, the country's fastest speedster hasn't played even a Ranji match yet.



    So, if you imagine Patel in the national squad, you would be looking at world's most formidable pace attack. And backed by the world's best batting line-up, the next world series could just be India's.



    But even if this lad makes it to Team India, his father probably would not be able to watch him on TV. Patel comes from a conservative Muslim family, which doesn't even own a television at home.



    The 22-year-old, 6.4-footer Patel caught Lillee's eyes at Chennai's MRF Pace Academy, where he had come for a stint recently. Lillee has now pitted the Bharuch boy against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly at the on-going training camp at Bangalore to test his mettle.



    "We have identified a handful of promising boys to train with the Indian team and Munaf is one of them," says national selector and Baroda Cricket Association secretary Kiran More.



    "Sachin and Sourav can have a look at these youngsters. Besides, Kapil Dev will also spend a few days at the camp which will be good for young lads like Munaf," he adds.



    Back in Gujarat's local circuit, Patel's scorching deliveries are legendary, especially as they have singed quite a few.



    Playing his debut first-class, U-25 match for Gujarat against Saurashtra his bouncer sent off Saurashtra captain Jaydev Shah with a broken finger, while another batsman had his ribs tingled.



    The rookie himself ended up with five wickets. With another three wickets in the second innings, he ended up with eight in the match.



    Patel was first spotted last year by former Gujarat pacer Dhansukh Patel during an inter-district match between Surat and Bharuch. Though coaching the Surat team, Dhansukh could not help but be impressed by the lanky pacer in the opposition who was making wickets tumble at will.



    In two matches, Patel notched up 16 wickets and Dhansukh knew he had spotted a diamond. Later, playing for Gujarat, Patel bagged 18 wickets in three matches, mostly by scaring the wits out of the batsmen with his scorchers.



    Taking advantage of his height, Patel would make the ball zip across the batsmen's face, many of whom would lob simple catches while fending off rising deliveries.



    "We are expecting him to get even better with a little experience," says Gujarat under-25 coach Rajeev Desai.



    Gujarat Cricket Association president Narhari Amin has already delivered his verdict: "I would not be surprised if he makes it to the Indian team soon," he says. "He is easily the fastest bowler we have."



    His father, Musa Patel, a small-time cotton farmer, proudly offers a perspective to his son's feats. "They are fascinated by his pace, but you should see him bat," says Musa. "Crowds gather in local tournaments just to see him hit sixers!"



    It seems India's quest for the Holy Grail has finally ended at this nondescript village in Gujarat.

  2. #2
    Tim
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    I won't believe it until I see it...these kind of stories came out year after year in NZ and nobody could justify them until Shane Bond rolled up.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Re: The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

    Originally posted by vandemataram
    So, if you imagine Patel in the national squad, you would be looking at world's most formidable pace attack. And backed by the world's best batting line-up, the next world series could just be India's.
    Not only is the grammar poor, but does anyone seriously think that Nehra-Zaheer-Munaf-Salvi is better than Lee-Bichel-McGrath-Gillespie?!

    Nehra has to show consistency at the highest level, Salvi needs a few more Tests before we can really rate the guy as International class, though he looks farly good so far, and Zaheer is improving.

    And then there's Ajit.

    But "might be looking at one of the world's most formidable pace attacks in six years time if all the current side continue to develop and the whole of Australia is afflicted by thalidomide" is more accurate, IMHO.

    Forgive me if I think "Lakshmipathy Balaji" rather than "Fidel Edwards"...
    Last edited by Neil Pickup; 03-09-2003 at 05:45 PM.
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    Re: Re: The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    Forgive me if I think "Lakshmipathy Balaji" rather than "Fidel Edwards"...
    To be fair to Balaji, he really hasn't been given enough of a chance to receive as much criticism as he has.
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."



  5. #5
    Tim
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    I think alot of people were really reacting to the fact that they'd had information of Balaji's great feats shoved down their throats for a long time and when he finally debuted it was almost the last laugh because he was so average in that match.

    However I do agree that a player should be given around 20 or so ODI's before you can judge whether he is capable at international level.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Balaji only bowled 4 overs in that match, so I think some people are a bit too harsh on him. Gayle score 101 off 107 with 10 fours and 3 sixes and Hinds scored 80 off 61 with 10 fours and 5 sixes. The two added 132 runs off just 98 balls, so it wasn't the easiest of situations in which to debut...

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    Re: Re: The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    Not only is the grammar poor, but does anyone seriously think that Nehra-Zaheer-Munaf-Salvi is better than Lee-Bichel-McGrath-Gillespie?!

    Yeah i agree on that one, that was pretty much plain and stupid, Aussies are obviously miles ahead India in pace department.

    However i'm just interested in this new guy, haven't really seen him in action but if Lillee's claim are true, then Indian team will have an express fast bowler in the squad for the first time in history!

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    his aims should be for control & then staying injury free - just ask Heath Davis & Shane Bond!!!!!!!

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    I dont think Salvi has played any Tests.
    Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick once and you suck forever...

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Craig
    I dont think Salvi has played any Tests.
    He hasn't. Typo on my part.

    Still, just being quick doesn't guarantee effectiveness. Silverwood, Harmison..

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    Re: Re: Re: The First express fast bowler from INDIA!!

    Originally posted by Mr Mxyzptlk
    To be fair to Balaji, he really hasn't been given enough of a chance to receive as much criticism as he has.
    But after the massive build up from our terrace element, his utter and abject failure made him a CW watch-word for poor.

    Similar to the way AA is ridiculed on here!
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    Rik
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    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    He hasn't. Typo on my part.

    Still, just being quick doesn't guarantee effectiveness. Silverwood, Harmison..
    Interisting how you were calling for Harmison to return for the Oval Test then
    "Age is just a stupid number"

    20...that's a rather big number :(:(:(

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    He needed the recall to provide an extra dimension and he is not always effective - never said he was - and never has been in ODIs - the point being that just being quick doesn't automatically make him a good bowler :P

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    Rik
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    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    He needed the recall to provide an extra dimension and he is not always effective - never said he was - and never has been in ODIs - the point being that just being quick doesn't automatically make him a good bowler :P
    Very true, but dispite his inclusion, England's bowling has been even worse than it was at Headingly. Gibbs is playing a fantastic innings, but he's been given too much leeway by Vaughan who is not just being put in the shade by his younger opponent's brand of no-holds-barred in your face captaincy, but more like being thrown down a bottomless pit.

    Sorry to go off topic

    Pace means nothing, unless you can land the ball in the right place, a bowler, of any pace, is downright useless. When I try out fast bowling I can't even land it, yet when I bowl spin I find it easier to land it on the same spot again and again. Spin is my strongest suit, despite the fact that I can really let one go sometimes, since I can't even land it most of the time it's useless.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    I agree, I will believe this when I see it, and I dont consider India to be capable of producing a pace bowler to rival those from Aus/SA...
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