There wasn’t just one reason which could be pinpointed for India‘s heartbreaking T20 World Cup exit last Thursday, following a crushing 10-wicket loss to England in the semis. While questions were raised on captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for their selections calls during the World Cup pertaining to Rishabh Pant and Yuzvendra Chahal, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram was particularly furious with the India fast bowlers. He felt that that they were bowling too slow, which were among the reasons why they failed to get a breakthrough in the England tie as Alex Hales and Jos Buttler raced away with the game with their record 170-run stand.
Speaking to A Sports after India’s World Cup exit, Akram pointed out that it has been a phenomenon in IPL itself. He exemplified his points by picking Avesh Khan, who had a superb season with Delhi Capitals in 2021 where most veterans were impressed with his fiery pace bowling. He was roped in Lucknow Super Giants the next season for INR 10 crore, and he failed to emulate the same.
Akram feels that while BCCI needs to check on this, he suggested that IPL should have a salary cap on young players so that they don’t become complacent when signed for a hefty amount.
“Something I noted about Indian bowlers during Asia Cup. They drop pace post IPL. For instance, Avesh Khan was bowling consistently at 145kmph but after one season of IPL they play the pace drops to 130-135 kmph. So BCCI need to check the reason behind that because he got paid some 12-13 crore Indian money,” he said.
He further added, “I think IPL need to have a pay cap for young players so that they understand bhook hoti kya hai, what it feels to be hungry. If I was earning ₹24 crore a month in Pakistan, then I don’t think I will work that hard once my job is done. The culture we come from, hum khud ko dheela chhod dete hai.”
Waqar Younis, who was part of the discussion, added that as a coach he always encouraged fast bowlers to always work on their pace.
“I don’t know exactly why they are dropping pace but when I used to play and then worked as a coach,” he said. “I always emphasised on bowling quickly. If you are quick then bowl quick, that’s what Wasim and I did throughout our careers. If you have pace, you learn the other bits. But if you slow it down and swing the ball, then somewhere T20 cricket and modern-day coaching is at fault for that. I don’t know what’s being taught in the Indian camp but pace matters.”