There was a time when Pakistan soil rated highly for producing fast bowlers without much investment and coaching. Almost every new fast bowling prospect arising was even better than the previous one and ready to perform at international level.
Somehow that supply of fearsome fast bowling was cut short and upcoming bowlers was not able to master the swing bowling techniques including conventional swing and reverse swing both. And maybe this is the main reason that Pakistan is becoming a declining force in fast bowling department.
Art of reverse swing bowling was invented by Pakistan and former fast bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz is the founder of this art. It was during Melbourne test in 1979 when Sarfaraz deliver 9 wicket spell while conceding only one run that made world to know about the art of reverse swing.
Later own this art transferred to likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis who all were great exponent of reverse swing bowling and if I say that few of the best reverse swing bowling spells belongs to Pakistani fast bowlers than I wouldn’t be wrong.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis used to kill opposition batsman by their toe crushing Yorkers at their peak and continued the same till end of their careers.
Later on likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Zahid, Mohammad Sami & Umer Gul followed in the footsteps of 2W’s and used this lethal weapon even in their initial games without much international experience in their bags.
Mohammad Zahid’s 11 wicket haul on debut against New Zealand and Mohammad Sami’s 9 wickets on test debut against the same opposition is mainly because of the toe crushing Yorkers which was once the hallmark of Wasim and Waqar’s bowling.
With the passage of time Pakistani bowlers forget this art and same result in toothlessnes of Pakistani fast bowlers of the current decade where we see even oppositions tailenders scored big against us.
At the other hands other teams like India, Australia, New Zealand and England learn this art of reverse swing and now using this to good effect in modern times.
Recently concluded test match between Pakistan & Australia in which Pakistan bowled 157 overs against the opposition but its hard find single reverse swinging ball. Young Pakistani fast bowling brigade does not have this art of bowling under their sleeves. Either it is due to inability of bowlers or Pakistan bowlers are not able to maintain the ball condition in order to get some reverse swing.
Current bowling coach Waqar Younis must need to look into this aspect of Pakistan bowling if we need to emerge again as a Fast bowling force. Only raw pace would not help us in modern cricket until and unless our fast bowlers equipped themselves with armory of traditional swing and reverse swing bowling.