Indian cricket is known for its stellar batting over the years more than its bowling line-up. However, there have been plenty of bowlers who have represented the country and performed extremely well as fast bowlers. Yet, they have not received the recognition they deserve.
Here are 5 of the most underrated bowlers:
There was a time when Irfan Pathan was the new kid on the block, having just taken a hat-trick against Pakistan in their own backyard. He was touted to be the next big Indian bowler and his performances justified that.
However, his prime lasted only for a while as the World T20 in 2007 was the last time we got to see Pathan at his menacing best. Injuries played a major role in hampering his progress and his chances seem bleak now.
Everybody remembers RP Singh. The fast bowler was one of the main reasons that India won the inaugural World T20 and he was superb throughout, picking up crucial wickets with his fantastic swing bowling.
He was crucial for Deccan Chargers as they won their first IPL but ever since, he faded and has never really been anywhere close to making a comeback.
Though Nehra is enjoying a renaissance of sorts with his place in the Indian T20 squad, there was always a lingering thought about whether he could have achieved more. He was good in the 2003 and 2011 editions of the World Cup but his performances otherwise have been ordinary.
Nehra was never a good Test bowler and he realised that. His two phases – From his debut in 2001 till 2005, he was consistent, but got dropped. His second innings has been fruitful and if he can continue this for a couple more years, he can then put his doubts to rest.
Venkatesh Prasad was one of India’s main fast bowlers during the 90s but his prime lasted only a short while. His most famous moment in an Indian shirt was undoubtedly the Aamir Sohail incident but even otherwise, he was a good bowler who could pick up wickets.
Prasad never played to the fullest of his potential However, he has been an effective coach and has made his contribution known through a mentor role.
The Tamil Nadu bowler was famously known as the smiling assassin and was one of the frontline bowlers of the team for a while. However, he fell out of favour and never really made it back to the team.
Balaji was a good swing bowler and had his moments in the Indian shirt. However, it was too short and maybe Indian cricket never got to see the fullest of his potential.
By Rohit Nair