India shifted its priorities to pace in recent times and is currently at the forefront of fast bowling renaissance, former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop said on Thursday.
India’s pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has emerged as a potent force, helping the team achieve success in the World Test Championships.
“India are at the forefront, the vanguard, of this fast bowling renaissance because they obviously recognised this years ago," the 52-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator said in Sony Ten’s Pit Stop.
“If you want to be the number one team in the world, you cannot rely on your spinners all the time because when you travel to western countries, spin is apparently only a certain stage of the game, you have to have fast bowling and India have found that."
Given the rigours of playing three formats, Bishop called for managing the workload of the pacers, especially the leader of the Indian attack Jasprit Bumrah.
“Jasprit is one of a small group of bowlers who transcend the various formats of the game. But you can’t expect him to last if he is playing every game in every format. The human body cannot do that. You have to manage these precious resources because he is a generational talent," he said.
The Trinidadian believes world cricket is currently going through a golden period of fast bowling with Test number one Pat Cummins leading the way.
“I think we are in a golden period of fast bowling. You look at what the West Indies are bringing, then there is (Mitchell) Starc and (Josh) Hazlewood for Australia along with the number one-ranked Test bowler in the world as well (Pat Cummins)," he said.
Bishop feels Barbadian-born English pacer Jofra Archer has the best action among the current generation of fast bowlers.
“England have Jofra Archer and Mark Wood to supplement the experience of (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson. Jofra I think has the best action in world cricket at the moment.
“Pakistan have found at least three young bowlers that are really good. Sri Lanka have one that I can think of, Lahiru Kumara. New Zealand have good quick bowlers as well," he said.
Bishop also paid glowing tributes to fellow West Indies batting great Sir Everton Weekes who died at the age of 95 at his home in Barbados on Wednesday.
“The thing I remember most about him was during the now-defunct Stanford T20 tournament in the Caribbean Sir Everton was hailed as one of the legends. So I recall a lot of time sitting at his feet not literally, but metaphorically," he said.
“Never once I came away from his presence without feeling joyful, light and educated. He was so humble. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to celebrate his life instead of mourning his loss because we all have to go. I’m going to celebrate what he brought to our life into my life personally."