Millennium Post

Indian pace attack lacked discipline in Australia: Jeff

Thomson is in Mumbai to mentor and coach young bowlers at the MCA-IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation, that was launched in July 2015 to hone meritorious talent and develop them into <g data-gr-id="48">first rate</g> bowlers to boost the domestic and international cricketing landscape in India.

Highlighting the current crop of Indian bowlers, he <g data-gr-id="68">said</g> “They lack discipline and they often drop the ball. You gotta have the desire, even if you have the skills. Ishant Sharma – he’s the one with a hairdo like me – lacks the discipline and has lost the plot as he wanders down the field and bowls soft deliveries. He’s got very good <g data-gr-id="65">skills,</g> but needs a +Rocket+ to remind him.”

To a question about whether he spotted any “tornadoes” like him among the bowling talent that he was going to coach, Thomson told Millennium Post “Let’s see. I have seen the kids on video and been told that they are as good as they look. I am used to coaching, teaching people. When I played cricket for Australia, all I worried about was what +Jeff Thomsom+ was doing. I coached England and they won umpteen Sheffield shields since then. I like challenges and these kids have it. So I say…lets get off our backsides and make it (winning) happen.”

The cricketer said he was shocked at the level of cricket coaching lately and commented “I <g data-gr-id="69">wont</g> mention names. Once Richie Benaud said to me “Thommo, why don’t they coach people to bowl like you?” A bowler has to work out different options when the team is in trouble. Imparting attitude, knowledge is fine, but bowlers should look for all the tricks of the trade.”

Commenting on T20 and other formats of cricket, he <g data-gr-id="62">said</g> “You become more defensive in such situations and games, where the first to bowl is attacking and the second to bowl is defensive. But the biggest thing is <g data-gr-id="60">skill</g>, without which – <g data-gr-id="61">however</g> the hell you bowl – you are then behind the apron and in trouble.”

About players contributing to their team winning, he <g data-gr-id="58">said</g> “there are a lot of guys (cricketers) with an attitude… apart from the ones with an attitude to <g data-gr-id="56">win</g> …<g data-gr-id="55">like</g> Sachin Tendulkar.  Also, <g data-gr-id="63">superfast</g> and champion bowlers are coming up all the time, you gotta recognize the new skilled ones coming up then.”

Noting that cricketers, despite wearing safety helmets, were getting injured a lot these days, Thomson said getting head injuries was +pure bad luck.+ “Life moves on. I was just 24 when such an incident happened while I was bowling, and I was pretty upset for a week. Most of these helmeted batsmen take risks and play +silly+ shots. The first thing they need to learn is to ensure that their head is not in the way of the ball.”

 Indian cricketing great Dilip Vengsarkar <g data-gr-id="75">said</g> “When there were no helmets, very few people got injured as they instinctively protected their heads to dodge the incoming ball. I recall that, at age 21, I was batting at 48 against Jeff Thomson -- whose  4th or 5th ball was a bouncer -- and my cap fell off on the stump, and I was out +hit-wicket.+ However, off the bowling of Malcolm Marshall and Patrick Patterson, I played with a helmet and still got hit on the head.”

He said Mumbai had produced exceptional <g data-gr-id="72">batsmen</g> but it was fast bowlers like Paras Mhambrey etc that won the matches. Wishing that Thomson had come earlier in July or August this year, he said most of the Mumbai team bowlers had been sent to South India – where there were no rains to hamper their play – for gaining some experience. Jeff Thomson will be coaching here about 30 fast bowlers in the 19 and above age group, chosen by the MCA selectors, during September-October and return in May 2016 for another month-long session with them.

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