Improving Irfan Pathan and Virender Sehwag thrill coach Eric Simons

first_imgIrfan Pathan’s rapid progress, both in terms of form and fitness, seems to have wiped out some of the disappointment of India bowling coach Eric Simons after watching a spate of injuries to national team members in England recently.Another reason for Simons’s cheerfulness during his stay in Delhi was the progress Virender Sehwag is making on his troublesome shoulder.India bowling coach Eric Simons.At the end of an off-season camp of Delhi Daredevils, with which Simons is assistant coach, the South African was happy that both players are on their way back to the Indian team.Sehwag had two long net stints under Simons’s supervision at the Jamia Millia Islamia, the alma mater of the swashbuckling batsman, before he left for the National Cricket Association (NCA) for another round of rehabilitation.”Sehwag is obviously very important to Delhi Daredevils from certain aspects. Obviously, he’s our captain and a real match winner for us. It is great to see him come through his operation the way he has so far. He’s looking very strong and very fit,” Simons told MAIL TODAY . “He had two very long nets during the course of this week. The wickets are newly laid, so they were a bit slow. But he’s one of the best at making any wicket look easy. It’s exciting to see that he’s not having any problem in overcoming the shoulder injury but will also come back with the ability to throw the ball like he has in the past. So it’s all good news for everyone,” he said.advertisementSehwag’s right shoulder was operated upon in May after he injured it during the 2009 IPL and again during this year’s edition. He returned to the Indian team for the last two Tests against England, but missed the ODI series that followed. however, Simons is not predicting when Sehwag would stage a comeback to the national team.”I have no idea. He’s not going to rush. It’s in everyone’s interest that when he comes back he’s ready. The medical people can answer that best. But at the moment he’s being very, very closely monitored,” he said.Simons is more pleased about Pathan’s progress.”To be honest, I was amazed at the progress he made. It’s very difficult to change things in such a short space of time. It’s a testament to how talented Irfan is, to be able to do and achieve what he did, changing one or two aspects technically,” he said, referring to the bowling style of the left- arm pacer.Pathan, who has flummoxed batsmen with his banana swingers in the past, rediscovered his touch and control towards the end of the IPL in April- May.”By the end of the competition, he was bowling with decent pace and swinging the ball pretty late. He was troubling a lot of batsmen with the swing. He was taking wickets upfront time and again. The progress was tremendous in that period and probably above expectations, as he was under pressure in a competition,” said Simons.”The only disappointment is that once the competition was over he didn’t have time to bowl as there was not much cricket to be played. He is obviously now in a different situation; he’s fit, he’s stronger and is ready to go in the next season. And he will arrive at the 2012 IPL having played a lot of cricket, and that’s when we are going to see his real value.” Simons stressed that Pathan, 26, was never a tearaway bowler.”Everybody would love to be a 150kph swing bowler. But you don’t really get that. Glenn McGrath and Shaun Pollock were among the best bowlers in Test cricket and they didn’t bowl too fast; they bowled around 130kpm more often. They took what they had and were very successful in using that,” he pointed out.”That’s what Irfan has done successfully in the past and will do again in the future. He’s an incredibly talented cricketer. He’s got great skills; he’s thorough in his batting, his fielding and in many ways he’s a true allrounder.” Simons said that Pathan could be closer to staging a comeback.”You never know what might happen. One can only worry about what you can control.”last_img

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