Teams have to rotate pace bowlers, give them rest: Lillee

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Chennai, Aug 25 (UNI) Former Australian speedster Dennis Lillee, who is endeavouring to produce fast bowlers for Indian cricket at the MRF Pace Foundation for the last 20 years, today said fast bowlers have to be ''rotated'' or else their chances of having a decent career would face road blocks.

''We have to be clear here. It is not about the medium pacers. It is for the breed that bowls genuinely quick. They have to be preserved and if it means they have to miss a few games it should not bother, Lillee told newspersons at the Foundation. He is here to assess the progress of his present set of aspiring pace bowlers.

''I have been stressing on the importance of teams rotating the fast bowlers for a long time now,'' he said, on the sidelines of the training camp.

The workload on players has come under serious scrutiny, Lillee said, adding it was an issue that has to be sorted out quickly by the authorities. ''It is impossible for a baseball pitcher to keep doing it everyday and the same for a sprinter. He has to be given time to recuperate. It is no different for a fast bowler, it is impossible to keep doing it without a break'', he observed.

''It is how a bowler improves over a period as they are all supposed to be rusty at the start of the season. It is vital to have a good build up to the season as there is very little time once the season starts. The key is to reserve the best as no one wants to be bowling at his best during practice. It is crucial a bowler is prepared,'' Lillee also explained.

He said bowlers now train their thoughts on bowling tight rather than go for wickets. The demands of T20 and one-day cricket have changed the attitude for ever.

''In a sense bowlers have become defensive. They play more of limited overs cricket where there is nothing much in offer for them.

Remaining tight with line and length is not easy at the same time but if they have something in the wicket or conditions they must attack, it could backfire a few times yet it is worth the effort,'' he said.

To assess the young trainees under him, Lillee makes it a point to visit the Foundation three to four times in a year.

Asked about the prospective bowlers for team India from the present crop of his trainees, he said ''we have a few bowlers whom I saw last time around and their technique is holding well and those are the first signs of progress. And on the others I am seeing for the first time it will take a little longer to judge.'' Former Tamil Nadu Ranji cricketer M Senthilnathan who has taken over as head coach of the Foundation from former India medium pacer and national selector T A Sekhar, said the camp will be on till September 5 and all the 17 trainees will have a lot to gain from the scientifically prepared course.

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