Kolkata: The art of chinaman bowling has been mastered by very few in the history of the gentleman’s game and Australian Brad Hogg, is definitely one of the best in this regard. A legend in his own right, Hogg feels that India’s chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will be, ‘something special in the years to come.”
Speaking at the Fanattic Sports Museum where one of the finest cricketing artefacts- Sir Don Bradman’s bat from India’s first tour of Australia was presented to the museum, Hogg said,
“I have been very fortunate to be able to play with him for two years in Kolkata. He’s a very good listener, wants to learn and one thing which I noticed when I played with him is that he wasn’t fit enough. But he has really worked on it and now it’s paying dividends for him. I am very impressed with his performance, he’s got a lot to learn and we haven’t seen the best of him. I think he’ll be something special in the years to come.”
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke was also present at the occasion along with former Indian wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta and Indian women’s team star Jhulan Goswami.
Talking of the challenges that the young Indian chinaman bowler might have to face in the future, Hogg, in an exclusive chat with the SportsCrunch said, “Cricket is an evolving game and it’s a lesson in life. You’ve got to be adaptable and resilient. When things aren’t going well for you, you’ve got to have the answers for it and stay in the contest. One must try to improve technically and physically all the time.”
He further added, “Kuldeep is young and he’s got to improve mentally as well. When he’s put under pressure, he’s got to have the mental answers to be able to stay in the contest. That’s probably the biggest thing for him now.”
The art of chinaman bowling is indeed difficult and as one needs to have control and accuracy in order to succeed while bowling using the back of the hand.
But for Hogg, who at 46 still plies his trade across the world in various T20 leagues, this rare bowling art has been enjoyable.
He said, “I have never found it to be hard because I have always enjoyed that journey to improve and I think when you do something you love, you always find out the answers for it.”
He further had a word of advice for Kuldeep, as he added, “Probably this is a lesson for Kuldeep as well that when things aren’t going right for you, you go to your one delivery which you can trust just to get through a game. Sometimes you might just bowl a spell where you are fairly conservative with the variations that you bowl. When things aren’t going right, just go back to your stock delivery, slow the run-rate down, put the pressure on the batsmen and since you haven’t yet revealed all your variations, you bowl that one ball that bamboozles the batsman.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been an instrumental figure in the team’s success in recent times and Hogg feels that the 28-year-old right-hander has done well to keep up the team culture. He also said that Virat’s captaincy would be tested when the team plays in overseas conditions.
“I think he (Kohli) has learnt from other leaders. When you become a leader, you’ve got to have your own personality and you’ve got to do it your own way and be true to yourself. When the baton is handed down, you got to make sure that the culture in your team is improving and that’s how teams become strong and great. The Indian team always had a great culture and this team is extremely strong at this moment. They are going through a period where they are very dominant. Great teams win overseas (referring to India’s tours abroad in the next year) and their World Cup preparations are for English conditions. I think India has got a lot of depth to be able to adjust and it’s going to be exciting to see how things work out,” Hogg signed off saying.