Ian Bishop, once a fearsome West Indies pacer, believes that fast bowling has had a resurgence in recent years, and he is eager to see what this generation of bowlers can do.
He spoke with Cricinfo recently to discuss today's pace bowlers and what they've been able to do. He also discusses how India's bowlers have grown, and who he's most looking forward to watching in the near future.
Here are a few key answers from that interview:
When asked if he had foreseen just how good the Indian pace attack would be, Bishop said that the foundation had been laid ages ago, with Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and others laying down the groundwork. And now, under Virat Kohli, this group was reaping the rewards.
He also lavished praise on Jasprit Bumrah, who he called a generational talent, for his ability in all three formats of the game. Beyond that, he said he hadn't foreseen just how good Ishant and Shami would become, and that their dedication to building their strength and pace was exceptional. The pair, he said, have taken their games to another level from what we've grown used to seeing. For their dramatic metamorphosis, he credited Bharat Arun, India's bowling coach, and the team's administators and captain.
Later, he was asked which pacers he would always watch, whenever they were playing. To this, Bishop had no easy answer. He spoke at great length about the quality of bowlers present right now, focusing largely on Jofra Archer and Shami, both of whom he seems besotted with.
To quote him, "There are so many. Jofra Archer. I almost feel when he's on song that it's the perfect streamlined technique. Naseem Shah. Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Shami - oh god, I love Shami! That whole core group of what India bring, where I don't want to pick anyone and say, 'This one more than the other.'"
He then spoke about how he thinks Kemar Roach has developed, by losing pace and fixing his line and length - much like an older Brett Lee did. After the drop in pace, neither was an express pacer any longer, but they became more accurate and more consistently dangerous in their spells.
For up-and-coming players, Ian Bishop wants to see how Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti can develop. He thinks they've both got the talent, and if they - particularly Nagarkoti - can stay fit, he sees them growing rapidly into great bowlers.
So clearly, we're not the only ones excited about fast bowlers right now.
You can find the entire interview here.
Also Read: 2019: the year of the Indian fast bowler