More pin­falls, less pit­falls

Sportstar - - BOWLING PREVIEW - ANJANA SENTHIL

Ten­pin bowl­ing has been on the up­swing since 2015, with In­dia win­ning at least one medal in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions ev­ery year since then.

In In­dia, ten­pin bowl­ing is more pop­u­lar as a week­end hobby than as a se­ri­ous sport in ur­ban cen­tres. For the unini­ti­ated, bowl­ing is a sport in which a player rolls down a bowl­ing ball in oiled lanes with the aim of knock­ing down the 10 pins ar­ranged in a tri­an­gu­lar po­si­tion at the end of the lane. Points are de­cided based on the num­ber of pins knocked down.

At the Asian Games, ten­pin bowl­ing will be played on sur­faces with two dif­fer­ent oil­ing con­di­tions — the long oil and the medium oil pat­tern. Each player will play six games (three on each sur­face), with the teams ranked based on the to­tal num­ber of pin­falls. With the in­tro­duc­tion of a new in­cen­tive­based scor­ing sys­tem in the Asian Games, first­mover ad­van­tage is largely negated.

While bowl­ing has been a part of the Asian Games since 197■, In­dia be­gan field­ing bowlers only in 2002. Af­ter three suc­ces­sive edi­tions where In­dia had lit­tle to write home about, the sports min­istry de­cided not to send a team for the 2014 Games in In­cheon.

De­spite the lack­lus­tre per­for­mance in pre­vi­ous edi­tions, there is scope for a medal this year. The sport has been on the up­swing since 2015, with the coun­try win­ning at least one medal in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions ev­ery year since then. Shab­bir Dhankot kick­started the medal run with a sil­ver at the Asian Bowl­ing Cham­pi­onship in 2015.

He later won the Asian In­door Games bronze medal along with Dhruv Sarda in 2017. With a sim­i­lar field likely to take part in the Games, the ex­pec­ta­tion of a medal is not un­war­ranted.

Men’s team: Dhruv Sarda, Shab­bir Dhankot, Akaash Ashok Ku­mar, Parvez Ahmed Saud, Kis­han Ra­machandra­iah and Shoumick Datta.

GETTY IMAGES

On the up­swing: While bowl­ing has been a part of the Asian Games since 1978, In­dia be­gan field­ing bowlers only in 2002.

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