Home > Features >

India vs England, 4th Test at Manchester: The curious case of Pankaj Singh and preview of Indian bowling attack

Pankaj Singh had a disappointing Debut  © Getty Images
Pankaj Singh had a disappointing debut at Southampton © Getty Images

After a tough debut Test, Pankaj Singh perhaps might get one more chance unlike many other new Indian pacers who struggle early on. Abhijit Banare previews India’s bowling attack in the fourth Test and where does Pankaj stand in there.

When he was picked in the Indian squad for the tour of Engalnd, neither Pankaj Singh nor the team management were sure whether he would really play a single match on this tour or not. But because of Ishant sharma’s injury he did make it to the playing eleven. And when he eventually made it, everyone had words like ‘he is consistent’, ‘he knows how to toil for wickets’, ‘he is used to bowling on dead tracks’. But when he eventually ended up with nothing in his kitty, everyone sympathised with him. It’s tough to be in the world of Pankaj Singh these days.

However, the injury scare to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and unavailability of Ishant means that, Pankaj will be among the lucky ones to get another Test at least to prove his worth. On some other day, the Southampton would be a hazy memory for Pankaj which came and went in a flash. From a potentially forgotten pacer, this is his chance to shine. At Manchester, he will not only be a certainty but surely be sharing the new ball with Mohammed Shami.

It’s a well-discussed fact that, Pankaj didn’t bowl as poorly as the numbers reflect. And skipper MS Dhoni trusted him with the new ball and praised him at the post match as well. For the next Test, Pankaj will have to tie up his loose ends. After a tough first day at Southampton, he seemed to have given up. Manchester and possibly The Oval will be his best chance to impress and retain his place for the series ahead. A new ball means he has the best chance to pick up wickets early on.

Injuries: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s availability is still isn’t confirmed. It seems unlikely that he will be part of the Test even if he stretches himself to get fit in time. Bhuvneshwar is a critical part of the Indian One-Day International team and they would prefer to have him for the entire tour than look at availability of one Test.

The selection conundrum remains with Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey. The black of experience will be wide open when the skipper if forced to make a choice between two relatively new pacers. Varun Aaron might edge out Ishwar Pandey in pace but the skipper has watched Ishwar closely playing for Chennai Super Kings.

What happens to Ravichandran Ashwin? : Dhoni has looked uncertain with his five bowlers strategy. Despite a win at Lord’s Stuart Binny was a forgotten man. Ashwin’s inclusion not only gives him the option of two spinners but can also be used as cover if the pace attack fails to live up to the expectations. India’s need for Ashwin is more than just a spinner. Jadeja’s gamble with aggression is not going to click all the time especially when spending time at crease weighs more than racing up the score. Ashwin is the man who is capable of it. In fact, a four-bowler strategy means, Ashwin should ideally replace the left-arm spinner. Jadeja allowed the captain to plug the flow of runs while Ashwin is a more attacking bowler. But Ashwin appears a sound all-rounder than Jadeja. It would also mean that Rohit Sharma retains his place down the order.

Overall, three pacers in Pankaj, Shami and one from Ishwar or Varun along with Ashwin seems a likely combination. Yet at the end of the day, the inexperience in the attack will be playing at the bacl of his mind and the new pacers will have a real challenge to deliver in the narrow window of opportunity.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes Phil Hughes head injury South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes passes away: India-Australia 1st Test in doubt

India tour game against CA XI cancelled: Report

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Day 2 called off after Phillip Hughes’ death

Phillip Hughes death: Universal sorrow as cricket grounds silent

Phillip Hughes’ death: Indian team expresses condolences

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: When Will the Supreme Court make the whole Mudgal report public?

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here