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)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

Ian Healy’s son speaks about his upcoming U-19 tour to Sri Lanka

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Ashwell Prince plays down talk of ‘racist’ abuse

Ian Bell out of county final against Durham due to toe injury

Kane Williamson: Always trying to work on my shots

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Northern Knights vs Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014, 3rd match: 5 talking points

Ramesh Saxena: The Bihar mainstay with a restricted Test career

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

X-Men spin-off ‘Deadpool’ to release on February 12, 2016

iPhone 6 launch: Tim Cook kicks off sale at Palo Alto Retail Store, obliges fans with selfies

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan confident of lowering child mortality before 2030

Ashish Sharma: Karan Johar is the coolest judge on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7!

No, you can’t charge your iPhone in a microwave

Jammu & Kashmir floods: Bill Gates to donate USD 7 lakh for flood victims

Kunal Kapoor’s next on water scarcity similar to Sushant Singh Rajput’s Paani?

Jitu Rai wins first gold medal for India in 50m Pistol Men’s finals of Asian Games 2014

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here