(Clockwise form top) Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron © Getty Images/ AFP
(Clockwise form top) Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron © Getty Images/ AFP

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The Test series is drawing to a close, and the result so far has been along expected lines. But what has been most heartening to see, is the hunger among two of India’s most exciting prospects in the fast bowling department – Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. The two have taken full advantage of the faith placed in them and responded with performances that will gladden Indian fans, who have been waiting a long time for genuine quicks.

 

In the absence of an experienced pace bowler for the series, it was almost certain that Ishant Sharma would assume the role of the senior pro and play all the Tests, barring any injury. This meant that Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron would have to fight it out for a place. Yadav was given the opportunity first and, after the initial nerves, he settled down into a rhythm. The first Test did not yield the kind of results that he might have wanted. But in the second Test in Kolkata, he bowled with more purpose and was rewarded with a seven-wicket match haul.

 

With the series in the bag, Varun Aaron was given his Test cap in the third and final Test at Mumbai. Aaron himself expressed that it felt a bit strange to replace Yadav, who had bowled well to retain his place in the side. On a bowler’s graveyard in Mumbai, the first day did not yield any results, despite Aaron bowling his heart out. But he showed a big heart and stuck to his task. The reward came by way of three quick wickets in one session on the Second Day. The delight and relief in Aaron’s face was there for all to see.

 

The most heartening sight must be the ability of both bowlers to consistently bowl at speeds close to 90 mph and even go past that mark a few times. With the Australian tour coming up, the likes of Ishant, Yadav and Aaron could make up for a potent pace attack. With Zaheer being included on a provisional basis, the Indian pace attack might just be the surprise package on the tour to Australia.

 

And if things go well and the two newcomers back it up with some consistent performances, we might just be seeing the emergence of India’s new fast bowling pair. While this series did not give us the opportunity of seeing the youngsters bowl in tandem, the Australian tour certainly will, if both are picked. So here’s hoping that the selectors give these two an extended run in the series in Australia.

 

Stay tuned…

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)