Ishwar Pandey set to make international debut

Image courtesy of: The Indian Express

“I wasn’t expecting to be picked for both the ODI and the Test sides”

Madhya Pradesh pace bowler Ishwar Pandey is set to make his international debut after being included in India’s Test and ODI squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand, which gets underway on January 19. 

Pandey was the leading wicket-taker in last year’s Ranji Trophy with 48 wickets at an impressive average of 21.06. 

Pandey has taken 30 wickets at an average 24.76 in eight matches this season.

Speaking about his call-up to the national team, Pandey told ESPNcricinfo: “I was hopeful but I wasn’t expecting to be picked for both the ODI and the Test sides. Mazaa aayega [Will be exciting] (in New Zealand). I would credit both my domestic performances and showing in South Africa with the A side.”

India have also called up all-rounder Stuart Binny and pace bowler Varun Aaron, who has been out of action since December 2011 due to a number of injuries. 

“I think if I would have got a call back then [2000], [but] I wasn’t ready for international cricket,” Binny said. “But now after some consistent performances in the domestic circuit, I feel more confident about playing international cricket.

“When I made my India U-19 debut, the first tour we had was of New Zealand back then. It’s funny that my first trip with the senior team is also to same country. Having toured with the India A team to South Africa earlier this year also helped. There were at least seven-eight guys of the current India team who were there. They helped me get used to rigours of international cricket.”

Meanwhile, Aaron noted that it felt good to be back in the national team after spending two years on the sidelines. 

“It is very relieving and I’m very happy to be back after a couple of years so I’m looking forward to it,” Aaron said. “I wasn’t thinking about selection at all. I was just taking it game-by-game and I just wanted to prove my fitness and bowl well. That was my only aim and concern.”

Aaron also revealed that he had made an adjustment to his bowling action. 

“It’s not much of a change, just a slight adjustment I’ve made to my backfoot, it’s still a work in progress,” he said. “My backfoot has opened up, it was very straight before and it now faces fine leg instead of facing the keeper earlier. So now it’s opened up which reduces the stress on my back.

“My upper half was very side-on and my lower half was a little front-on so it caused a lot of rotation. But opening my backfoot up eases out the stress.”

Leave a Reply