If you wished to become a fast bowler in India, this is certainly a good time. After several years, the country can proudly vouch that it has a very promising crop of quicks, who can cause trouble to any batsman in the world. Part of that list of fast bowlers is Ishwar Pandey, the 24-year-old Madhya Pradesh pacer, who seems to have somewhat lost his way as far being in the national reckoning is concerned.
As every discard would tell you, the only way to get back to being a part of the national setup is by churning out consistent performances at the first-class level. Pandey gave a glimpse of what he could do if selected when on Friday, he sliced through the Punjab line-up like a knife going through butter.
Playing on the helpful decks of Lahli, Pandey shrugged off a poor Day One of his side’s Ranji Trophy match against Punjab and picked up figures of 8 for 102 in 36.2 overs to bundle out Punjab, who looked strong to reach a big score in their first innings, to 378 all out.
Pandey began the day by taking Gurkeerat Mann and then took the prized scalp of Yuvraj Singh for a superb 177. Once he was gone, the floodgates really opened up and he dismissed the rest of the batsman cheaply to ensure that MP had taken the upper hand in the game.
One of the key features in Pandey’s bowling is the manner in which he uses the crease. He comes close to it and generates bounce off the surface that becomes hard for the batsman to pick.
He was part of the Indian squad, that travelled to New Zealand and England in 2014, but could not get a game on those trips. However, he impressed the then Indian bowling coach Joe Dawes, who in a later interview, said that he was a big fan of him and could pose a threat on helpful conditions.
“I was a big fan of Ishwar Pandey. Thought he could have been a really good line-and-length bowler. Managed properly, given the opportunity to be fit and strong, he might not go 140-145, but he can get the job done in helpful conditions,” he said.
While India may have a settled bowling attack at present, Pandey is surely a candidate to be looked at in the future and he will hope to put in similar performances going forward in this particular domestic season.