India in England 2014 July 27, 2014

India hopeful on Ishant fitness for Old Trafford


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'Not our best day on the tour' - Dawes

India's bowling coach, Joe Dawes, is confident Ishant Sharma will be fit by the time the fourth Test begins, in Manchester on August 7. Ishant, Man of the Match at Lord's for his seven-wicket haul in the second innings, had to be withdrawn from the Southampton Test in what seemed to be a last-minute move. MS Dhoni said he would have played Ishant had this been a one-day match, but he didn't want to risk him over five days.

Pankaj Singh, Ishant's replacement, was put on standby Saturday night, according to Dawes, which suggests India were not confident of Ishant's availability. Dawes said Ishant has "a bit of a sore leg", further tests on which are yet to be done. "There are eleven days or so to the next Test, and I am confident that he can pull through," Dawes said.

Pankaj might have been given the message to stay prepared for a debut, but the final call wasn't made until the teams got to the ground an hour before toss. Ishant tried bowling, but pulled up a little sore. However, Dawes saying that they hadn't made the decision right until toss time is a bit of an exaggeration. Ishant had been in a warm jacket and doing nothing for about 20 minutes leading up to the toss, which was a clear indication.

Pankaj had a mixed day in the field. He was desperately unlucky in having Alastair Cook dropped off his bowling, and then missing out on what looked like a pretty straightforward lbw decision against Ian Bell. Towards the end of the day, though, he took a bit of tap, getting pulled, cut and driven off the toes.

"After ten years, it was a dream come true," Pankaj told Star Sports. "Really happy to make my debut, but I would have liked to get a wicket for my team. Hopefully I get some tomorrow. It's an unbelievable feeling. Can't put it in words. Tried my best, but things haven't happened. Hopefully tomorrow that changes."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    India team management never learn the lesson that a cricket team consists of Batman, Bowler and a Wicketkeeper. They should play the best available players in these categories. A batsman who can bowl or a bowler who can bat is a rarity in Test cricket unless you have an Imran Khan or a Kapil Dev or a Jack Kallis. Rest of the so called utility players can be used consistently in Oneday/20-20 cricket. Indians should always select players keeping in mind the Country in which they are playing, Pitch, Opposition players style of play etc. A fast bowler should be a bowler who can bowl fast and a spinner should a bowler who can spin the ball. Forget all sentimental and nostalgic thoughts while selecting players. Forget about past, play in the present. While playing in England, kindly avoid players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Pankaj Singh ( Not an International material), Mohammed Shami ( Sadly out of form). Bring in players like Varun Aaron, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Ashwin etc.

  • yogesh on July 29, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Try resting Shami and Play aron and pandey. Give pankaj another go as he bowled well. Bring gautam back

  • Delan on July 29, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    If ever there was a case to play 5 bowlers for India it was here...when you lose you most experienced bowlers and the others haven't played tests in England nor particuarly threatening i'm shocked Dhoni went in with just 4 bowlers. Clearly Jadeja is his favourite, but Ashwin a much better and more attacking option in Test cricket!

  • purno on July 28, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    I cannot believe how India keep playing with four bowlers abroad. They never learn anything and the attitude is always negative. India always struggles to win abroad because they keep playing four bowlers despite having very talented bowlers who can also bat like you saw in the last test. They won it because they played five bowlers even though four was mostly used. It is psychological advantage and having option like in this test. When is India going to learn? We must encourage bowlers to become batsman like B. Kumar. I cannot bear to watch India keep making this mistake. I thought Dhoni has brains!

  • RashmiKant on July 28, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    India has fallen back to their lacklustre performance as Ishant gets injured surely Dhoni and Coach Flecther have a lot to answer for .What are the consultants like Dravid doing ?Surely Dravid should be able to provide input. This body language of the team reminds me of the Sydney match..

  • Android on July 28, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Ishant was bowling well this year especially in england .I hooe this injury does not interfere with his form .Really sad because Ishant hardly gets injured after his ankle surgery.

  • RAJARAMAN on July 28, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    India had taken Eng wickets in heaps before ... so no hopes lost ... look forward to a turnaraound in 2nd session of second day ... good luck

  • debarata on July 28, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    This is where you appreciate the fitness levels of Kapil Dev and the bowlers of yore. Day in day out all around the world, largely Test cricket; granted more cricket these days, but still !!! Varun aaron also has been injured for the bulk of his career in India. Still am mystified why Umesh Yadav was not picked; bowls fast, can pitch it short , moves it off the seam and is strong. inconsistent? Surely that can be too much of an issue in the Indian team. England are looking at 600 plus; that xtra batsman for India sure will be needed now.

  • love on July 28, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    I think there was lot to offer for bowlers in this pitch.India simple didn't capitalize it.Bhuvi bowled really short,He should have pitched it further.India batsmen will not find any easy from Anderson and co.If India don't stop England before 450,first defeat of the series may be on cards here.

  • J on July 28, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    Should give Shami a break and give Varun Aaron a chance. Also Jadeja can be rested and Ashvin can come in. Only then will the bowling have teeth to take 20 wickets.

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