India in New Zealand 2013-14 December 31, 2013

Ishwar Pandey gets maiden India Test call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ugra: Binny rewarded for IPL form

Ishwar Pandey, the Madhya Pradesh fast bowler, has received a maiden call-up to the India Test squad, which will play in New Zealand in February. Pandey also features in the ODI squad, along with Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny and Jharkhand quick Varun Aaron.

Yuvraj Singh has been left out for the ODIs, while Pragyan Ojha misses out from the Test squad.

Pandey was the leading wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy, with 48 wickets at 21.06, and he has remained effective in the current Ranji season as well. He has 30 wickets at 24.76 in eight games this season, including innings figures of 8 for 84 against Railways in Indore. Pandey bowls in the mid-130s but, tall by Indian standards, uses his height to get good bounce even from a good length.

Stuart Binny, a medium-pacer and middle-order batsman capable of getting quick runs when needed, has had a decent Ranji season for Karnataka with bat and ball. He had, earlier this year, earned a call-up to the India A squad that toured South Africa but this is Binny's maiden call-up to the senior squad. His selection is likely to have been prompted by the need for a pace-bowling allrounder to add balance to the team in New Zealand conditions. Binny's father Roger was a key member of India's 1983 World Cup-winning team, and is currently a national selector.

Varun Aaron played the last of his four ODIs in December 2011, in the home series against West Indies. He had impressed then with his ability to bowl at over 140kmph regularly but has been plagued by injury since. He was left out for the tour of Australia in 2011-12 and, though he returned for the 2012 IPL, he suffered the recurrence of a back injury that kept him away from competitive cricket for 15 months. Following a tweak in his bowling action to reduce the stress on his back, Aaron made a comeback in the current Ranji season, and has played five four-day games for Jharkhand since November.

Yuvraj had a woeful home ODI series against Australia in October, scoring 19 runs in four innings, when he was visibly troubled by the pace of Mitchell Johnson. He couldn't bat himself back into form in the home ODIs against West Indies or on the South Africa tour and was expected to be dropped for the New Zealand tour given the conditions in that country and the hosts' pace-heavy attack. Mohit Sharma, the Haryana pacer, also finds himself out of the one-day squad after being expensive in South Africa.

Ojha, the left-arm spinner, is not in the Test squad despite his solid 2013 record: 18 wickets in eight innings at 23.11. He probably lost out because of the India selectors's wish to beef up the pace attack to suit New Zealand conditions. Ojha did not feature in the Test XI in South Africa, losing out to R Ashwin in Johannesburg and Ravindra Jadeja in Durban.

India will go in to the New Zealand Tests with the experienced Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, bowlers who can bowl quick in Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, the bounce of Pandey, and the swing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ashwin and Jadeja make up the spin department, while the batting line-up remains the same after having largely impressed in South Africa.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on January 7, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Ashwin must have been dropped instead of Ojha. Ashwin is a poorer performer of the two when it comes to pitches abroad. Also Dhoni must give Ambati Rayudu a chance in one of the 2 test mathes. Its high time man !

  • Dharmendar on January 6, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Men in Blue ware clouded at SA tour, Now normal tracks are going to be face at NZ, this time team has to cheer up and need to gain the enthusiasm for AUS tour.

    NZ are medium face bowlers and with different climatic conditions, team was good need to push hard them self to reach the success.

    Capt has to think for sustaining for both formats(Day & Test), if not management has to advice him or make him to understand.

    He is using his trump cards in right way but should calculate the pitch performance, most of the fans ware hurt ed at SA.

    Good Luck at NZ series.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    if you are unlucky & leave a ball outside off stump.. the worst is that it hits the edge or even the off stump (Amla's dismissal).. but if the ball hits 3/4th the way of middle stump is unbelievable... rohit's dismissal in the durban test was really tragic to see.. he may have a lot of talent and he may be a "STAR" in the making(according to some indian commentators)... but he's extremely lazy with his foot work... he needs to put some urgency in his feet..!!

  • uma on January 6, 2014, 2:13 GMT

    bhuvi. dont forget him. he lost form due to aus tour and bias attitude of dhoni. hoe he is back to form in newzeland. if bhuvi backs to form. indian bowling prob is solved.

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    I think Indian got a chance Rishi Dhawan. he perfoming well in this ranji season.2015 wc in NZ&AUS so I think this team will very usefull in 2015 wc in NZ&AUS .My Team 1.R.Sharma 2.S.Dhawan 3.V.Kohali 4.S.Binny 5.S.Raina 6.R.Dhawan 7.M.S.Dhoni 8.R.Jadeja 9.S.Kaul 10.M.Shami 11.R.P.Sinh 12.R.Ashwin 13.I.Sharma/R.Shukla 14.A.Rahane 15.A.Raydu/M.Tiwari/A.Nayar 16.I.Pandey/R.Shukla IN overseas pitchis this indian speed star & team is very usefull.

  • raj on January 5, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    There are a lot of fans who are asking for Dhawan to be dropped! Given Dhawan did not get significant scores in 4 Test innings in SA but he did look like he could play Steyn & co - He did not look out of his depth. He kept getting out after looking settled. Compare this to Rohit - Rohit looked totally out of place even batting down the order. Rohit kept fishing outside the off-stump even after facing so many deliveries in the ODI's. If anyone should be dropped, it is Rohit! Drop Rohit and that allows both Jadeja and Ashwin to be included - India will have 5 genuine bowlers to bowl sides out twice - India is not capable of doing the same with only 4 specialist bowlers in Tests - especially with the aging Zak who is still a good enough bowler but will tire easily. Ishant needs to go - He is far too inconsistent. Ishant's record is abysmal but he is a master at doing enough to retain his place in the team - He fires in bursts without maintaining consistent good bowling throughout!

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    ODI TEAM 1. Shikhar Dhawan,2. Rohit Sharma,3. Virat Kohli,4 Ajinkya Rahane,5. MS Dhoni (capt)6. Suresh Raina,7. R Ashwin,(or)Stuart Binny,8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9.Bhuvneshwar Kumar,10. Mohammed Shami,11. Varun Aaron Ashwin s not bow well so binny chance to seamers

  • HNL on January 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan must be curtly told that they need to start performing or else face the inevitable. Team India desperately needs a genuine fast bowler to appear on the scene to share the workload with Shami. Hope Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav can provide some clues towards that. Zaheer seems like a tired guy and cannot be expected to bowl 40 overs in every test match. Ashwin and Jadeja need to deliver with the bat and contribute some at least with the ball. This tour will indicate who are ready for the next challenge in England and who should be out of the team for that trip.

  • raj on January 4, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Vijay and Pujara should at least get a chance to travel with the ODI side - there are 5 ODI's prior to the Test matches. Vijay and Pujara are an integral part of the Test team and they should get more of a chance to acclimatise to the very different conditions in NZ. I have a feeling that India is a bit relaxed after their good showing in one Test in SA (they have forgotten they lost all completed matches bar one). India will get an unpleasant surprise in NZ!

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    A couple of bad innings & ppl r baying for rohit's blood. to b honest he looked okay for whatever brief stay at crease. Except for the ist innings of ist test where he played loose shot offside, he got done with the crack-bounce. pur bad luck. over all it was good learning curve for the indian tea. even pujara dint score much on his maiden tour. So pls b patient before writing him off.