India news December 31, 2013

'Didn't expect a call for both ODIs and Tests' - Pandey

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Madhya Pradesh fast bowler Ishwar Pandey reacted to his maiden call-up to the India squad for the New Zealand tour by saying he was not expecting to be picked for both formats. Pandey's inclusion in place of Pragyan Ojha was the only change in the 17-man squad for the two Tests in February.

"I was hopeful but I wasn't expecting to be picked for both the ODI and the Test sides," Pandey told ESPNcricinfo. "Mazaa aayega [It will be fun] (in New Zealand). I would credit both my domestic performances and my tour of South Africa with the A side."

Pandey, who topped the wicket-takers' list in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy, has played 12 first-class matches this season - two each against South Africa A and West Indies A, and eight in the Ranji Trophy. He has taken 45 wickets in those, with two five-fors, including 11 wickets on the tour of South Africa.

Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny was included for the ODIs, along with Varun Aaron who made a comeback to the international squad after more than two years. In 53 first-class matches so far, Binny has scored 2714 runs at an average of 34.79 and has 79 wickets at 32.16. In List A matches, Binny has 669 runs at 22.30 and 37 wickets at 36.64.

Binny was a part of the Under-19 World Cup-winning squad in 2000 and has replaced his then team-mate Yuvraj Singh for the ODIs. But he appreciates the long wait for the call-up. "I think back then [2000] I wasn't ready for international cricket. But now after some consistent performances in the domestic circuit, I feel more confident about playing international cricket," Binny said.

"When I made my India U-19 debut, the first tour we had was of New Zealand back then," he said. "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 players of the current India team who were there. They helped me get used to rigours of international cricket."

Aaron has top-level experience - he played four ODIs in 2011 - but injuries have kept him out of the international circuit since then. He is playing his sixth first-class game this Ranji season and said he was "relieved" to be back in the India squad.

"It is a relief 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"

After playing the IPL in 2012, Aaron suffered the recurrence of a back injury that kept him out until the beginning of the domestic season this year. "My back feels good and after playing six games, I still feel good as I've bowled a lot of overs so I really feel confident when it comes to my fitness," he said.

He underwent surgery in March this year, and a slight adjustment in his action has also helped him reduce the stress on his back.

"It's not much of a change, just a slight adjustment I've made to my back foot, it's still a work in progress. My back foot 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 back foot eases out the stress."

With the inclusion of Pandey and Aaron in the ODI squad, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav were the two pacers to be left out for the five-match series that begins on January 19 in Napier.

Abhishek Purohit and Vishal Dikshit are sub-editors at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    I agree is MSD is a good captain but he is not fit for Tests....India should give a go for either DK for Parthiv(far better choice than saha) in Tests with Virat leading the team....I wonder why pujara/rayudu are picked in place of short ball sufferer raina....raina is staying in the team just only becoz of MSD....

  • on January 6, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    dhoni the best captain... no replacement for him.... it's not good to let him go down as captain of test team... young test team need himm... he is the senior most player of the team... he and zak are the oness who are above 30.... The rest of the team didn't have any experience overseas...the people want him to be removed from test captaincy... without senior player they can't perform that well what they did in SA Test Series was comendable...didn't expect this form you guys.....

  • DhairyBoghani on January 2, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    Real problem India face overseas is fast bowlers. India have not fast bowlers who can use conditions well. If fasters can take 20 wickets india can win match.(Caption can select bowler can't produce bowler). We lost series in Aus by 2-1 in 2008 in kumble's captioncy because of fasters.

    India had won series in WI by 1-0, in NZ by 2-0, draw series by 1-1 in SA in MSD's captioncy because we had fasters who can take 20 wickets at that time. Ind won 6 tests in raw at home because we has spinners who can play well in Indian condition.

    Eng won series in ind by 2-1 & aus lost by 4-0. Eng had good bowlers to use condition (in india spinners) which aus hadn't to win. That was not difference of captioncy.

    So don't criticise MSD (because Ind never lost a test by his bad dicition) and try to find fast bowlers who can take 20 wickets.

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 2, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Ashwin is a flop show outside India. He should be a promising youngster like Parvez Rasool.

  • DhairyBoghani on January 2, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    Binny is playing fc for last 10 years & Rishi Dhavan for 4 years. Binny was impressive in last 5 IPL season & Rishi was in last one.So as a try Binny got first chance. We have more than a year for WC. So if Binny can do, go with him otherwise take Rishi for ENG and AUS tours. I think if Binny play well in ODI at NZ, India should try him for tests.

    Why we are going with Saha for reserve WC? he avg about 40 & taken 8 catch/stumping this season against Naman Oza avg about 70 & taken 19 catch/stumping or Parthiv Patel avg about 64 & taken 24 catch/stumping.

  • BigINDFan on January 2, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    It is amazing how Ishant Sharma got selected for SA tour ahead of Pandey who actually took 11 wickets in SA even if it is A tour. Apart from that one innings in the first test Ishant was a failure hence MSD said bowlers need to bend their backs. NZ will be trickier than SA but team selection looks good. The only issue I have is lack of quality spinners from a country that produced some of the best ones before.

    Agree with comments here - MSD should quit Tests and focus on ODIs and T20s. Pujara should captain Tests and bring in a proper wicket keeper or even Dinesh Karthik. 5 bowlers and 5 batsmen with 1 wk batsmen all young guns and they will push India to No. 1

    Yes Pak has better bowlers but Ind does not need really fast pace bowlers, just bowlers who can hit the right line and length and be consistent about it. Ind lost in SA due to reliance on spent force like Zak and inconsistent bloke like Ishant and no spinner to help Jadeja.

  • on January 2, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    sometimes I really don't understand dhonis tactics of setting a very aggressive fielding in the test matches against southAfrica.in doing so he gave too many easy runs to the southAfricans.also I think India was a bit unlucky because viratkohli was given out wrongly and that changed the whole match for India.

  • on January 1, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    Indian batting + Pakistan bowling = unbeatable combination. Damn the partition.

  • Jalz007 on January 1, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    We need a good fast bowler who can bowl consistently @ 140 Ks, & takes wickets consistently, just like Steyn, Johnson....... Its puzzling fact that Pakistan keeps churning bowlers after bowlers who are match winners on any given day, but the same cannot be said about their batsmen!! Reverse applies to India, we have match winning batsmen, but cannot claim to have a good match winning bowler....!!!

  • Arrow011 on January 1, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Ashwin, Jadeja should always play irrespctive of conditions & they both are allrounders also so it adds more value. It is time to give Ashwin the captaincy in tests & Dhoni should continue for the limited over formats. Dhoni need not be removed from the team in tests as he is the best wicketkeeper by far in the country. He should be asked to play like Gilchrist as he is an attacking cricketer & there is no sense in him playing the boring kallis cricket anymore.

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    I agree is MSD is a good captain but he is not fit for Tests....India should give a go for either DK for Parthiv(far better choice than saha) in Tests with Virat leading the team....I wonder why pujara/rayudu are picked in place of short ball sufferer raina....raina is staying in the team just only becoz of MSD....

  • on January 6, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    dhoni the best captain... no replacement for him.... it's not good to let him go down as captain of test team... young test team need himm... he is the senior most player of the team... he and zak are the oness who are above 30.... The rest of the team didn't have any experience overseas...the people want him to be removed from test captaincy... without senior player they can't perform that well what they did in SA Test Series was comendable...didn't expect this form you guys.....

  • DhairyBoghani on January 2, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    Real problem India face overseas is fast bowlers. India have not fast bowlers who can use conditions well. If fasters can take 20 wickets india can win match.(Caption can select bowler can't produce bowler). We lost series in Aus by 2-1 in 2008 in kumble's captioncy because of fasters.

    India had won series in WI by 1-0, in NZ by 2-0, draw series by 1-1 in SA in MSD's captioncy because we had fasters who can take 20 wickets at that time. Ind won 6 tests in raw at home because we has spinners who can play well in Indian condition.

    Eng won series in ind by 2-1 & aus lost by 4-0. Eng had good bowlers to use condition (in india spinners) which aus hadn't to win. That was not difference of captioncy.

    So don't criticise MSD (because Ind never lost a test by his bad dicition) and try to find fast bowlers who can take 20 wickets.

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 2, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Ashwin is a flop show outside India. He should be a promising youngster like Parvez Rasool.

  • DhairyBoghani on January 2, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    Binny is playing fc for last 10 years & Rishi Dhavan for 4 years. Binny was impressive in last 5 IPL season & Rishi was in last one.So as a try Binny got first chance. We have more than a year for WC. So if Binny can do, go with him otherwise take Rishi for ENG and AUS tours. I think if Binny play well in ODI at NZ, India should try him for tests.

    Why we are going with Saha for reserve WC? he avg about 40 & taken 8 catch/stumping this season against Naman Oza avg about 70 & taken 19 catch/stumping or Parthiv Patel avg about 64 & taken 24 catch/stumping.

  • BigINDFan on January 2, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    It is amazing how Ishant Sharma got selected for SA tour ahead of Pandey who actually took 11 wickets in SA even if it is A tour. Apart from that one innings in the first test Ishant was a failure hence MSD said bowlers need to bend their backs. NZ will be trickier than SA but team selection looks good. The only issue I have is lack of quality spinners from a country that produced some of the best ones before.

    Agree with comments here - MSD should quit Tests and focus on ODIs and T20s. Pujara should captain Tests and bring in a proper wicket keeper or even Dinesh Karthik. 5 bowlers and 5 batsmen with 1 wk batsmen all young guns and they will push India to No. 1

    Yes Pak has better bowlers but Ind does not need really fast pace bowlers, just bowlers who can hit the right line and length and be consistent about it. Ind lost in SA due to reliance on spent force like Zak and inconsistent bloke like Ishant and no spinner to help Jadeja.

  • on January 2, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    sometimes I really don't understand dhonis tactics of setting a very aggressive fielding in the test matches against southAfrica.in doing so he gave too many easy runs to the southAfricans.also I think India was a bit unlucky because viratkohli was given out wrongly and that changed the whole match for India.

  • on January 1, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    Indian batting + Pakistan bowling = unbeatable combination. Damn the partition.

  • Jalz007 on January 1, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    We need a good fast bowler who can bowl consistently @ 140 Ks, & takes wickets consistently, just like Steyn, Johnson....... Its puzzling fact that Pakistan keeps churning bowlers after bowlers who are match winners on any given day, but the same cannot be said about their batsmen!! Reverse applies to India, we have match winning batsmen, but cannot claim to have a good match winning bowler....!!!

  • Arrow011 on January 1, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Ashwin, Jadeja should always play irrespctive of conditions & they both are allrounders also so it adds more value. It is time to give Ashwin the captaincy in tests & Dhoni should continue for the limited over formats. Dhoni need not be removed from the team in tests as he is the best wicketkeeper by far in the country. He should be asked to play like Gilchrist as he is an attacking cricketer & there is no sense in him playing the boring kallis cricket anymore.

  • on January 1, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    I think india should go in for five fast bowlers ( shami , pandey , rishi dhawan , kulkarni and yadav and in the batting department-- dhawan, rohit, kohli, pujara , rahane , dinesh kartik and no ms dhoni

  • jango_moh on January 1, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    ppl are just going crazy over dhawan's and rohit's showing.... i think they looked good before they got out.... they didnt look out of sorts too much, so i think they will definitely succeed in the future especially rohit.... i just hope dhoni is removed from the captaincy in tests... he needs to make way for a proper wicketkeeper batsman and a new captain..... he's still the best odi wk batsman and captain we have, so that part is good.... hopefully our bowlers can do a better job in the future....

  • on January 1, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    It is illogical that Pujara who has the highest average in List A games, is not being given a chance despite proving that he is of international class..yes, he is not and will never be of the same fielding class as Raina, but the next WC will be in Australia and without a solid No. 3, it is going to be extremely difficult, as the openers are bound to fail more often than not, there...

  • akhilraj on January 1, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    I think rishi dhawan would b much better choice on binny..

    I dnt think any other possible changes in the team,nd for those people who r criticisng Rohit dat he jus performs on indian tracks should hav to see the statistics..he is 2nd top run getter for india in champions trophy in ENGLAND,he averages 86.04 and 62.32 in WEST INDIES and ZIMBABWE..and i dnt think that those all are flat tracks lyk of india...

  • on January 1, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    DUnno if Binny is a better pick over Rishi Dhawan..

  • on January 1, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    ahhh again that name........Varon AAron...

    for all those who are going bazooka on hi selection remember he will prove to be the uttermost failure in the upcoming series because he is an injury prone cricketer more than zaheer and srinath....and he can't help himself because of that backbone fracture which he had earlier and he can't defy nature becoz whenever he will bend his back more he will get injured

    Ishwar pandey is the future of Indian bowling along with Shami and Bhuvneshwar so lets hope this 3 gets battle ready before 2015 WC's

  • on January 1, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    hope. varun Aaron doesn't end up line and length bowler by the end of his career, numerous Indian bowlers ended up like that... hope varun is not one among them...

  • task on December 31, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Though its a great opportunity to find a young good fast bowler who can play for at least 10 years for the team..its a pity that India have to run towards a bowler who has play about 15 list A and first class games each and has spent more time recovering from injuries than on field just for because he has pace and a bowler who has played for a couple of seasons in ranji just because he has height at a sufficient pace..These Indian selectors are doing their best to search for young talents though..unlike the previous panel that selected random guys for a couple of matches..wonder where s.tiwary is in the selectors list for the ODI squad..he played well under pressure in the couple of matches he has played before being inexplicably dropped..

  • bijuphilip on December 31, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    why pujara is not in the ODI team? raina should go now

  • Greatest_Game on December 31, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    After overwhelming ODI & test defeats at the hands of South Africa, it would be no surprise to see wholesale changes in the Indian bowling lineup. Shami is an excellent bowler, & will go from strength to strength, but clearly needs competent support. Hopefully for India, common sense will prevail, and it will not be expected that Zak will suddenly get younger, or Ishant will dramatically improve.

    India gutted their old batting lineup, and new generation have done very well, and have a promising future, except for Dhawan and Rohit - both clearly out of their league if not on a dead flat track facing medium pace. Any one of Pujara, Rahane & Kohli can legitimately compete for a place in any international team, and in some cases all 3 would walk right in. A similar changing of the guard for Indian pace bowling is needed for India to truly compete.

    The same might be said of the Indian test captaincy.

  • DhairyBoghani on December 31, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    I think Varun is the man who can provide agressivness to fast bowling attack which was left after srisanth.

    Poojara's non inclusion & going again with raina is very disappointing. but would be better if raina would not in playing 11.

    My odi team: Dhavan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Aswin, Bhuvneswar, Shami, Aaron.(If Aaro not fit I will prefer Panday.)

    My test team: Dhavan, Vijay, Poojara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bhuvnewar, Yadav, Shami. (only for first test, if Rohit/Yadav can't play well, I will go with Rayudu and Panday)

  • WorldCham_2011 on December 31, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Umesh is only hope for India pace battery but selector thinking not helping Indian to overseas performance..Lets see how fruitful this changes ..

  • on December 31, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    We are basically preparing for the T20 world cup and we need to take a look at Varun. Yadav is quick but Varun is more accurate. India went with Bhuv, Yadav and Ishant. in the T20 Champions trophy in England but in the sub continent the pair of Varun and Shami is quicker on the slower pitches and more accurate. The seamer should be Bhuv with his batting and Mishra as the spinner. So the T20 world cup line is:

    Shami Varun Bhuv Mishra and Jadeja.

    We need to start using Bhuv as a 3rd seamer rather than opening the bowling. With the new ball Shami and Varun are quicker than Bhuv. We should be able to be the favorites for the T20 World Cup because of Varun.

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Why are they carrying Umesh around if they only have to drop him?

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Aaron's recovery progress is still work-in-progress. Selectors are taking a big risk with him and his battered back, unfortunately battered a bit too early in his young life. Take care, young man!

  • trinibay on December 31, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    India is making a big mistake by omitting Umesh Yadav.This guy has good pace and this is what you need when playing overseas. Each good team has at leat 1 bowler who can bowl over 140k consitently. Ishant Sharma has lost all his pace. Even Shami is bowling quicker than Ishant. Zaheer,s time is yp. India need new blood.

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Varun Aaron looked a bit out of shape when he played back in 2011. Now is he got better physique?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Varun Aaron looked a bit out of shape when he played back in 2011. Now is he got better physique?

  • trinibay on December 31, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    India is making a big mistake by omitting Umesh Yadav.This guy has good pace and this is what you need when playing overseas. Each good team has at leat 1 bowler who can bowl over 140k consitently. Ishant Sharma has lost all his pace. Even Shami is bowling quicker than Ishant. Zaheer,s time is yp. India need new blood.

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Aaron's recovery progress is still work-in-progress. Selectors are taking a big risk with him and his battered back, unfortunately battered a bit too early in his young life. Take care, young man!

  • on December 31, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Why are they carrying Umesh around if they only have to drop him?

  • on December 31, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    We are basically preparing for the T20 world cup and we need to take a look at Varun. Yadav is quick but Varun is more accurate. India went with Bhuv, Yadav and Ishant. in the T20 Champions trophy in England but in the sub continent the pair of Varun and Shami is quicker on the slower pitches and more accurate. The seamer should be Bhuv with his batting and Mishra as the spinner. So the T20 world cup line is:

    Shami Varun Bhuv Mishra and Jadeja.

    We need to start using Bhuv as a 3rd seamer rather than opening the bowling. With the new ball Shami and Varun are quicker than Bhuv. We should be able to be the favorites for the T20 World Cup because of Varun.

  • WorldCham_2011 on December 31, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Umesh is only hope for India pace battery but selector thinking not helping Indian to overseas performance..Lets see how fruitful this changes ..

  • DhairyBoghani on December 31, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    I think Varun is the man who can provide agressivness to fast bowling attack which was left after srisanth.

    Poojara's non inclusion & going again with raina is very disappointing. but would be better if raina would not in playing 11.

    My odi team: Dhavan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Aswin, Bhuvneswar, Shami, Aaron.(If Aaro not fit I will prefer Panday.)

    My test team: Dhavan, Vijay, Poojara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bhuvnewar, Yadav, Shami. (only for first test, if Rohit/Yadav can't play well, I will go with Rayudu and Panday)

  • Greatest_Game on December 31, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    After overwhelming ODI & test defeats at the hands of South Africa, it would be no surprise to see wholesale changes in the Indian bowling lineup. Shami is an excellent bowler, & will go from strength to strength, but clearly needs competent support. Hopefully for India, common sense will prevail, and it will not be expected that Zak will suddenly get younger, or Ishant will dramatically improve.

    India gutted their old batting lineup, and new generation have done very well, and have a promising future, except for Dhawan and Rohit - both clearly out of their league if not on a dead flat track facing medium pace. Any one of Pujara, Rahane & Kohli can legitimately compete for a place in any international team, and in some cases all 3 would walk right in. A similar changing of the guard for Indian pace bowling is needed for India to truly compete.

    The same might be said of the Indian test captaincy.

  • bijuphilip on December 31, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    why pujara is not in the ODI team? raina should go now

  • task on December 31, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Though its a great opportunity to find a young good fast bowler who can play for at least 10 years for the team..its a pity that India have to run towards a bowler who has play about 15 list A and first class games each and has spent more time recovering from injuries than on field just for because he has pace and a bowler who has played for a couple of seasons in ranji just because he has height at a sufficient pace..These Indian selectors are doing their best to search for young talents though..unlike the previous panel that selected random guys for a couple of matches..wonder where s.tiwary is in the selectors list for the ODI squad..he played well under pressure in the couple of matches he has played before being inexplicably dropped..