India in Sri Lanka 2010 July 11, 2010

Net bowlers reinforce India sans Sreesanth, Harbhajan


The BCCI's move to send over Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav, mainly as net bowlers, to Colombo came good in an undesired way as two frontline bowlers missed India's first net session of the tour. Sreesanth was down with a knee discomfort and Harbhajan Singh with fever. Sreesanth has had an MRI done, and the board is likely to make an official communication on Monday. A first nets session without two main bowlers would have frustrated the visitors after a steady drizzle denied them practise on Saturday.

The issues with Sreesanth and Harbhajan are coincidental, but that the board agreed to the team's request for extra bowlers is worth credit. It is believed that the team management had asked the BCCI for a couple of promising young bowlers, who could solve India's problem of lack of quality net bowlers on their away assignments. So Unadkat, playing in the India A tour of England, was asked to accompany Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Mithun, who are part of the Test squad.

Although this is a hastily arranged tour, the BCCI had earlier acted prudently by getting the programme changed to include a three-day tour game, and making sure the team reached the country nine days before the first Test. The Indian team had come in for a lot of criticism for the absence of a warm-up game in their World Twenty20 schedule. They didn't have a warm-up game on their previous Test tour, to New Zealand, either. Both these decisions could be pointing towards a pleasant change in the board's attitude where it listens to the needs of the team management.

The choice of the bowlers is interesting. The 18-year-old Unadkat, who was one of India's better performers in the Under-19 World Cup, first caught attention when Wasim Akram, his coach at Kolkata Knight Riders, had nice things to say about him. Yadav has taken the more conventional route to the reckoning, through two solid reasons with Vidarbha. He made his ODI debut during the second-string Indian side's tour of Zimbabwe.

Neither of these bowlers have had chances to bowl at Test batsmen: Unadkat is yet to make Ranji debut, and Yadav plays in the Ranji Plate League. "It was the board's decision to send them here so that they get exposure bowling to Test batsmen, and also our batsmen get proper practice," Ranjib Biswal, India's manager on tour, told Cricinfo.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mradul on July 12, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    @Osanda: Way Too optimistic. I hope you know you are talking about Indian team whom you have always struggled to beat. Even though India lost series in SL last 2 times but still won Tests on both occasions. SL never managed to do so in India and infact they lost heavily last time with their full strength. @Jaradd: I dont remember SL beating England in a test series of more than 2 tests. I think they have only won a series of a Single test match. WI is no power in Test Cricket and same is true for Pak.

  • Jaradd on July 12, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    My friend McGorium... you seem to got your facts wrong, these Sri Lankans do have series victories in England, the West Indies & Pakistan. godd luck!!!

  • anshuman on July 12, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Anish284 on U said.. "I've been watching cricket for the last 14 years and I am yet to see an Indian fast bowler beating a batsman with pace ."..

    Certainly you have missed two guys viz..Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan bowling in their pomp..

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    srikant must have to answer abt this comment i put it earllier and somebody can give me srikant cont no i want to call him

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Why The hell Selecto is Not Giving1 Chance to Irfan Pathan And R.P. Singh when does abhimanyu mithun did play last time srikant Is totalay doing unfair with irfan pathan and r.p.singh and he is only selecting south indian players why does he choose murli vijay what dose he did it for in last few matches. we need to force srikant to give resign from selection committe because why he picked up wridhiman saha why not dinesh karthik can be picked he played very good in last few games and wridhiman not

  • KARTHICK on July 12, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Osanda is talking non-sense, zaheer, bhajji and ishant have been stars in the last 2-3 years both inside and outside india against excellent oppositions. SL only has Malinga and a bit of Murali these days... I will just consider your comment as emotional to support SL which we all know it's a class team but it's bowling is worser than the other top countries probably with an exception of west indies.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    Sreesanth needs to be shown the exit as soon possible.. good that he is injured... that will at least allow Sharma , Mithun , Mishra and Ojha to come in... and Hpe Harbajan is fit.. else be brave to pick an extra batsmen and let sehwag and yuvraj soulder the responsibility of a fifth bowler.. that shou;d be gd fpr the team...

  • Arun on July 12, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    @Osanda: I realize you're trying to be a troll here. But, remember Brabourne stadium not 8 months ago? India scored 400+ in a day against your side, with Murali in the side (Your side got bowled out for under 350, if I recall correctly). Speaks volumes about your bowling ability. You lost both games by an innings. In other words, SRL failed to take 20 wickets in either game. Your team can't win in Australia or SAF. India has. You haven't won a series in England, or WI, or even Pak. India has. So, take a chill pill. Your batting is weaker than India's, and your bowling isn't particularly threatening in tests. Kick back and try to enjoy the game, as pointless as this contest is.

  • Bharat on July 11, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    I am really surprised to see India still experimenting and its not even a year now from 2011 world cup. First round exit in a world cup is certain. When would selectors realise the best time to experiment It is too late to experiment. Team should have been settled by now. Good Luck India

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    Given India's bowling problems, I am sure Sangakara and Jayawardene will each score a TRIPLE century on this tour.

  • No featured comments at the moment.