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India tour of West Indies 2006

'VRV looks a very good prospect' - Bishop

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan in St Kitts

June 20, 2006

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'VRV is only a baby; to me he is starting to bowl better with every game' - Ian Bishop © Getty Images

India might be still pondering about their bowling combinations for the third Test at St Kitts but Ian Bishop, the former West Indian fast bowler, has cautioned them against dropping VRV Singh. Bishop chatted with Sreesanth and VRV Singh during the team's practice session at Warner Park and said that he'd advised them on a few modifications to their actions.

"VRV is only a baby; to me he is starting to bowl better with every game," said Bishop, currently working as a television commentator. "I don't know if he'll be playing in this game, but I think if they cast him away now because he's had limited success, it will be to his detriment because he gets pace, he gets bounce, and he looks a very good prospect. He should not be put away; he should be encouraged."

Bishop, who had a fantastic start to his Test career but was soon hampered by a back injury, thought it best to have a word with India's young fast bowlers. "Look, they came up and said hello, and asked a couple of questions about noticing things about them, and they are all each individually different. Munaf, I didn't talk to him, but he's bowled quite well this tour. Sreesanth was just talking about a couple of technical things - about whether he collapses at the point of delivery, which is something he has noticed himself, and he's working on, which will help him sustain his pace if he gets a snap over his front leg. He is a very good athlete, and he's bold, he's aggressive. VRV Singh, just to say to him that he is coming along reasonably well. He just has to work on his run-up, and he's aware of that."

With Sreesanth likely to be fit for the Test, India might have to choose between three out of the four pace-bowling options. "That's very difficult for me to answer," said Bishop when asked about which three he would pick. "I don't know what's going on in Irfan's mind or what the make-up of the team is. All I can say is you've got a good problem - choosing three out of four guys is a good problem to have. You've got three guys and you've got Irfan, who is a swing bowler, and a genuine allrounder in his own right."

All this, of course, would eventually depend on the kind of surface provided for the game and Bishop hoped that the seam bowlers would get some help early on. "The pitch in Antigua was very encouraging; the one in St Lucia was very disappointing. We just want to see a good strip, which will help the seam bowlers early, which is a strength of the Caribbean. I'm sure the Indian bowlers will like consistent pace and bounce as well."

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is staff writer of Cricinfo

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