In the last couple of years, we saw many fast bowlers coming in and out of the Indian team. While some of them retained their places in the team and became famous, while some were just a flash in the pan and got lost in the race with time. In this list we will take a look at 10 such fast bowlers who did make it to the national squad but could not hold on to their place for long :
1) Tinu Yohanan
Tinu Yohanan was the first Keralite to play for the national team. He made a promising Test debut against England in Mohali in December where he dismissed both the English openers. He got his first Test wicket in the fourth ball of his very first over. In spite of a brilliant start, Yohanan could not carry on with the national team due to a slump in his form. He played three Test matches and equal number of ODIs for India.
2) Amit Bhandari
Amit Bhandari’s impressive domestic season performance earned him a spot in the national squad. He had a rather forgettable ODI debut for India against Pakistan in Dhaka during the Asia Cup 2003, where he was smashed for 75 and managed two wickets. Many experts claimed that he was definitely not ready for international debut and an early setabck might have been a big blow to his confidence. His lack of pace was compensated by his aggressive bowling, which was demonstrated especially by his performance against England A, when he was touring for India A. He only got to play once more against Zimbabwe in Perth the very next year.
3) Ranadeb Bose
He was unlucky to have been ignored too long by the selectors and missed out the Bangladesh tour in 2005. Owing to a terrific 2006-2007 domestic season, where he scalped 57 wickets, he was finally called for the England tour in 2006 but did not get to play any of the four Tests there except a practice match. After than he never got to represent the country in any format.
Bose holds the world record of bowling 10,708 balls in first-class and club games without overstepping. Initially Bose started with a attacking style of bowling, using his height well , had a flowing action, a nice leap in the delivery stride that made optimum use of his height and who had earned his wickets quite cheaply. Later in his career, he took a new approach towards his bowling by cutting down his pace and focusing on line, length and swing but that was enough to revive his international career.
4) Aavishkar Salvi
With a bowling style similar to Aussie legend, Glenn McGrath; employing a similar line, length and top-grade seam bowling to trap batsmen put Salvi in the limelight. Just in a matter of year, he went from a reserve seam bowler in the Mumbai team, to India A and then made his ODI debut for India against Bangladesh. He could only play 4 ODIs before he got caught up with injuries and sidelined him and his international career. He possessed a commendable height and run-up which used to propel his strong bowling action.
5) VRV Singh
Vikram Raj Veer Singh is considered to be one of the few genuine fast bowlers India has produced over the decades. A fruitful product of the Under-19 system, VRV Singh emerged as one of the fastest and the quickest in the country. After an impressive domestic season in 2005-2006, he was called for the home series against Sri Lanka in late 2005. Unfortunately he failed to clear a fitness test and was promptly dropped from the team. He suffered a lot of injuries later on, which took a toll on his fitness. Although he made a comeback to the national squad, but could not impress with his bowling in the 5 ODIs and 2 Tests he played.
6) Manpreet Singh Gony
A tall, well-built right-arm seamer who likes to hit the deck, Manpreet Gony forced his way to the Indian one-day team through strong performances in 2008 the Indian Premier League where he was Chennai’s leading wicket-taker and the fourth highest overall. He made his first-class debut for Punjab in 2007-08. He was consistent in the four-day games but caught the eye in the one-dayers, among the few bright spots in North Zone’s dismal Deodhar Trophy campaign which he finished as the highest wicket-taker. His form during the second IPL wasn’t as good and he fell out of national reckoning. He found form in the 2009-10 Ranji season, taking 31 wickets at 19.29 but not enough to make it back to the Indian squad.
7) Sudeep Tyagi
A tall, lean, lively seamer, Sudeep Tyagi burst into the Indian domestic scene with a ten-wicket haul on debut and his roaring success was a sign of things to come, as he finished the Ranji season with 41 wickets, the highest by any bowler across the two leagues. Tyagi’s progression to the top was meteoric as he was spotted by the Uttar Pradesh captain Mohammad Kaif at the nets and was handed an opportunity . Unfortunately, he suffered a stress fracture to the back and had to withdraw from the IPL, after being named in the Chennai Super Kings squad. Having recovered, he made his way into the India A side for the home series against Australia A and New Zealand A. He finally made his IPL debut the following season in South Africa and his signature moment was the peach of a delivery which castled AB de Villiers. A lively opening spell in the Challenger Trophy final, which sunk India Blue, earned him a national call-up for the ODIs against Australia at home in 2009. But after that his performance dried up and he lost his place from both CSK and the national squad.
8) Shiv Shankar Paul
Strongly built and possessing a bustling action, Shib Sankar Paul first caught the eye with consistent performances for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy. When the selectors gave him a chance on the tour of East Africa in August 2004, he impressed many observers with his composure, ability to hit the deck hard and prise out the best of the opposition batsmen. He offered a workhorse option that the Indian team lacks, and was rewarded with a call-up into India’s Test squad for the fourth Test against Australia at Mumbai, in 2004-05. A regular in the Indian A side, but never got the chance to wear the blue cap.
9) Pankaj Singh
Pankaj Singh, a tall and strapping right-arm medium-fast bowler from Rajasthan, has progressed from the Under-19 level to the India A side with consistent performances since he made his first-class debut in August 2003. By 2006 he started showing signs of having matured, taking Rajasthan to the final of the Ranji Plate league, with 21 wickets. In 2007, he was part of India A’s twin tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya, and a total of 18 wickets in the unofficial Tests and ODIs in Kenya earned him a spot for the home series against South Africa A. With Sreesanth and Munaf Patel injured, he earned a call-up to India’s Test squad to tour Australia. His next big break came when he was included in the limited-overs sides for India’s tour of Zimbabwe, when the selectors decided to rest several senior players. After losing his place in the side, Pankaj sought to make a comeback with strong performances on the domestic circuit. He was among the top wicket-takers in the Ranji Trophy between 2009 and 2014 and also produced match-winning efforts for Rajasthan during their title wins in 2010 and 2011. He was finally rewarded for his performances with a spot in India’s Test squad on the tour to England in 2014 but could not hold on to his spot for long.
10) Abhimanyu Mithun
Abhimanyu Mithun forced his way into the national squad for the Test series against South Africa, but didn’t make the playing XI, after a successful Ranji debut season in 2009-10. In the one-dayers against South Africa he debuted in Ahmedabad, and five months later debuted in Tests on the tour of Sri Lanka. Since then he has been in and out of the national squad, often called up as replacements for injured players.
Mithun has the build for a quick bowler, honed at his fathers gym in Bangalore. He is 6′ 2″ tall, a height he uses to increase the effectiveness of his favourite weapon, the bouncer. He relies heavily on his pace, which is what caught coach Ray Jennings’ eye during the trials for the Royal Challengers Bangalore before the 2009 IPL. While he didn’t make much of a splash in that tournament, he had the batsmen hopping in the Ranji season that followed, heading the charts by capturing 47 wickets to power Karnataka to their first finals in more than a decade.