As career gathers pace,Ishwar Pandey looks to add some to bowling too

The most striking revelation hence was just how much pace he needed to gain.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Published: August 29, 2013 2:49 am

He might have emerged as the most succesful bowler from India A’s South African tour,but Ishwar Pandey has returned with eyes as wide as saucers at the phenomenal difference in challenges posed to bowlers at the domestic and international levels after his first trip abroad. Also Read: Ishwar Pandey the find of the tour but needs to work on pace,says Rajput

For starters,having returned from the land of tearaway quicks,Pandey would’ve definiltely felt a tad incomplete without the express pace that is common to opening bowlers. He loops it down the track at an efficient 130 kph,but is eyeing a more effective 135 kph.

The most striking revelation hence was just how much pace he needed to gain,while improving his fitness which is an an asset in the long run.

“I realised here that I need to increase my pace. I can bowl long spells,but after bowling against the South Africans and Australians,I now know where I stand. Though it has been a successful tour for me there are still many blank columns needing to be filled,” Pandey told The Indian Express.

As the tour wound to an end,Pandey couldn’t stop himself from furiously jotting down lessons he’d learnt,and adjustments he needed to effect in the coming months if he needed to follow up on this fruitful outing.

The trip was an eye-opener for him and it made him realise that he had to cross a vast bridge from domestic cricket to the competitive international team.

In a star-studded India A side,Pandey finished as a find of the ‘A’ tour,grabbing 11 wickets in two four-day games against South Africa ‘A’ and five scalps in two one-dayers. However,the soft spoken Madhya Pradesh boy admitts he needs to work on a few more things.

Being the highest wicket-taker from last year’s Ranji Trophy had brought Pandey into the limelight. He represents a large state,Madhya Pradesh,albeit one that has produced only a handful of Indian cricketers. Rewa is probably not known to many across India but with Pandey’s inclusion in the A side,the small town is building hopes of celebrating their own star soon. Pandey doesn’t believe in thinking too far ahead but says back home there is a positive buzz after he travelled to South Africa. For a 24-year-old,who first touched the leather ball when in Class 12,it has been a long leap.

He talks about the vast cracks many cricketers fall into while traversing the path between domestic and international. He stress often on ‘kuch alag’ (something different) in his bowling. “In domestic cricket I usually get wickets in my first five overs but here I had to try hard. In domestic games even loose balls sometimes gave me wickets but here the moment I offered some width,the whole over figures were spoilt,” he explains.

Words of praise followed after his performances but for Pandey it was a learning expereince. A strong India A team had almost all members of the current side and even though he didn’t play the first few one dayers,he was hopeful things would look up once he got a chance to swing his arms. South African conditions aided him generally as they help pacers.

“It was South Africa and that could be the one reason I did well but things will be different in other places. The more I play,the more I will learn. I still need to work on my accuracy and line. There is room for improvement everyday. Most of the players I spoke to here said I don’t need to think too much. After all it’s just a game,” Pandey explains.

Suresh Raina had advised Pandey to enjoy his game,since not too many get such an opportunity in their life. His bags are packed and many back home are waiting for his arrival. Small-time Rewa awaits the arrival of its pacer with the big bag of wickets.

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