Rudra Pratap Singh bowled from a shortened run-up during practice at the Victoria Park. At 24,he has age on his side,but not form and has lost a bit of confidence. It has been over a year since RP Singh played for India.
The Champions Trophy game against Pakistan at Centurion in September last year being his last. Nowadays,when the selectors sit down to pick a team,RP Singhs name isnt considered anymore.
The wicket rolled out at the venue for the Group B Elite game should bring a smile to RP Singhs face.
A green top was on display on the eve of the game and the nature of this wicket is unlikely to be altered going into Monday. It is the kind of strip which will enable RP Singh,who has the ability to swing the ball both ways,to display his skills and in the process bag wickets.
After getting back among the wickets during the Challenger Trophy,RP Singh will be eyeing this Ranji season to prove that he hasnt lost his swing or skill. On paper,RP Singh will be part of a formidable domestic bowling line-up which will include Praveen Kumar,Bhuvnesh Kumar,Sudeep Tyagi and left-arm seamer Shalabh Srivastava.
Punjab on the other hand are light on the bowling front and could be exposed. Manpreet Singh Gony,the sides highest wicket-taker last season,and Love Ablish havent been picked. Bharat Loomba,Harmeet Singh Bansal and Navdeep Sidhu comprise the less experienced Punjab medium-pace attack.
Sidhu,incidentally,could make his debut on Monday.
Punjab coach Bhupinder Singh Sr believes that the the young pacers must make the best use of the lively wicket. The only worry is our pace bowling. All the pacers are young and comparatively inexperienced. I want them to capitalise on the conditions. The wicket is bowler friendly. In place of playing two spinners we may add all-rounder Karan Goel to the side, Singh said.
Uttar Pradesh coach Gyanendra Pandey confirmed that his team would stick to a five-bowler strategy with Piyush Chawla and Praveen Gupta handling the spin department.
On the batting front,much would be expected from Yuvraj Singh,who will join the team on the morning of the game,while Uttar Pradeshs Mohammad Kaif and Tanmay Srivastava,who made a century in the Challenger Trophy,will need to be in fine form.