He is 6’2”. He picked up bucket loads of wickets in the last Ranji Trophy season. He plays for Madhya Pradesh, and has represented India A as well. In the Indian Premier League, he was picked up by the now defunct Pune Warriors. Initially, his father, a retired Subedar Major, was reluctant about his son following the game of cricket, and hence advised him to focus on studies.
But somehow, Anthony, the MP university coach, was able to convince the army man to let his son become a professional cricketer. Sounds interesting? Well, the cricketer who is being referred to, here, is Ishwar Pandey, who has recently been included in the One-Day international and Test squads for New Zealand.
He began his career playing for MP under-19 team in 2007, but was not able to contribute much and was subsequently dropped. Somehow, Mukesh Sahni, the MP coach, was seemingly convinced with his talent, and very soon Ishwar was playing for the MP under-22 side. Amay Khurasiya, the former Indian player, helped Ishwar in developing his bowling skills at the MRF academy in Chennai. As a result of this, Pandey was able to improve his speed and also learnt ways to keep himself fit.
Well, a very interesting fact related to this young upcoming cricketer is that he was born on India’s Independence day in the year 1989. I really believe that 24 is the right age for him to be getting his big break.
This right arm medium pacer, with a good bowling speed of 130-135 kmph, bowled a magical spell in the month of October last year, while playing for MP against Railways, at Indore. His figures read 27.5—6—84—8. Even in the second innings, he had decent figures off 3 for 36. This 8-wicket haul is the second best individual performance in an innings in this season’s Ranji Trophy. Overall, his bowling average in 31 first class matches stands at a very good 24.43.
The advantage of height enables him to not only get the necessary bounce from short balls, but also extracts it from good length. He exhibited this skill, while bowling against South Africa A, in an unofficial Test in August 2013. In that match, his figures read 4 for 46 and 3 for 25 in the two innings respectively.
This hard working and dedicated cricketer has got all the necessary ingredients of an effective and result oriented pacer. He has speed, strength and accuracy – but above all, his zeal to give dedicated input every time he gets a chance is his real strength. He is a cool and composed cricketer having a down to earth approach. His fitness and instinct will help him in achieving the goals he has set.
Even otherwise, on a personal note, I do not see many chances being given to other newcomers like Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron and Ambati Rayudu. Although Ajinkya Rahane and Ishwar Pandey might get their break, keeping in view the track record of our wise captain – who is known to be a promoter of young cricketers with potential.
Ishwar, with the blessings of god, is apparently ready to strike. All he needs is a couple of chances. Best wishes.