Mumbai, June 16: It seems India's domestic circuit is currently churning out too many promising fast bowlers for the national side's good. With the country's first-choice quicks - Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth - out of the equation for the West Indies Test series due to injuries, selectors are left in a baffling dilemma over which new-comer seamers be drawn into the fold.
Coming off the back of a fantastic 2009-10 domestic season in which he emerged as a leading wicket-taker, Abhimanyu Mithun had also shown that he can hold his own with the big boys. He ensnared 6 scalps from 3 Tests during his debut series in Sri Lanka last year, and that too on unresponsive pitches. So now he has been rightly rewarded with a call-up to join Team India in the Caribbean.
But another fast bowler is also being considered for a shot at Test glory and that quite astoundingly, is one-day specialist Praveen Kumar. Granted, he spearheads the Uttar Pradesh attack in Ranji Trophy and can be crafty with his swinging ability. But is this the right time to bring him into the Test side, when other worthier players are waiting in the wings?
Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav are two such. They were chosen on the merit of potential, but have hardly been provided a chance to realise the same. Both were taken on for India's tour of South Africa in Dec last year, with only Unadkat being given a go at the Proteas in the first test. He wound up with a barren spell, but his two more experienced fellow-pacers, Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma, didn't exactly outperform him either.
On their return to India, Unadkat and Yadav played for their respective sides in the Duleep trophy with both putting in relatively strong performances (Unadkat took a five-for in his only outing for West Zone). But a few months down the line, they have not even been considered for a second opportunity to prove their mettle.
How is one expected to nurture talent and bring it up to world-class status with half-chances being dished out to the new stock of India pacemen? That's a question that will never be answered as long as India's pace-bowling woes persist.