When the selectors pick the team for the next Test, they'll have their task cut out when it comes to the seamers.
With the India pace bowling coming second to England on a flat Eden wicket, due to lack of pace and reverse swing, the selectors will struggle even if they rummage through the Ranji games.All the pacemen, with India experience in recent times, have struggled with injuries and there seems to be none from the fresh stock who has caught the eye with pace and movement.
This round saw the return of many ex-India bowlers from injuries. Ashish Nehra, Ajit Agarkar, both well past their prime, took the new ball for Delhi and Mumbai respectively. A fresher, Abhimanyu Mithun, too joined the Karnataka ranks after R Vinay Kumar returned in their last round match.
Baroda's Irfan Pathan and UP's Praveen Kumar continue to remain unfit while Varun Aaron and S Sreesanth haven't played at all, leaving the selectors gasping for options.
"The fast bowlers don't plan their fitness before the season begins. I think their target is just the IPL and that is why they fall short on endurance. Both (James) Anderson and (Steve) Finn could bend their backs for a long time and that is why they were effective. Bowlers here get injuries and then fear creeps in, reducing their pace,” said former India player Madan Lal. "I fear Umesh (Yadav) will cut down his pace once he returns from injury.”
While Punjab pacemen, Sandeep Sharma and Siddharth Kaul have done well so far, their real test will be in away matches. Parvinder Awana of Delhi too has impressed, bowling on dead tracks. On a helpful Bangalore track, he picked his second fifer of the season. “Many older players are blocking the place of youngsters,” adds Lal, stressing fresh blood needs to be infused.