Praveen Kumar brings medium-pace back to Test cricket

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We didn’t even recognise Praveen Kumar when we switched on the first Test between the West Indies and India. His is a familiar face, but we’d never seen him in white clothes before.

It had also never really occurred to us just how slowly he bowls. While Ishant Sharma’s pace is right back up there (he’ll do well in England next month), Kumar’s effort ball just shades past 80mph.

It’s club cricket pace and this is no bad thing. Fast bowlers are few and far between, but 85mph bowlers are ten-a-penny. Kumar stands out from the crowd.

He charges in with deceptive effort, bowls a nice bit of away-swing and then runs all over the danger area to try and distract the batsman. Viewed from the side, his action looks pleasingly hideous. We think it’s because he doesn’t really bother with his front arm, but whatever it is, it’s another attribute in our eyes.

Test cricket’s about diversity, so we hope there’s room for frontline medium-pace trundlers. We don’t know whether there is, but the Praveen Kumar experiment is likely to provide us with the answer.


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  1. Made a lot of us on twitter eat crow after we dismissed him as cannon fodder in Tests. Still, it is the West Indies who tied with Pakistan in the battle of the batting collapsos, so will wait to see how he does in England next month.

  2. In the circumstances, given that he’s just been hit in the face by a massive invisible beach ball, he’s done remarkably well not to drop that tiny mouse he’s holding in his left hand.

  3. not only that he is going to stone the Goliath who threw the beach ball in the first place

  4. Doesn’t Darren Sammy fall into a similar category?

    Ravi Bopara, Jonathan Trott…

    Except these other geezers can bat a bit.

    1. If Sammy couldn’t bat, pretty sure he wouldn’t get a game, which is weird, because he ain’t much of a batsman.

      Trott and Bopara would certainly justify their places as out-and-out strike bowlers though, you’re right.

  5. Lets not forget Mudassar Nazar. Or Mohinder Amarnath. Or Graham Gooch.

    These were men who had no ‘effort ball’, but that’s because they were so natural they made no effort to bowl.

  6. He is one of my favourite cricketers though I am not sure why. He will be tough to handle in English conditions.

  7. “and then runs all over the danger area to try and distract the batsman”

    That made me laugh 😀 Couldn’t believe my eyes watching yesterday when he got the red card.

  8. I love Praveen Kumar mainly for his fielding. In the Indian ODI side, only he and Ashish Nehra still believe that kicking the ball is a legitimate way of stopping it.

  9. @Ged: If this guy remains injury free and manages to strut his stuff in the UK next month, you will regret stultifying yourself by comparing him with Bopara and Trott. But don’t worry happens to the best of us. Cheers

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