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Praveen Kumar - where can he fit?

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Praveen Kumar missed the World Cup due to injury, and India fans feared for the worst. The Indians still won the World Cup, with a supposedly weaker bowling attack. This should now put in perspective Praveen's role in the side- where can he fit?

He's often been spoken about as an extraordinary swing bowler- possibly the next Kapil Dev. He's done well abroad, in most countries with sluggish or lively pitches. However, inside of India, where pitches are largely flat, he's been cold turkey. Outside of India, his average and strike rate are impressive, but inside, he's got an average of 67 and a strike rate of 73. That's much worse than Yusuf Pathan, who's got a mere fraction of the chances Praveen got with the ball. Besides, he's only medium-pace and struggles with the old ball.

Praveen's batting was one of the major factors in UP's 2005-06 Ranji Trophy win, where regular chunks from lower down the order at a rapid pace even earned him an occasional promotion to open the innings. However, once he made his India debut, his batting largely fell away, although he has shown glimpses of that potential in a home series against Australia, with his only ODI fifty. If he can regularly notch up chunky scores in the lower order, he's got a serious chance of making a permanent place in the national side, as his bowling is much better than most of the bits-and-pieces players (JP Yadav, Bangar, Nayar)picked for India for the role. His fielding is terrible, but if someone can mentor him well, like Kirsten and Jonty did Munaf, he too can improve.

He can make it to Tests if his batting improves. His bowling is decent, but unspectacular, for the white uniforms. With Harbhajan's twin centuries in a recent Test series, there is an option of playing him as the fifth bowler. He's no T20 prospect, so we can ignore that form.

He's been upstaged by Munaf as the second seamer for India, and while the third is open, an Ishant comeback can hamper his chances. Munaf's strike rate and fielding have improved lately, pushing Praveen back as a bowler. He doesn't have the pace or disconcerting bounce (or even fielding) that Ishant has, although he can bat better. Both Irfan and Balaji, vastly experienced, are better bowlers and offer more. Both are out of contention now, but still exhibit better figures than Praveen, still in contention. He may edge ahead of the largely uncapped Vinay or unreliable Nehra, comfortably. As an all-rounder, he has competition from Yusuf, whose second skill is much superior, as also his fielding. An Irfan comeback can also threaten his place in the side, although Ashwin is likely to play alongside him, not ahead of him.

To sum it up, he's a limited bowler, and may be out of that race quickly. He can make it as a bowler who can get runs, putting him ahead of a few other contenders. If he can reproduce that batting form from domestic games in the lower order for India, and become at least a safe fielder, he'll figure as an ODI player regularly for some time.
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
I would take him to England for the test tour.

He can be mighty effective in swinging conditions.

And if you are talking about the ODI team then he walks in as the third seamer ahead of even Nehra at the moment.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
I would take him to England for the test tour.

He can be mighty effective in swinging conditions.

And if you are talking about the ODI team then he walks in as the third seamer ahead of even Nehra at the moment.
He's good for the swinging conditions in Durham, Nottingham or Leeds, but England also provide some of the flattest pitches as well as shorter boundaries- he'd struggle at The Oval.

He'd walk in ahead of Nehra any day- Nehra's return was largely due the shorter seam-up stocks at the time, and he too wore out. Praveen's a better choice than Nehra, all around, and is reasonably ahead.
 

salman85

International Debutant
He seems like a very bits and pieces player TBH.Not one that should be playing for the the best team in the world IMO.He's not express.He' might have a few good games in helpful conditions,but he could be destroyed in other conditions.India is moving in the right direction,and using a player with limited talent only because swinging conditions would suit him would be a VERY forced attempt to play him.He's not a matchwinner,so i don't think India should be playing him.Sreesanth,Nehra and Sharma all all better options than him IMO.
 
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Howe_zat

Audio File
He's good for the swinging conditions in Durham, Nottingham or Leeds, but England also provide some of the flattest pitches as well as shorter boundaries- he'd struggle at The Oval.

He'd walk in ahead of Nehra any day- Nehra's return was largely due the shorter seam-up stocks at the time, and he too wore out. Praveen's a better choice than Nehra, all around, and is reasonably ahead.
The swinging conditions in England are rarely to do with the pitch and more often the weather. Lord's last summer was a very flat wicket but the overcast conditions gave Amir something to work with. You're more likely to do better with swing bowlers at the London grounds than bowlers trying to get movement off the track, who will typically find more help at Trent Bridge or Headingley.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
He seems like a very bits and pieces player TBH.Not one that should be playing for the the best team in the world IMO.He's not express.He' might have a few good games in helpful conditions,but he could be destroyed in other conditions.India is moving in the right direction,and using a player with limited talent only because swinging conditions would suit him would be a VERY forced attempt to play him.He's not a matchwinner,so i don't think India should be playing him.Sreesanth,Nehra and Sharma all all better options than him IMO.
Similar so-called bits-and-pieces players have done well for their teams, and helped their teams, in a limited capacity. That's the key here. He's not express, but none of India's bowlers are, and some are completely useless without the ball. He may appear bits-and-pieces, but for all of his shortcomings, he's one of India's better (if not best) seamers, and a good utility player. He'll get hammered on flat decks, but with decent batting ability, he can hammer back a few on those pitches, which will be the key. He's a good fifth-bowler choice, as India can play two spinners regularly. He's no lone matchwinner, but adds balance to the side and completes the team, when he gets it right. Since he's a preferred selection, the key is how to make the most out of it.
Howe_zat said:
The swinging conditions in England are rarely to do with the pitch and more often the weather. Lord's last summer was a very flat wicket but the overcast conditions gave Amir something to work with. You're more likely to do better with swing bowlers at the London grounds than bowlers trying to get movement off the track, who will typically find more help at Trent Bridge or Headingley.
That's more food for thought. The Oval, I often felt, was a batting-friendly ground, which once got then-out-of-form Trescothick back in form with a double. He'll be good for Lord's as well as some northern grounds, but would struggle at places like Taunton, a six-hitter's paradise.
 
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Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Even if he's been surpassed by Munaf as ODI bowler, he should still be the third seamer (he'd still have to open the bowling obvs) ahead of Nehra and Sharma and the others you mentioned without question IMO.

I honestly think he'd make a much better Test bowler than he does an ODI bowler but that's obviously true for Sreesanth and Sharma as well; India's Test bowling stocks are a lot healthier in general.

I agree with what others have said about taking him to England. I probably wouldn't play him everywhere but if the conditions/forecast suited it on the day I'd get him into the team.
 

Borges

International Regular
I honestly think he'd make a much better Test bowler than he does an ODI bowler
Yes, he would. The Indian selectors have ruined a lot of players (more bowlers than batsmen) by asking them to cut then teeth in limited overs cricket. Keeping my fingers crossed for Badri - irrespective of what he did in this IPL, he has never been a limited overs player.

I agree with what others have said about taking him to England. I probably wouldn't play him everywhere but if the conditions/forecast suited it on the day I'd get him into the team.
Praveen Kumar will always be a threat with the new ball, on any surface. It is after the shine wears off and the wicket is flat that his lack of pace gets exposed. I would expect him to do well in England where the pitches are far less abrasive and the ball is left with a bit of gloss on it for the later spells too.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Ishant isn't out of it completely. His extra pace, extra bounce and superior fielding should see him get an advantage. He's also got a very impressive List-A strike rate, stepping up into ODIs, but his economy is a little too high. Most of the bowlers who have fallen away at present have been a lot more impressive than Praveen, when they started off, which makes things tougher for him and the team.

He's far from an ideal strike bowler, and quite limited, but as a multi-skilled player, he will be useful. He's done well as a limited, striking batsman for his domestic teams, so if he can replicate that form for India, he'll be a fantastic selection, and leapfrog ahead of the other seamers. If he can improve his batting, he'll be useful even on flat decks. A strong top six and a decent bottom five allow for that. His fielding, though, is still a cause for concern.

He needs a senior to mentor him. Munaf has benefited greatly under Sachin. Ishant, likewise, can grow under Sehwag, and Praveen, being Dhoni's preferred choice, can go to the current Indian captain.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Ishant really just is crap at one day cricket at this stage of his career. Finishing with a decent strike rate because he gets targeted so heavily and takes a few cheap wickets at the death while going for 10 an over in the process doesn't do the team any good at all. You pump him up for ODI selection all the time but it really, really shouldn't happen.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Ishant really just is crap at one day cricket at this stage of his career. Finishing with a decent strike rate because he gets targeted so heavily and takes a few cheap wickets at the death while going for 10 an over in the process doesn't do the team any good at all. You pump him up for ODI selection all the time but it really, really shouldn't happen.
Wickets that a bowler takes, earned or gifted, are critical. Besides, Ishant's a much-improved bowler since the World Cup snub, and bowled very well in the Deodhar Trophy final, helping North win the event. He's too good a bowler to discard permanently, especially when inferior bowlers are getting ample chances and doing well for India. There's no reason why he can't fix his problems or get better.

It's not like Munaf Patel or Praveen is so much better, as both are vulnerable as well, as the Aussies have proved. Taking out the top order before the thirty over mark is more important than maintaining an economy rate under five- when the opposition rakes up a big score against the rest, or goes ballistic at the end.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Yes, he would. The Indian selectors have ruined a lot of players (more bowlers than batsmen) by asking them to cut then teeth in limited overs cricket. Keeping my fingers crossed for Badri - irrespective of what he did in this IPL, he has never been a limited overs player.



Praveen Kumar will always be a threat with the new ball, on any surface. It is after the shine wears off and the wicket is flat that his lack of pace gets exposed. I would expect him to do well in England where the pitches are far less abrasive and the ball is left with a bit of gloss on it for the later spells too.
Badri's a much, much, much better limited-overs player and selection than that. Parthiv Patel, on the other hand, anything but. Praveen was picked as a limited-overs player purely because he was batting well in his debut FC season, following his debut OD season, while more accomplised seam-up bowlers got next to no chance- Gagandeep and Ranadeb Bose being clear examples.

The Aussies were a threat for Praveen inside of India. Someone like a Shane Watson, or more so Shaun Marsh, a big-innings player with adequate striking power, will get the better of him. His stats inside of India and outside are poles apart. Outside, he's the next Kapil Dev, while inside, he's not good enough even for the bench. Lack of pace is a very global problem with the Indian seam stock.
 

smalishah84

The Tiger King
when the conditions favor him Praveen can really swing the ball and can be extremely effective.

The overcast conditions in England can be really helpful to him.

Should pray for overcast conditions all the time really
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
Ishant was ruined the first time because of playing too much ODI and even t20 cricket(IPL too) too soon.
His confidence went and he began to try too many different things.

The length he balls is ideal to smack in ODI's most time and unless he establishes himself in the test team first fully and shows improvement there i won't bring him back into the ODI setup ,specially in India.

Plus he is too expensive at all level of ODI's and T20's.

His domestic record in list A is not great either ,and the economy rate there is poor too.

The likes of Sidarth trivedi ,Dhawal Kulkarni have better list A records than him.

Should steer clear of both him and Sreesanth in ODI'S for the forseeable future. Specially in the flatter conditions.
 
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Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
when the conditions favor him Praveen can really swing the ball and can be extremely effective.

The overcast conditions in England can be really helpful to him.

Should pray for overcast conditions all the time really
Yep.

The overcast conditions will suit him very much.

But with his wrist position he swings the new ball in FC cricket on most pitches.
Though then he becomes just a container with the old ball in abrasive conditions until and unless the ball reverses.
But in England with the ball wearing lesser and the conditions in the air generally likely to be more bowler friendly he could be very useful.

Even RP was threatening there the last time.
Zaheer and Praveen Kumar with the new ball can cause a lot of problems there.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Ishant was ruined the first time because of playing too much ODI and even t20 cricket(IPL too) too soon.
His confidence went and he began to try too many different things.

The length he balls is ideal to smack in ODI's most time and unless he establishes himself in the test team first fully and shows improvement there i won't bring him back into the ODI setup ,specially in India.

Plus he is too expensive at all level of ODI's and T20's.

His domestic record in list A is not great either ,and the economy rate there is poor too.

The likes of Sidarth trivedi ,Dhawal Kulkarni have better list A records than him.

Should steer clear of both him and Sreesanth in ODI'S for the forseeable future. Specially in the flatter conditions.
Ishant was ruined by poor management, both in KKR and the national team. He can come back and establish himself, as there's nobody who can do what he can at top form. Sid Trivedi and Dhawal Kulkarni are laughable non-alternatives, as bowlers and selections. His strike rate is impressive, which is crucial in taking key top order wickets or wiping out the tail- poor strike rates of Indian seamers have set the team back often. You can't afford to steer clear of him or even Sreesanth unless you find someone so much better- Nehra is anything but, Praveen not so much and it's a matter of time until Munaf lapses back.
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
We won the World cup largely steering clear of both and Praveen was injured ,so i would say we are doing fine.

Our strategy in ODI's in terms of bowling has been pretty clear for the last year or so .

Contain the opposition as low as you can and then let the batting strength take over. It has worked pretty well too with us not looking too overattack too much unless the conditions demand us too.

Don't know why we would want to change it.
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
And btw, Sidarth Trivedi has shown his effectiveness not only in the IPL for 4 seasons now, but has a pretty good FC and list A record too.

Won't call him a laughable option. Is a pretty decent bowler and better than the likes Of Gony ,DInda etc.. who got a India Cap.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
We won the World cup largely steering clear of both and Praveen was injured ,so i would say we are doing fine...Our strategy in ODI's in terms of bowling has been pretty clear for the last year or so ...Contain the opposition as low as you can and then let the batting strength take over. It has worked pretty well too with us not looking too overattack too much unless the conditions demand us too...Don't know why we would want to change it.
It's not in a shambles that it should be restructured, but just creaky and needs to be reinforced. Instead of discarding the whole idea altogether, they need to improve on this plan and weed out flaws. Impressive strike rates of Ashwin and Zaheer were largely helpful for the team. If they stagnate, they're done for.
And btw, Sidarth Trivedi has shown his effectiveness not only in the IPL for 4 seasons now, but has a pretty good FC and list A record too...Won't call him a laughable option. Is a pretty decent bowler and better than the likes Of Gony ,DInda etc.. who got a India Cap.
Can he measure up to India's top pace options? He can't. He adds nothing to the table- no pace, no accuracy, no dexterity, and would struggle against top Indian batsmen in a zonal/IPL event. He's struggled when he's played for any team other than Gujarat. He's also a poor fielder and non-batsman, and is behind the likes of Gagandeep, Bose, Paul and Vinay Kumar in the race. Let's not look at Gony and Dinda, both were dreadful selections and shouldn't be picked again.
 

Borges

International Regular
Ishant was ruined by poor management, both in KKR and the national team. He can come back and establish himself, as there's nobody who can do what he can at top form.
Yeah, there is no doubt in my mind that Ishant is the future; too many people are writing him off prematurely after they have seen what he can do when on top of his game. He's just 23 now, he has got the talent, and oodles of time on his side.

Does anyone remember what Jimmy Anderson was like six years ago, when he was just 23? Four years ago, when he was 25?
 

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