The Indian team in New Zealand will see some fresh faces replacing some old ones. Here’s some detailed info on the relatively unknown players.
Ishwar Pandey: He has been selected in the team for both the Test and the ODI series in New Zealand. The 24-year-old is a right arm medium- fast bowler, and was the leading wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season. In all, Pandey, who plays for Madhya Pradesh, featured in eight matches and picked up 48 wickets averaging just a shade over 21. Pandey’s impressive effort featured five five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket match haul. The 10-wicket performance came against Bengal as Pandey picked up five wickets in each innings to take MP to a surprise victory.
In 2013, Pandey was one of the stars of India A’s victory over South Africa A during the unofficial Test in Rustenburg. He claimed seven wickets in this game as the hosts were shocked. Pandey picked up four wickets in the second unofficial Test, but India A lost this time. However, Pandey had a consolation as he was the joint highest wicket-taker in the series. Pandey was even part of the India A team that visited England, and represented Rest of India against Mumbai in the Irani Cup last year.
Among the many fast bowlers who has attended the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai, Pandey made his first-class debut playing for Madhya Pradesh against Goa in November 2010. Although he featured in only three games, he impressed with nine wickets averaging 27. In the 2011-12 season as well he made an impact, with 25 wickets from six matches at an average of 29. He has been part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) having been picked by Pune Warriors in 2013.
Stuart Binny: The son of World Cup winning Indian player Roger Binny, Stuart is an all-rounder who represents Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, and has been selected for the ODI leg of India’s tour of New Zealand. Since making his debut in the 2003/04 season against Tamil Nadu in Bangalore, Binny has featured in 54 first class games and has scored 2802 runs averaging 35 with seven hundreds and 12 fifties. He has also grabbed 79 wickets averaging 32.5 with three five-fors and one ten wicket match haul. The 29-year-old has had a tough time cementing his place in the team early on.
Binny joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2007 and had a successful stint as an all-rounder. After the BCCI offered amnesty to ICL players, Binny returned to the domestic fold and even captained the Karnataka side. He has been having a good run for the team since, but it has been playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL that has brought Binny actual recognition. The burly all-rounder has been highly successful as a big-hitting lower order batsman. With the ball as well, he has kept things tight with his accurate line while picking up wickets at key intervals.
--By A Cricket Analyst