Irfan Pathan on comeback trail

Updated: 14 January 2008 17:17 IST

Pathan who should have been an automatic number 2 to Zaheer Khan has been in poor form for nearly two years.

Canberra:

Clearly, India have largely depended on Anil Kumble over the past two series down under, and will no doubt hope the captain continues his good bowling form. But on a bouncy track like the WACA in Perth, the pacers will have to stand up and be counted.

And while Australia are considering playing an all-pace attack for the first time on 15 years, India are struggling to find support bowlers for RP Singh.

At 19, Ishant Sharma is already one of the youngest opening bowlers around the world. And with encouraging performances like Friday's three wicket haul at the Manuka Oval, he has done his chances of selection for the Perth Test, no harm. Especially, with India struggling to find fit fast bowlers.

But the man who India hope will find inspiration from his previous outing in Australia is Irfan Pathan. A huge hit in the 2003-04 series, Pathan's slump has perhaps been one of the biggest disappointments in Indian cricket.

Pathan who should have been an automatic number 2 to Zaheer Khan has been in poor form for nearly two years and his most recent achievement is a 100 vs Pakistan in the Bangalore Test, with the ball though he managed just 1 wicket in 2 innings.

His current showing against the ACT XI can also hardly be described as successful with just 1 wicket on 18 overs.

The only redeeming factor for Pathan of course is the fact that India's pace attack has been rather lack lustre so far with 22 of the 34 wickets taken by India being shared between Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble.
Neither of the spinners have ever played at Perth. Also, the venue of the 3rd Test is known to traditionally support pace bowlers gives one an idea of the monumental task at hand for the fast bowling department.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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