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Chance for young bowlers to impress

Bangalore, Feb 15, 2013, DHNS: 23:54 IST
A ‘surprise’ test awaits the Indian batsmen when they begin their three-day preparatory camp here at the National Cricket Academy on Saturday.

Almost a year ago, Chief of National selectors Sandip Patil, when he was the Director of the National Cricket Academy, had embarked upon a project whose mission was to unearth raw bowling talent across the country.

The team, which also included former India paceman Karsan Ghavri, held open trials at various cities and picked up over 100 bowlers who were then sent to regional academies in Mumbai, Chennai and Mohali for advanced training. This list was trimmed further on the basis of the feedback from coaches at the academies.

These bowlers, which the BCCI refers to as the ‘out-of-system’ bowlers, will now have a chance to test their wares against the best in country. For Akashdeep Chakraborty, the medium pacer who represented Calcutta University, or for Raghu Shivam Sharma, a leg-spinner from Jalandhar, this is nothing less than a dream-come-true experience. After all, how many aspiring bowlers in the country get the opportunity to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar or pick the brains of senior bowler like Harbhajan Singh.

Someone like Raj Bahadur Pal from Uttar Pradesh already realises the importance of this unique exercise. The medium pacer never played any representative cricket for UP at any level but the youngster has now been drafted into his State squad which is playing in the Central Zone leg of the National one-day championship for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

With Bhuvneshwar Kumar on national duty and Praveen Kumar suspended from playing for indiscipline, UP were forced to induct Pal who otherwise would have been at the camp bowling at nets.

All the 15 bowlers went through fitness tests on Friday while a medical tests were conducted on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the 15-member Indian squad for the first two Tests arrived in batches with the support staff, led by coach Duncan Fletcher, among the first to land in the city on Friday morning.

Fletcher and company held a short meeting to discuss the course of the camp. As per schedule drawn the players are expected to assemble at 8.30 am on Saturday and train in batches. The MS Dhoni-led side will depart for Chennai on February 19 while the first Test begins on February 22.

List of bowlers at the camp: Kuldeep Singh, Vikash Singh, Akashdeep Chakraborty, Raghu Shivam Sharma, Vinayak Vikram, Prem Dhendwal, Himanshu Shailey, Vishal Singh, Siddharth Sharma, Shiv Puri, Aditya Poswal, Akash Chaudhary, Vidath Gorrapalli, Rakesh Rawat, Harry Bharwal.

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