It took over 200 first-class wickets and impressive displays in two successive editions of the Indian Premier Leagues for the five wise men to give him his first international break – a place in the World T20 squad. The 25-year-old got just one opportunity, against Sri Lanka, and he wasn’t the worse for his effort.
The right-armer then travelled to Zimbabwe with the second-string Indian side under Suresh Raina for a tri-series and a couple of T20 matches. After injuring his knee in the first match against the hosts, Vinay didn’t feature in the rest of the matches before making his appearance in the T20 ties.
After the Zimbabwe tour, Vinay went out of reckoning and when the Karnataka paceman would have been least expecting a call-up, he was picked for the three-match one-day series against Australia following the non-availability of an injured Ishant Sharma and a rested Zaheer Khan.
With the World Cup in the sub-continent just around the corner and a fast bowler’s slot up for grabs, Vinay’s inclusion makes up for an interesting choice. He is someone who has done well on unhelpful Indian pitches on a consistent basis, and it’s not a bad idea to look at him as one of the fast-bowling options in the side. “For matches in India, he has a very good chance,” remarked skipper MS Dhoni, before adding that it all depended upon the spot available.
“If Praveen is part of the 11, generally he bowls with the new ball. He will be given company by either Zaheer Khan or Ashish Nehra depending on what the conditions are. This means Vinay has to fulfil the job of one-change seamer. It may be slightly difficult but he has shown that he has the talent to mix pace and length of the delivery and come up with a sharp bouncer as well. He will be good in these conditions. It is a good opportunity for him if he gets to play in the series. I am hoping that he will get to play,” Dhoni explained.