Praveen silences critics

Praveen silences critics

Munaf Patel’s elbow injury facilitated Praveen’s entry into the Test squad, and the chance of him proving the sceptics wrong was minimal.

A hard Sabina Park pitch and sunny weather that offers little help for swing bowling, Praveen’s primary weapon, only strengthened their views.

But Praveen proved them wrong in stunning style, taking three wickets in the space of eight balls without giving away any runs. The dismissal of Adrian Barath in the last ball of the 36th over gave India a foothold, and the Uttar Pradesh medium pacer added the scalps of Darren Bravo and Brendon Nash to his kitty.  

Praveen was understandably delighted. “It felt good. The ball was swinging both ways. I didn’t feel like I was playing first Test. There were no nerves. I just went according to the plan. The captain says bowl here, and I just went by that. I just wanted to concentrate on line and length, and for me the ball should swing,” he said.

The paceman has the experience of bowling long spells in Ranji Trophy matches, and he said it helped him. “I am not worried about people labelling me as a one-day bowler. My job is to bowl good spells, and help the team. There was good momentum for me, and I just went by it. I was just focussing on what I am bowling. There is not much difference from bowling in Tests and one-dayers, in any format I need to maintain good line and length,” Praveen said.

Praveen said the hot Jamaican weather made it mandatory for him to hit the straps straightway. “It all depends on rhythm. Sometimes it comes in two overs, sometimes four, and sometimes you have to work hard to gain it. Here since it’s hot, you have to build rhythm quickly. Fortunately, I found my range pretty quickly, and three wickets is a good return of my efforts, and I feel good about it,” he said.

The sour note for Praveen was him getting barred for bowling in the first innings immediately after bagging his three wickets. He was in great rhythm when umpire Daryl Harper handed him the punishment for running on to the pitch even after three warnings.

“In fact, I didn’t focus on the running on the pitch and stuff like that. This is the first time I have been punished for running on the pitch, and in a way it was good that it came in my first innings itself as I can learn from this and look not to repeat this,” he said.

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