Flurry of wickets in domestic cricket, could play only 2 Tests for India
Test debut was done 9 years ago under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni
New Delhi. Making a place in Team India is no less than climbing Everest. Because there is a lot of talented players. There is a lot of competition among many players for one place. Even if you get a chance, you have to perform consistently to keep your place in the team. Some players are lucky, who get a lot of chances despite failing. But, bad luck does not leave some and the career gets derailed or ends only after a few matches. Pankaj Singh was one such player. This tall bowler, who used to line wickets in domestic cricket, could play only 2 Tests for India and his Test career ended in 14 days. Very few people know about this bowler.
Pankaj Singh was originally from Uttar Pradesh. But, he played domestic cricket for Rajasthan and Puducherry. Pankaj, 6 feet 5 inches tall, had traveled from Under-19 to India-A team. He made his first class debut for Rajasthan in 2004. In just 3 years, he had proved his worth and had taken Rajasthan to the finals of Plate League of Ranji Trophy. In that season, Pankaj took 21 wickets at an average of 21.
Pankaj was selected in Team India many times
In 2007, he went on a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya with the India-A team and took a total of 18 wickets in the unofficial East and ODIs in Kenya. After this performance, he was selected for the home series against South Africa-A team. After this, Pankaj got a place in the Test team against Australia due to the injury of Sreesanth and Munaf Patel. In 2008, Pankaj was bought by Rajasthan Royals in the first season of IPL. However, in the next season, he was joined by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Flurry of wickets in domestic cricket
Pankaj Singh was among the bowlers who took the most wickets in Ranji Trophy between 2009 and 2014. In the same period, he played a key role in helping Rajasthan win the Ranji Trophy title in 2010 and again in 2011. During this, he got a chance in Team India many times. But, the debut could not be done.
Pankaj did not get a wicket in debut test
Pankaj Singh’s wait ended in 2014 and that year the bowler was selected in the Test team for the tour of England and he made his debut in the third Test of the series in Southampton under Dhoni’s captaincy. But, Pankaj proved to be very expensive in the first test. He did not get any wicket and had spent 179 runs in both the innings. However, Alastair Cook’s catch was missed on his ball in the debut test. Apart from this, there were many occasions when Pankaj kept getting wickets. It will be called unfortunate that this bowler had to bear the brunt of the fielder dropping the catch.
Pankaj’s career ended in 2 tests.
The next Test was held in Manchester and in this Pankaj Singh got the wickets of Joe Root and Jos Buttler. However, after this he could never get a chance again and his Test career ended in 14 days. Pankaj also played 1 ODI for India. Pankaj also played IPL for many years. But, could not shine. He played the last first class match in 2019 and retired in 2021.
Pankaj Singh took a total of 633 wickets in first class cricket, T20 and List-A. After retiring from cricket, he was also trying his hand at coaching.
FIRST PUBLISHED : March 22, 2023