Eight years ago an Indian fast bowler had made the international cricket fraternity sit up and take notice with a breathtaking spell at the WACA. Watching the young Barinder Sran bowl on Tuesday from the dressing room, Ishant Sharma must have been reminded of that day of the third Test of the 2007-08 series when he had shaken up the world’s most destructive batsman of the time, Ricky Ponting.
The 6 foot 3 left-arm seamer announced his arrival at the international scene in some style in the opening ODI of the series at Perth with a three-wicket haul on a belter of a surface. That spell of Ishant was something else, but Sran has made a fine first impression as experts waxed eloquent of the potential the gangly bowler showed in his opening act at the WACA.
It was a day of debutants with Australia blooding two of their own pacers – Joel Paris and Scott Boland. sran not only outshone the two, he was the most impressive bowler of the day. If he was nervous, there were no signs of it as he settled into a good rhythm right from the first over. The impact was immediate. He had a wicket in his second over when he took a fine low catch off his own bowling to dismiss Aaron Finch. sran soon had the dangerous David Warner, caught at mid-on and was unlucky not to add George Bailey’s scalp. The umpire failed to spot Bailey had gloved down the leg side to the ’keeper. It proved costly as the batsman went on to score a match-winning hundred.
sran impressed with his attitude also, having the gumption to give the highly volatile Warner a send-off.
The difference between sran and the Aussie bowlers was he was quick off the wicket and consistently hit the good length or short of length, giving the batsmen little time to make room. There were subtle variations on display also during his performance of 9.2-0-56-3.
While the local boy, left-armer Paris had nothing to show for in eight overs for 53 runs, Boland had a forgettable start to his career with none for 74 in 10 overs.
Skipper MS Dhoni had already declared he would be trying out some fresh faces. India may have lost the game but the visitors would be mighty pleased with their new discovery.