Ishan 'Pandya' Porel augurs well for India

Updated: 31 January, 2018 19:10 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Christchurch

With a blonde streak through his black hair, a hunched walk and wiry frame, Ishan Porel strikes a mirror image of Hardik Pandya

With a blonde streak through his black hair, a hunched walk and wiry frame, Ishan Porel strikes a mirror image of Hardik Pandya. In fact, so similar are his traits to the Indian all-rounder that Porel has acquired the nickname of 'Pandya' from some of his teammates in the U-19 World Cup team. While Porel might not be capable of smashing balls out of the park like Pandya, his ability to generate disconcerting bounce from a good length has made him one of most difficult bowlers to negotiate in the U-19 World Cup.

The 6'3" Bengal pacer decimated the Pakistan top-order with a match-winning spell of 6-2-17-4 to lead India into the final of the U-19 World Cup. It was a rich reward for Porel, almost the forgotten man of India's fast bowling cartel here. Porel has been overshadowed by his fast bowling colleagues, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, largely due to their ability to generate raw pace. But Porel's height along with his high-arm action means India have some variety in their fast bowling stocks.

The importance of Porel in this line-up is further highlighted by the fact that the Indian team management was desperate and confident to keep him on tour despite him hurting his ankle severely in the opening game of the World Cup.Captain Prithvi Shaw praised Porel's fitness and performance after India's 203-run victory over Pakistan in the semi-final yesterday.

"Obviously, if a player is injured, it is a worry, but he has come back really well," said Prithvi. "The trainers and physios worked hard on him. He's a wicket-taker and looks in good rhythm which is fantastic going into the final." Asked whether he thought about bringing Porel back in the end to see if the pacer can get a five-wicket haul, Prithvi said: "I thought of bringing him back, but he said he was tired. He had bowled six overs, so we didn't want to over-exert him."

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First Published: 31 January, 2018 08:33 IST

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