Balaji benefits from his IPL showing with KKR in 2012

Indian Premier League has always played a major role for the selection of the Indian team. Most of the players who do well in the IPL find themselves in the team more often than not and the latest player to benefit from his IPL performance is Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Balaji’s last international match for India was way back in Feb. 2009. So, what prompted the selectors to pick a bowler who has been out of action from the past three years, the answer is quite simple. Balaji was part of the victorious Kolkata Knight Riders team that won the fifth edition of the tournament. Though Balaji did not play in all the matches, but in the eight matches he played, he took 10 wickets. Even Balai admits that it is his good form for KKR that has won him a place in the team.

The other reason why Balaji has been included in the side is because of the poor show from the more fancied Indian pace bowlers. Umesh Yadav was conceded a lot of runs in Sri Lanka in the recently concluded series. Zaheer too was good only in patches. The most successful bowler for India in that series was Irfan Pathan and Balaji bowls a lot like Pathan.

Like Pathan, Balaji also bowls a lot of cutters and is mighty effective on slow pitches. Most of the matches that Balaji played for KKR were at the Eden Garders and Gambhir had no problem in dropping him whenever they travelled to a place where the pitch was good for batting.

The T20 World Cup will be played in Sri Lanka and the conditions there will be slow. Bowlers who are ready to use variations and change their pace will be more effective then bowlers who bowl quick.

Balaji till now has played 68 T20 matches and has conceded runs at 7.61 runs per over. The rate is not very impressive and it is certainly not as impressive to bring a bowler back in the team after three years. But Indian selectors are trying their best to bring in some variation in the bowling attack. Indian bowling has been their week point from a long time and a time will come when the batsmen will fail and the bowlers will have to deliver the goods. Will Balaji be able to come out on top on those occasions, only time will tell?       

By Indian Sports News Network