RP shows signs of upturn in fortune

RP SinghRudra Pratap Singh has taken16 wickets in five Ranji matches (best bowling 4/50) this season.

Rudra Pratap Singh has taken16 wickets in five Ranji matches (best bowling 4/50) this season. Not bad for a bowler who's on a comeback trail after missing the whole of the last season due to the injury. At the same time, the figures are not good enough yet to make the national selectors sit up and take note. The 28-year-old was tipped to be Zaheer Khan's natural successor when he arrived on the scene. He justified the billing by taking 40 wickets in his first 10 Test matches. Then his form disappeared and he lost his place in the Indian team.

In 2011, he was flown in to England after Zaheer injured his hamstring during the first Test at Lord's. An unprepared RP played at the Oval, started off with an eighth stump wide down the leg side, returned with the match figures of 0/118 and was duly shown the door. He hasn't played for India since but it would be unfortunate if a talent like RP fades out. The next one year or so, however, presents a huge opportunity to him to be back in the reckoning again.

India would be playing 11 more overseas Tests -— two in New Zealand, five in England and four in Australia — after the ongoing tour of South Africa. The seam attack is not settled and RP has a chance if he puts in the hard yards.

"India's current pace attack gives a lot of scope for permutations and combinations, though Zaheer's return has added value to the line-up. I think the selectors will assess the situation after the New Zealand tour. So three months down the line RP definitely has a chance. He's bowling well, but that five-wicket haul which the selectors look for, is missing," Uttar Pradesh coach Venkatesh Prasad said.

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