BCCI hands Ishwar Pandey his first call-up to the Indian Cricket team. [Reuters]

The entire nation of India, brimming with cricket crazy fans, was perplexed when a little known Ishwar Pandey was selected for the Indian cricket squad for the New Zealand tour in January.

But after earning rave reviews on the domestic circuit, many renowned pundits believe Pandey is now ready to emulate legends such as Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath and become India's next great fast bowler.

IBTimes UK has taken a look at the new face in the Indian squad and how he could propel his country to victory in New Zealand.

Name: Ishwar Chand Pandey

Date of Birth: August 15, 1989 (Age: 24 years)

Place of Birth: Rewa, Madhya Pradesh

Major Teams Played For: India A, Madhya Pradesh (Ranji Trophy), Pune Warriors (Indian Premier League - 2013)

Test Debut: Madhya Pradesh v Goa, Nov 2010 (Ranji Trophy Plate League 2010/11)


Ishwar Pandey is a right-handed fast bowler hailing from the town of Rewa in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Pandey didn't play cricket until he reached year 12 at school, and made his first major step in the world of cricket when he was selected for the Rewa Under-17 divisional team as an unheralded left-field pick. But from that moment the raw pacemen made rapid progress, and was drafted into the Madhya Pradesh U-19 line-up just a few months later.

Pandey's stellar performances for his state in the Ranji Trophy helped him gain entry into the glamorous IPL, with Pune Warriors offering the fast bowler his first contract last year.

The 6ft 2in bowler showed signs of his potential as he ended up as the leading wicket taker during the 2012/13 Ranji Trophy with 48 wickets featuring in eight matches. For that achievement, he was bestowed with the Madhavrao Scindia Award earlier this year.

Since making his first-class cricket debut against Goa in November 2010, Pandey has taken 131 wickets in 31 matches with a best haul of eight wickets for 84 runs against Railways in October last year.

The 24-year-old's 11 wicket haul in two test matches for the India A team during their tour of South Africa in August 2013 prompted selectors to award him his maiden call-up to the Indian team for the tour of New Zealand.

Pandey is not dissimilar Zaheer Khan in his hunched, bustling approach to the crease, and a high action which enables him to generate genuine pace.
He is capable of late swing away from the right-hander, and possesses a deceptive bouncer which has trapped several batsmen on India's domestic circuit.

Although not express pace, he is lively enough to pose problems at international level, and his ability to mix up his length without sacrificing accuracy should add variety to the Indian attack.


"It is special to be named in both Test and ODI squads. I have been doing well at the first-class level and the Test call-up is the reward for that. Selection in the ODI squad goes to show the faith the selectors have in my abilities," Ishwar Pandey told bcci.tv on being selected for India's tour of New Zealand.