Powar makes Test debut two days before birthday
May 18, 2007 - 3:02:19 PM

Chittagong, May 18 - Two days before he turns 29, off-spinner Ramesh Powar Friday became the 254th Indian to play Test cricket when he was picked for the first Test against Bangladesh here.

Powar, who relies heavily on flight to extract turn to deceive batsmen, has already played 20 One-day Internationals and has captured 27 wickets at an average of 27.77.

Powar, despite his bulky figure, is also a good fielder.

Born May 20, 1978, in Mumbai, Powar's closest competitor has been off-spinning Harbhajan Singh, who has been axed for the ongoing tour owing to poor form.

Powar has been a consistent performer in domestic tournaments for the last few years. In 2004-05, he bagged 54 wickets, followed by 63 in 2005-06 and 22 in seven matches in 2006-07.

If Powar has not been able to break into the national team it has been because the selectors have preferred Punjab's Harbhajan, India's first bowler to take a hat-trick, all along.

Powar, who made his first-class debut for Mumbai in 1999-2000, played a leading role in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy national triumph in the 2002-03 season with 20 wickets and 418 runs.

Powar is also a competent lower order batsman. He is a clean hitter and runs briskly between the wickets defying his bulky figure.

Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, here in Bangladesh as chairman of the selection committee, has always supported Powar.

When Powar lost a close race for the recent World Cup in the West Indies Vengsarkar termed it 'unfortunate'.

Harbhajan and leg-spinner Anil Kumble were in the 15 picked for the World Cup.

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