Archive for December, 2012

Yet another fan selecting yet another team

December 11, 2012

Every cricket fan always has something to say on selection, especially when the team is going through a turmoil.  As everyone is aware the Indian Test team is going through its worst phase ever having lost 10 Tests within the space of 18 months. Most people are saying A, B and C should be dropped and X,Y and Z should be picked.

The selectors have already made some changes for the final Test. In my opinion dropping Harbhajan and Yuvraj hasn’t achieved anything. They have restored the status quo before the series. I think dropping Zaheer is a step in right direction, although I would have waited for one more Test.

Ok, now coming to further changes I want to make.

 

The incumbents:

Tendulkar: The Nagpur Test should be the last he plays. He has looked completely out of sorts.  He hasn’t scored a 100 in  his last 16 Tests.He averages 22 in the last five Tests, in mostly batting friendly conditions  . Everything pointing that the situation is not going to improve. I have always felt that Tendulkar will find a way to make runs, if his body allows him.But, he seems to have hit the limits of ageing.

Sehwag:  He has done alright in the past five Tests, but I think that he would not be making too many runs if he opens abroad. So I would push him down to number 4 in the Australia series. Although, he shouldn’t have any problem opening in Indian conditions, I think it is only fair that the new opener who comes into the team has given the relatively easy task of opening at home before tougher assignments abroad.

Kohli: He has by far been the shock of the series. ODI player of the year of 2011 and he was easily India’s best batsman in the last two Tests in Australia and the series against New Zealand. There have been a few soft dismissals getting out to full tosses, driving too casually and not quite getting behind the line while defending. Still, he should be given one more full series against Australia.

Ashwin:  His bowling has been the most disappointing after Kohli’s batting. Still he should be given one more series because of two reasons . There aren’t too many spinners performing in the Ranji arena  evident from the fact that Harbhajan was picked as the fthird spinner against England  . Second is his batting. He has been India’s second best batsman against not just on terms of batting average but also in the manner in which he has scored the runs. I do believe that he has it in him to be No.6.

Gambhir: Of what I have seen of him he seems to be a worse opener than Sehwag.  When Sehwag has a go at balls outside the off stump, he tries to give a big whack which means that on bouncier wickets a thick edge has a chance of going over the slips. But, Gambhir seems to be not able to get rid of that half a guide- half a push poke outside the off stump. The shot at best gets a single . It has been really irritating that he has not been able to build the discipline to avoid that shot.  But I would still keep him in the team for the final Test but drop him for the home series against Australia. I would have Rahane opening with Unmukt Chand ( not Vijay or Mukund they are proven failures ) . This would give Unmukt a look at a top quality attack  and Gambhir something to think about. I would play Unmukt for the entire series no matter what.. If he fails very badly, we can fall back to Gambhir for South Africa.

Ishant: I just don’t know what he did to get back into the team . He wouldn’t play another Test until he picks up a truckload of wickets for  seasons in first-class cricket.

Dhoni: I would keep Dhoni around as captain as I feel Sehwag  wouldn’t make a very good captain and there is nobody else who has played a decent amount of cricket and is sure of his place. How long ? Till Pujara or Kohli assert themselves . This might mean possibly till the end of South Africa series.

 

Possible new faces against Australia:

A Rahane: He is already in the squad against England and likely to play in the final Test.

U Chand: I am purely going based on promise with this guy.

R Jadeja: There is a theory that you pick players when they are in form so that you give them the best chance to succeed Although, I am not totally convinced that Jadeja can make it big in Tests, but he has been scoring big very consistently in domestic cricket. He deserves to have a crack.

R Sharma: I am going to him in spite of the fact that he has failed miserably in ODIs. I still want to give him a chance because talent-wise he looks the most capable of standing up to genuine quick bowlers.

P Kumar: He did very well in England and  West Indies but has been overlooked for some reason. I would take him any day compared to Ishant. He swings the new ball which could get a wicket or two even in Indian conditions. He is very accurate. So he would be useful to squeeze the runs at least during later overs when he is not bale to pick wickets. He won’t leak runs like Ishant.

V Aaron:Pace.

This would be my squad against Australia:

A Rahane,  U Chand, C Pujara, V Sehwag, V Kohli, R Jadeja, R Sharma, MS Dhoni, Ashwin, Ojha, U Yadav, P Kumar, P Avana, V Aaron

I feel a player should be given at least four Tests before being discarded. A test match here and a test match theer doesn’t really help.  If we go by this there so many slots filled by youngsters against Australia . Even if a few of them do well, Indian cricket would have moved forward.

 

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