Friday, November 9, 2012

if you have a headache, turn it into someones...

If you have a headache, turn it into someone’s. This is exactly what Sandeep Patil led panel did in name of team selection for the upcoming series against England. How else can you call it, when the selectors name as many as 4 openers for 2 Test matches? (Rahane is still eyed as the future opening batsman for India).

Picking 4 openers has made this a subject of interpretation of convenience.

1.    This should be a direct threat to the current pair of openers (Sehwag & Gambir) whose performance has been way below average in the recent years. In other words, Perform or Perish is the statement to the openers by Selectors.

2.    This is a support system offered to the captain to take the brave/critical move of dropping either or both the openers. In other words, Selectors passing their headache to Dhoni.

These are the two ways, I interpreted the selection. May be there are more ways too. Having followed various selection panels, I’m compelled to choose the option 2. But, the selectors would be proud at themselves for attempting to hit two mangoes with one stone.

Anyways, this is a futile effort in my opinion as nothing is likely to change. We’ve never witnessed Dhoni dropping big names (the least in the Test format) from the playing XI, when available for selection. At home, our players are truly tigers. So there is no way, Gambir or Sehwag is going to fail. And the perennial problem is likely to haunt us when India Tours abroad in 2013. So, let us worry about it when we get there.

For now, we move onto the prospect of this series. Let me not beat around the bush. There is no way England is a challenge to India. At the best the Barmy Army should be happy if they could draw a test match. Even if this happens, I’m sure weather would have played its role.

Why do I make such a sweeping statement?
All of these new comers Root, Compton, Bairstow and Morgan will have their share of problems with the turning ball. Even if two out of four features in the XI, England can safely assume that they have already lost two wickets without too many runs on the board. That leaves the bulk of scoring to Cook, Trott, Pieterson and Bell. Trott has never been the guy scoring big hundreds even in familiar conditions. His performances are usually in the range of 50s to 80s. Even this pattern of runs scoring is likely to take a considerable hit in subcontinent. So, early exposure of Pieterson and Bell in the wicket is not going to help the course. And Priors 50s are likely to turn into 25s.

In my best guess, England will field the following XI.

Compton, Cook, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Bairstow/Morgan, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Swann, Panesar/Patel and Finn.

The seam bowling of Jimmy Anderson or the pace bowling of Finn is hardly any botheration to Indian batsmen at home. Since Indians generally play the spinners well (except for few aberrations), Swann & Co are not likely to be threat as much as Ashwin and Ojha for England.

What about Indian XI?
Sehwag, Gambir, Pujara, Kohli, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Ashwin, Ojha and Zaheer are the likely composition for the first test. (My personal choice: replace Gambir with Rahane)

Since Dhoni is already used to the idea of opening the new ball with Ojha against New Zealand, I heavily doubt India will play two seam bowlers. If you ask, then why did Ishanth Sharma and Umesh Yadav feature in the squad? The answer is simple. These are the two best fast bowlers on paper at the moment. Hence both are selected in the squad to give our batsman a good practice in the nets to deal Anderson and Finn on the field.

In all India is poised to win the series 3-0. All you can expect from Barmy Army is to play more or less a cricket match like the one in the link below.

Bottom line: English cricket at sea.

Cricket Lover

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...