Monday, March 25, 2013

WHITE WASH (series review)!!!

Expectedly (Series Preview) India won the series against Australia. A month ago, some may have had doubts on that too. Certainly, none expected India to wash it 4-0. Especially from this team that is still in the phase of transition or from the Captain who just lost it 8-0 away & 2-1 at home.

What transpired, India to produce such a performance?
In my opinion, a few cards that looked BLUFF turned TRUMP. To name it, Murali Vijay, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Captain Dhoni and Shikar Dhawan delivered throughout the series (Big Time) that truly reversed the fortune for India. Dhawan is an exception here for he played just one Test Match. However his surprise package at Mohali made Indian victory possible in only 4 days of cricket. Again, I’m very honest to admit that I was totally stumped by Ashwin’s quick rise. Mind you, I had framed him as only the 5th bowling option for India after his performance against England. And, Ravindra Jadeja, who used to be the butt of Indian Jokes, turned out to be a big thorn in the Aussie flesh. After this series, it will not be any surprise if Jadeja pips Ojha in the XI for the role of left arm spinner. By the way, losing it to Jadeja is totally not Ojha’s fault. And then, Murali Vijay completely wiped the traces of Gambir’s woes with outstanding consistency at the top. Lastly, Captain Dhoni nailed it for playing 5 bowlers throughout the series. Mind you, for a long time, Teams across the world/along generations have dropped the idea of playing 5 bowlers even at home. It requires a lot of courage from a Captain to play 5 bowlers in Test Cricket. And, you have to understand that this Team is in transition phase too, which makes the decision all the more difficult. Also, Dhoni’s Captaincy was in scrutiny for reasons well known. In such a state, Dhoni deserves all accolades for backing the idea of 5 bowlers and making it work. Between, he also deserves it, for backing these horses that appeared wrong punts in many eyes.  It now appears the Midas may have got back his touch. So, don’t be surprised, if Raina joins the list of all-time greats in Test Cricket. Between, the Selectors also earn the credit for including a B Kumar in the squad and sacking the duo of Sehwag & Gambir. All in All, the entire crew gets a THUMBS UP!!!

As usual, the series spurred the gate for Debates. Did Tendulkar play his last Test Match in home soil? Is this team any good outside subcontinent?

I’ve a feeling that Tendulkar has NOT played his last Test Match in the home soil. It is hard to digest that India will go to South Africa with NIL Test Cricket for 9 months. So, in all likely hood, a short Test series will be arranged (ideally with Sri Lanka) before the tour of South Africa. This will ensure the players have some games under the kitty before the Big Tour. Also it will serve an opportunity to give farewell to one of the greatest servant of the nation. 

To answer the second question, this team is sure to better 8-0 whitewash. After all, you can’t do any worse than that. Having said that, one can expect India to follow the policy of Horses for Courses on the Tours abroad. Obviously you don’t need 3 spinners in the XI. Logically you would be tempted to play one extra batsman in place of a bowler (i.e 4 bowlers instead of 5 bowlers), and 3 pacers instead of 3 spinners.

So, the Team would look something like this is my personal guess.

Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Tendulkar/Sehwag, Kohli, Rahane/Tiwary/Raina/Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, B Kumar, Yadav, Ishanth Sharma.

Also there is a good possibility of Irfan Pathan coming back to reckoning if Dhoni fancy the idea of 5 bowlers abroad.

Bottom line: The upward curve on the transition has just begun. Rather begun with flying colors.

Cricket Lover

Monday, March 18, 2013

Done, Done, Well Done India!!!

After the first day of the Third Test was lost to rain, Australia finished at 273/7 at the end of second days’ play. With only 3 days of play available from here, I felt Sehwag (on prime) would have made the difference to force a result in favor of India. I’m sure it was a popular sentiment with many. By the way, I also expected Australia to bundle inside an hour on Day 3 and add another 50 runs to the total at best (even for a Sehwag to make up for time). Interestingly Australia batted almost 2.5 hours and posted more than 400 runs on the board with the Mitchell Starc proving more than a thorn in the ass with his 99 at No. 9. By all means, I was still curious to see India’s approach to this Test Match.

To my surprise, to everyone surprise, India’s intent was to force a result right from the word go. Mind you; it was not too far when India decided to play for draw at West Indies (2011) in the final Test, though the match was only a grasp away. And the men running the show then were the same men running the show now too. This was my reasons to think India could play for a draw.

Interestingly, debutant Dhawan led the charge in a grand style, at an electric phase, only for India to end the day at 283/0 in 58 overs (Dhawan 185*, Vijay 83*).  I’m sure Dhawan sweetly shocked the entire cricketing world with his performance that truly set the tone for India to win the match after only 4 days of cricket. Any thoughts of “India will Miss Sehwag” must be quickly diminishing after Dhawan show. Probably, Dhawan set the benchmark high even for Sehwag is a better way to put it. Also the Dhawan innings eclipsed Dhoni Marathon at Chennai would not be an understatement too.

So, did Dhawan really replaced Sehwag?
That would put too much pressure on Dhawan. In other words, Dhawan has made a fantastic start to his career. If Dhawan does not do 8-10 year career from here, it would be a shame is the other way to put it. While, Sehwag’s innings used to be built around the aura of aggression (a statement of domination), Dhawan’s was mostly deft touches, timings, penetrating gaps and beautiful looking drives in the lines of Ganguly. No matter, how big Dhawan go on to become from here, Sehwag’s place in the heart of people is there to stay. By the way, I’ve not given up the thought that Sehwag will have another stint in the middle order (at No.4) after Tendulkar’s departure.

As much Dhawan’s debut made an impact in Indian Cricket, Vijay has comeback equally good as opener. Two centuries in a row, the technique and temperament displayed, (trust me, few weeks ago I laughed at him for getting selected ahead of Rahane) makes him a strong candidate to stay for a while alongside Dhawan. Though I was extremely confident that any two openers (Dhawan, Vijay, Rahane) would do better than Gambir & Sehwag (in the current circumstances), I should say, I’m equally stumped at the show offered so far by Dhawan and Vijay. The amount of runs coming at the top, gives India opportunity to play 5 bowlers. Interestingly, Dhoni confirmed this in the post-match presentation about India playing 5 regular bowlers. I’m sure it feels good to everyone, when Jadeja is termed as a bowler instead of an all-rounder. I wish someday he turns into that dream all-rounder that India has been looking to discover forever after Kapil Dev.

The amount of runs coming from the blades of Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli (moderately) and bonuses from Dhoni allows the failure of Tendulkar. I’m sure the media/journalist will momentarily pause to dig on Tendulkar. Well everybody wants India to win and it really does not matter from where the runs come from. A 4-0 whitewash on Australia would be a nice relief for all the pain endured in the past. By the way, to my limited knowledge, even the greatest of Indian Teams from the past have not done a white wash (may be they did, I don’t remember). Even if India were to be beat a depleted Australian side, doing 4-0 white wash will be a wonderful achievement. Especially the attitude displayed to win the third Test Match was heartening.

I’m glad that the axe of Gambir and Sehwag turned to be justified move. As much as we hail Indian victory, Australia must be equally blamed for squandering wonderful opportunity of batting out on wonderful strip like Mohali. The Aussies jeopardized the opportunity of saving their ass when the Test Match lasts only 4 days is another way of looking at it. No excuse whatsoever for Australia failure. After 4-0, it will be interesting to see how Australian board handles the situation. Will they axe their captain? Will they axe their players? Will they sack the coach? Let’s follow how the blame game is handled in Australia.

Duncan Stays
It is interesting to know that Duncan’s contract extended for another year. That says the board did not blame the coach for the Team’s failure in the past. It also makes it curious as what is the role of a coach in the side. The only thing that I infer is, “If the Captain earns the benefit of Doubt, so does the Coach”.

Bottom line: What a time for Dhawan to get injured, when IPL is just round the corner? I'm sure India can manage his absence with Rahane, while it will be a huge blow for Sunrisers. By all means, 4-0 white wash looms large for Australia.

Cricket Lover

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who is the Lunatic???

What else can you say? 4 out 17 players are dropped from selection consideration for the reason that they did not give a presentation/document on how to improve themselves/team to deal 0-2 situation that Australia is in. Out of the 4 dropped, 1 already flew back home.

I’m not going to take sides here, but present my viewpoint on this whole mess.

It is fair on the team management to ask points from the players that could aid the team come out of the rut situation. But, asking it in writing, well that is going to be little tricky. Not everybody will prefer to give in writing. After all things can potentially backfire at you big time, especially if you give it in writing. Let’s say, if Shane Watson had to write 3 points, logically it would beI’ve to score runs. Big runs, to be precise Big Centuries. I’ve to start bowling too. Provide breakthrough’s the team need. I’ve to step up as Vice-Captain in terms of assisting the Captain in decision making”. Do you think Shane Watson can give this in writing and get away with a failure with the bat, zero contribution with the ball and the end game going in favor of India at Mohali?

What if, if the young kid like Usman Khawaja thinks, Michel Clarke captaincy is the true culprit for the these losses. Oh yeah, Clarke captaincy could very well be the culprit too. Mind you, Javagal Srinath once told that the reason for Tendulkar’s failure as captain is, “Tendulkar expected every player to perform like Tendulkar”. In others words, Tendulkar failed to see the player in the person, but expected every player in them to produce a Tendulkar. May be, Clarke is expecting everybody to perform like Clarke too. Do you think a player like Usman Khawaja can put this in paper and get away with it? Even if he attempts to think so, he will quickly come back to senses, only to realize what happened to Simon Katich when the southpaw had tiff off with Clarke. To me, it is not easy to put things on paper. Even if you can, you cannot ignore the repercussions. By the way, when such situations arise for India (already raised few times in the recent months when India were in dire straits), I can’t imagine a guy like Ishant Sharma making a presentation.

Let’s agree that the players are wrong in their attitude/approach for not completing the assignment given to them. Do you think it was right by the Team Management to drop these players on failing to complete their assignment? Absolutely NOT is my strong opinion. There is always a PAY CHECK that can be put on HOLD, which is surely bound to pinch the player. And there could be more ways too to make people comply standards. But, dropping the players is extremely unwarranted. Did the Team Management take into account that dropping these players could potentially alter the results of the 3rd Test Match, which also means disappointing millions of followers back home? If players displayed immaturity in their behavior, the management response is beyond worse. At times, I’m forced to ask how come so much power is vested on Team Management. Did they even consult their board for the grounds of dropping a player? And, this is far from what happened between Pieterson and England Team (ECB) or Gayle and West Indies Cricket Board. Somewhere there was valid reason from the Management perspective to keep these players out. This one is truly insane.

At this time, I’m so proud of the way things were handled in the Indian Setup. All the greats were a part of puzzle in England. They received a benefit of doubt in Australia for their contributions in the past. Yet with each growing Test Match defeat nothing appeared happening at that time. Eventually (8-0 and 1-2), (Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gambir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh) all those important figures in Indian Cricket were phased/eliminated/dropped out from the setup on a periodical basis. By the way, I’ve no doubts what so ever that Harbhajan Singh is finished after this home series. Rather he is only given a deserving send off with over 100 caps under his kitty for his contributions in the past. Well the point is everybody was aware that there was a tiff of between Dhoni, Gambir and Sehwag. There was a cloud cover in Dhoni, Laxman relationship. But, it was all left for the media and individuals to speculate while the decorum was well maintained in public. If Dhoni had wanted, he could have any day saved Gambir’s career. Had Gambir been dropped a year ago, he might have made a comeback now. But, he was persisted purposefully so as he won’t make a comeback (Obviously he is into 30’s now and the queue has grown considerably big. By the time he is ready to stage a comeback, he might hear the same music of Wasim Jaffer). Finally it became a popular decision to move ahead of Gambir. I don’t think he is likely to make his way back. With Sehwag, there could be a lease of life in middle order for his legendary contributions. But I’m sure he must have learnt his lessons too.

Bottom line: This is has turned very ugly. Australia has to learn a lesson or two from India, not just in Cricket.

Cricket Lover

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

தோனியின் வெற்றிப் பேட்டி

ஆஸ்திரேலியாவிற்கு எதிராக இரண்டு டெஸ்டுகளில் வெற்றி பெற்றதன் மூலம் மீண்டும் புகழின் உச்சத்திற்கு வந்திருக்கிறார் தோனி. இந்த நிலையில் பத்திரிகையாளர்களின் கேள்விகளுக்கு கலைஞர் ஸ்டைலில் (இருவரும் ராஜதந்திரிகள், அதான்) அவர் சொன்ன பதில்கள் இதோ:

இந்த மாதிரி ஒரு பிரம்மாண்டமான தொடர் வெற்றியை எதிர்பார்த்தீர்களா?

ஒவ்வொரு முறையும் வெற்றியை மட்டுமே எதிர்பார்த்துத் தான் களம் இறங்குகிறோம். பல சமயம் வெற்றி பெறுகிறோம், சில சமயம் தோல்வியின் வடிவில் படிப்பினை பெறுகிறோம்.

அடுத்த இரண்டு போட்டிகளையும் வென்று கணக்கை நேர் செய்வீர்களா?

நேர் செய்ய இது ஒன்றும் வரவு செலவு கணக்கோ அல்லது அவர்களுக்கு எதிரான போரோ அல்ல. அன்று வெற்றி அவர்களின் பக்கம். இன்று இந்தியாவின் பக்கம்.

ஆடுகளம் சுழற்பந்திற்கு சாதகமாக இருந்ததால் தான் வெற்றி பெற முடிந்ததா?

விதிகளை மாற்ற முடியாவிட்டால் விளையாட்டை மாற்று என்று ஆங்கிலத்தில் சொல்வதுண்டு. அது இங்கே சாலப் பொருந்தும்.தேர்தலிலே போட்டியிடும் முன்னர் தொகுதியைப் பற்றி அவசியம் தெரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும். ஆஸ்திரேலிய ஆடுகளம் வேகப்பந்திற்குத் தோதாக இருப்பது போல் நமது களங்கள் சுழற்பந்திற்கு சாதகமாக இருப்பதில் ஆச்சர்யம் ஏதுமில்லை. எதிர்க்க நினைப்பவர்கள் எதற்கும் துணிந்து எதிர்க்க வேண்டும் போர்க்களத்திலே பஞ்சு மெத்தையை எதிர்பார்க்கலாகாது.

அடுத்த இரண்டு போட்டிகளை எதிர் கொள்ள எதாவது திட்டம் வைத்திருக்கிறீர்களா?

ஆஸ்திரேலியா ஒரு விழுப்புண் பட்ட வேங்கை. அது வீறு கொண்டு எழுந்தால் காடு தாங்காது - திட்டம் இருக்கிறது. ஆனால் அதை வெளியே சொல்வதற்கில்லை.

செஹ்வாக் ஆட்டம் சொல்லும்படியாக இல்லையே? அவர் அணியில் நீடிப்பாரா?

அவரின் ஆட்டத்தை தேர்வுக்குழு உன்னிப்பாக கவனித்து வருகிறது. இறுதி முடிவை அவர்கள் எடுப்பார்கள். அவருக்கு எப்பொழுதும் இதயத்தில் இடமுண்டு.

உங்களுக்கும் அவருக்குமான உறவு எப்படி இருக்கிறது? உரசல்கள் அதிகமாகிவிட்டதாக செய்திகள் வருதே?

நண்பர்களுக்குள் உரசல்கள் சகஜம். ஆனால் விரிசல்கள் ஒருபோதும் ஏற்பட்டதில்லை.

அவருக்கு கண் பார்வையும் கேட்கும் திறனும் குறைந்து வருவதாக சொல்கிறார்களே உண்மையா?

வியூகங்களுக்கு பதில் உண்டு. ஆனால் ஊகங்களுக்கு இல்லை. கடுகு சிறுத்தாலும் காரம் குறையாது என்பதை இந்த இடத்திலே சுட்டிக்காட்ட விரும்புகிறேன்.

கம்பீரை அணியிலிருந்து நீக்கியது சரியா?

அது காலத்தின் கட்டாயம். அதை இப்பொழுது நினைத்தாலும் கண்கள் பனிக்கும், இதயம் கனக்கும்.

சென்னை சூப்பர் கிங்க்ஸ் அணியினர் எல்லோரும் தவறாமல் இந்திய அணியில் தொடர்ந்து விளையாடி வருகின்றனரே? உங்களுக்கும் பிசிசிஐ தலைவருக்குமான நெருக்கமான தொடர்பு தான் இதற்குக் காரணமா?

சென்னை சூப்பர் கிங்க்ஸ் வீரர்கள் என்று சொல்வதை விட திறமை வாய்ந்தவர்கள் இந்திய அணியில் இடம் பெறுகிறார்கள் என்று சொல்லிப் பாருங்கள், தவறாகத் தெரியாது. அவர்கள் இந்திய அணியிலிருந்து சென்னை அணிக்குத் தேர்வு செய்யப்பட்டவர்கள். மூச்சிருக்கும் வரை தேசம் முன்னே, கட்சி பின்னே என்ற கொள்கையை அயராமல் கடை பிடித்து வருகிறோம்.

வேகப்பந்து வீச்சு நமது அணியில் இன்னமும் ஒரு குறையாகவே இருக்கிறதே? ஒருவர் கூட தொடர்ந்து நிலைப்பதில்லையே?

நீங்கள் சர்மாவைப் பார்க்கிறீர்கள், நான் குமாரைப் பார்க்கிறேன். இருந்தாலும் அது குறித்து தொடர்ந்து ஆலோசித்து வருகிறோம். கூடிய விரைவில் தக்க முயற்சிகள் மேற்கொள்ளப்படும்.

புஜாராவின் ஆட்டம் எப்படி?

இந்திய அணியின் வளர்ந்து வரும் சுவர். திராவிட் பெருஞ்சுவர். இவர் சிறுஞ்சுவர். ஆனால் கண்டிப்பாக குட்டிச்சுவர் அல்ல (சிரிக்கிறார்).

இந்திய அணியின் அடுத்த தலைவராக யாரைச் சொல்வீர்கள்? உங்கள் வலது கையான ராயினாவா? அல்லது வளர்ந்து வரும் நம்பிக்கை நட்சத்திரமான விராட் கோலியா?

தலைவர் யார் என்பதை மேலிடம் தான் முடிவு செய்ய வேண்டும். வருங்கால அணிக்கு இருவருமே தேவை. ஒருவர் இல்லாமல் மற்றொருவர் இல்லை.  ஒருவர் போர் வாள் என்றால் மற்றொருவர் உடற்கவசம். அவர்களை எதிர்கால இந்திய அணியின் பொன்னர்-சங்கர் என்று கூறினால் அது மிகையாகாது.

உங்களுக்குப் பிறகு தலைவர் பதவிக்கு நிறைய வீரர்கள் இருக்கிறார்கள். ஆனால் விக்கெட் கீப்பிங் செய்ய வேறு மாற்று இல்லையே? அப்படி வேறு யாராவது வந்தால் அணியில் உங்களுக்கு இடம் இருக்காது என்கிறார்களே?

எங்கிருந்தாலும் எனக்கு ரசிகர்கள் மத்தியில் நிரந்தர இடமுண்டு. இந்திய அணி என் தனிப்பட்ட சொத்து அல்ல. அது பொதுச் சொத்து. வீரர்கள் உருவாகிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். சரியான நேரத்தில் வாய்ப்பு அளிக்கப்படும்.

இந்த முறை ஐபிஎல் போட்டியில் சென்னை கோப்பை வெல்லுமா?

இந்த கேள்விக்கு நான் இந்திய அணியின் சீருடை அணிந்து பதில் சொல்வது சரியல்ல. ஆனால் இம்முறை போட்டி கடுமையாக இருக்கும் என்பதை மட்டும் திண்ணமாகக் கூற முடியும்.

கடைசியாக ஒரு கேள்வி, 2013க்கு பிறகு நான் டெஸ்ட் போட்டிகளில் விளையாடுவதைப் பற்றி யோசிப்பேன் என முன்னொரு முறை கூறியிருந்தீர்கள். அதைப் பற்றி எதாவது முடிவு எடுத்திருக்கிறீர்களா?

2013க்குப் பிறகு தானே? அதற்கு இன்னும் 9 மாதங்கள் இருக்கிறதே, என்ன அவசரம்!!

New Delhi

பின் குறிப்பு:  இது ஒரு கற்பனை உரையாடல்

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

At Halfway to return the favor...

Leading the series 2-0, Indians are positioned exactly at the half way stage of returning the favor. Can they do it 4-0?

Before we get there, I see this series resembling very much to the one played at Australia. Except the roles played by these two sides have reversed.

Following are the results of the Four Test matches played at Australia, a year ago.

1st Test: Australia v India at Melbourne - Dec 26-29, 2011
Australia 333 and 240; India 282 and 169
Australia won by 122 runs

2nd Test: Australia v India at Sydney - Jan 3-6, 2012
India 191 and 400; Australia 659/4d
Australia won by an innings and 68 runs

3rd Test: Australia v India at Perth - Jan 13-15, 2012
India 161 and 171; Australia 369
Australia won by an innings and 37 runs

4th Test: Australia v India at Adelaide - Jan 24-28, 2012
Australia 604/7d and 167/5d; India 272 and 201
Australia won by 298 runs

Following are the results in the current series, thus far.

1st Test: India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
Australia 380 and 241; India 572 and 50/2
India won by 8 wickets

Australia 237/9d & 131 v India 503
India won by an innings and 135 runs

Irrespective of the series, if you take a closer look at the results, the gap between the two sides started widening with each growing test match. India put a better performance at Melbourne compared to the second Test at Sydney (where the track at Sydney better suited Indian players). The same holds good for Australia in India. On a relatively poor surface at Chennai, Australian batsman put a better show compared to the one at Hyderabad. On the contrary, Australia made changes to the side that lost at Chennai, while India didn’t at Sydney. As a matter of fact India did not make any changes to the losing side (except when Dhoni got suspended for the Final Test at Adelaide) in any of the four Test matches. Changes to the XI or not, the end game remains the same until this point. By the way, we can anticipate more changes to come from the Australian camp in the days ahead. So, if the patterns that matched thus far have any reverence, then there is every reason to believe India will return the favor.

But, what are the odds?
Before we get there, lets us appreciate the good things that have happened so far. Vijay proved that he is more than adequate to replace Gambir at that slot. For that matter, any of Dhawan/Rahane if given an opportunity would have proved us the same. This is the slot Gambir occupied little too long, yet failed to produce a century in 3 years. By the way, it is also the same slot that Sehwag occupies without any magic for the past few years. Again, I’ve no doubt if Rahane/Dhawan/Jeevanjoth Singh/Unmukt Chand/Jaffer given an opportunity to replace Sehwag, would do more justice for their selection. As much as we want a longer rope for Sehwag, Sehwag’s body language shows no interest whatsoever in the job. It will be interesting to see if the axe falls on the Delhi Marauder.

Ashwin as a lead spinner was definitely a joke both at Australia and in the series against England at home. But, in this series against Australia he (im)proved miles ahead of the comeback man Harbhajan Singh. As what is expected out of him, Ashwin showed his prowess with the ball than bat for a place in the side. He appears worthy to stay with the side for the tours abroad, while Harbhajan can consider his career more or less over after this home series. Well, you don’t need two off spinners for South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australian conditions. And after all these tours away, Ashwin may find resistence from new crop of bowlers like Pervez Rasool, Jalaj Saxena than Harbhajan Singh when India returns home.

Importantly, India settled to the settled combination of bowlers (for home conditions). My choices would have been little different, but my craving has always been that India should settle with the bowling line up. A line up that needs little tweaking during any match of the series. A line up that will peg 20 wickets. Pl read my Preview of this series, if you are not tired yet.

Coming back to the basic question, can India return the favor?
The true Test for India comes at Mohali. A surface with distinct flavor. A flavor that is expected to be advantageous for the visitors than the home side. Since India cannot lose the series from here, also lots of positives to derive, considering all the away tours ahead, it is important the track holds its identity. Considering the momentum is pretty much with Indians, it would not be a bad idea if Mohali turns out to be a lively surface. We already saw the striking similarly between the two series thus far. As much as India could not capitalize Sydney wicket, the same can potentially happen to Australia too at Mohali. If India can win at Mohali, then we can be sure India will return the favor in style.

I personally anticipate a couple of changes to the squad. Mohali might need an extra seam bowler. Ashwin decimated Australia with limited support from Harbhajan Singh (10 overs, 0 wickets) in the second innings of the second Test could have been an idea to confirm if Ashwin can lead the show all by himself. So, Harbhajan will pave way for the additional seam bowler. I think Shami Ahmed will quietly replace Dinda from the squad and replace Harbhajan in the XI. Similarly, Jeevanjoth Singh selection could possibly come at the expense of Sehwag. I also anticipate J Singh to replace Sehwag in the XI for scoring mountain of runs this season on the Mohali track. The above two things could turn true or it is just my fantasy.

Bottom line: This is one Test, i'm really craving for the youth brigade to win on a lively Mohali surface.

Cricket Lover
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