Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tests begin at Kiwi Land...

Another abroad Test Series for India to begin today. Will India’s performance in the ODI series have any impact in the Test series? Not necessary. And I don’t think so. Definitely the performance of the India’s Test Side at South Africa was stark contrast to the performance of the ODI unit against the same opposition. If recent past is any indicator, we already got our answers.
At the same time, can’t hide the disappointment of India’s abysmal performance in the ODI’s. Suresh Raina and Ishanth Sharma’s ouster from the XI during the course of NZ series was one positive. Not sure, if India has moved on from Raina and Ishanth yet. They better do. Rayudu looked alright in his brief opportunities. He could have made the most out of it with a big fifty. Never mind. Ashwin and Jadeja’s performance with the bat was eye brow rising. Can, India bank on them and play a batsman less? Your guess is as good as mine.The idea of Virat Kohli opening the innings in the 4th ODI sounded bitter. The lad is well on course to make a name for himself at No.3. Why fiddle with it? Luckily, India put him back to No.3 in the final ODI. From the looks of it, Dhawan’s place is surely hanging. If Dhawan does not have a good outing in the Test Series at NZ, he will be replaced both from Test and ODI squad without a lot of noise.
As much India disappointed, glad to see the ascendancy of Kiwis. I would say Kiwis were kind enough to India by not fielding Corey Anderson in the final two ODI’s. The side is well poised before the World Cup. By all means, they make it to the Semi Finals of the World Cup’s regularly. This time the tournament is to be played at home. So, NZ should make hay while sun shines.
Coming back to the preview of the Test Series, India cannot expect to start as favorites though. But one can expect India to draw the series against Kiwis.
It will be interesting to see what combination India will field for the first test. For starters, Ashwin may have already lost his place to Jadeja. To be precise, he lost his place to Jadeja at Durban. Now that Jadeja had a good outing with the bat in the ODI’s, Ashwin’s wait in the sidelines is likely to extend. Again, it will be exciting to see who will don the 3rd seamer role? Ishanth Sharma did not have a bad Test Series at all at South Africa (decent series is a better way to put it). It is only logical he should hold on to his place. But the dislike for Ishanth Sharma is growing every day. May be the team management could mull for a change. B Kumar did not do anything commendable in the ODI series to eclipse Ishanth Sharma for the 3rd seamer slot. So won’t be surprised if one of Ishwar Pandey/Umesh Yadav gets to play as the 3rd seamer. I’m backing Ishwar Pandey as he brings the height factor of Ishanth Sharma. While, Shami Ahmed is adequate for not considering Umesh Yadav.
India starting XI from my perspective
Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, R Sharma, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Shami Ahmed, Ishawar Pandey
Bottom line: India should level the series (1-1)
Cricket Lover

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