Time for the second test!
(We’ve barely had time to catch our breath after the frantic finish in Adelaide but the tests are flying thick and fast – keep them coming!)
Australia has already come out and named their playing XI. Quite a few changes – from Steve Smith being named captain to the inclusion of Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Starc and a debut for Josh Hazlewood. Harris and Siddle are the guys missing out – pretty surprising as they have been the mainstay of Australia’s test squad for a while but perhaps Australia is looking to the future.
Australia will miss the presence of Clarke but on a seaming and quick wicket at the Gabba they seem to have their strategy set, going for the raw pace of Starc.
As we did for the first test, we are going ahead to name the India’s playing XI that we feel is best suited for this game.
First, the key discussion points:
- MSD – Captain Cool is back! M.S. Dhoni will lead in the second test. MSD may concede byes, drop catches and set defensive fields but when Dhoni comes out to bat at no. 7, it is certainly more calming than watching Saha trying to hit every ball out of the ground! Virat goes back to second fiddle. We’re sure this won’t be for long.
- Spin – Karn Sharma was disappointing (to put it mildly) in the first test. Ashwin should make a comeback. Ashwin’s inclusion will strengthen India’s lower order batting and he will be keen to do well after Nathon Lyon picked up 12 wickets at Adelaide. Horse bolted, stable door, anyone?
[DJ actually wants India to play four fast bowlers at the Gabba , the fastest wicket in Australia at the moment. This would mean Ashwin sits out and Umesh comes in for Karn. This may be a bridge too far as playing without a spinner is something India just doesn’t do.]
- Number 6 – Rohit Sharma failed to get a big score in Adelaide. We think he’s been given enough chances and India should give Suresh Raina a look-in. Raina is a hard-working cricketer in good limited overs form and we would like to see how he has improved since his last test appearance (was it 2011 in England?)
- Fast bowling – Shami was lacklustre and looked jaded in Adelaide (or maybe it’s just his haggard look that gives us that impression?). We would play Umesh Yadav instead. He will be raring to have a go on the Gabba wicket. The combination of Umesh, Ishant and Aaron, all bowlers who bowl around the 140kph mark could prove to be more than a handful on the fastest pitch in Australia at the moment!
Our suggested team sheet is below:
Will be interesting to see what Dhoni decides to do if he wins the toss – it’s not going to be an easy choice!