Every morning the alarm would go off at 5.55 am. Praying that India was not more than 2 wickets down in the first 30 minutes of play, I would switch the TV on to Star Sports and watch it with just one eye open. It used to be pitch dark outside (Delhi’s winter sun was not out yet). As kids, watching India play in Australia was a cold, early morning affair.
Those days are back again.
Except time zones now work pretty well for me (play starts at 8 am) and Singapore has no real winter to speak of!
Since the first test begins tomorrow, we thought it’d be interesting to write about team composition. My suggested team sheet is below:
Overall, the batting line-up looks pretty settled. However, if Dhawan fails in a couple of tests like he did in England, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rahane is asked to open (given the team management seems to think he can bat anywhere) and Raina is brought in to the lower middle order. Also, India could be eyeing a bigger prize and may want one of its key limited overs players to spend some time in the middle – a World Cup is less than 100 days away. Watch this space!
Ashwin takes the sole spinner’s spot. Adelaide is probably the most spinner friendly wicket in Australia so he’ll be hoping to get his tour off to a good start. [CORRECTION: we’ve just been informed by an Aussie fan (Paul Dennet @IndiainOz) that Sydney is Australia’s most spin friendly wicket!]
Word has just come in that Dhoni is not fit. Wriddhiman Saha plays and bats at #7. Given its a long tour and a World Cup is coming up, having Dhoni miss the first test to make sure he’s fully fit is not a bad idea. It also gives us a chance to see Kohli captain in the longer format against quality opposition.
Before Bhuvi was declared unfit, the only point DJ and I disagreed on was the third seamer’s spot – Yadav, Aaron or Shami?
Shami hasn’t impressed either of us in the recent past. We think he’s played far too much limited overs cricket and seems to have lost the ability to swing the ball late.
We both agreed that we need a genuine fast bowler to support Ishant and Bhuvi. I thought India should play Umesh, who took 23 wickets in 4 tests last time around. DJ wanted Varun Aaron to play – partly because he thinks Umesh is all brawn and no brain and partly because he thinks Aaron is the answer to all our prayers on the fast bowling front!
With Bhuvi unfit, I guess that question is now academic!
Do you agree/disagree with the line-up? Leave a comment and let us know!