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    February 23, 2006

    Indian squad for first test against England announced

    In a move which will only continue the debate on whether Ganguly's career is over or not, he was not picked for the first test against England. Effectively, this also implies that he is neither the opener that the Indian side wanted, nor the all-rounder that he was made out to be.

    There is no place for Gautam Gambhir, despite him remaining not out on the first day of the tour game against England. Wasim Jaffer, who had been picked for the Ahmedabad test against Sri Lanka and for the Pakistan tour, has been picked. Given the recent statements on the need for a specialist opener, it can safely be assumed that he will play. Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Murali Kartik have done almost nothing of note in the recent past to force the selectors to look at them.

    Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif got the middle-order slots. I don't think either of them will play. Sree Santh, as expected, is all set to make his test debut. RP Singh also finds a place, as does Vikram Rajvir Singh.

    The interesting selection is that of eighteen year old Piyush Chawla, who had quite a good Under-19 World Cup recently, including snapping up 4/8 in 8 overs in the final against Pakistan, before the batsmen pressed the self-destruct button. He also had a very good domestic season, ending up at #6 in the wickets tally, including a five wicket haul in the final when Uttar Pradesh beat Bengal earlier this month.

    I think he will play in the test series, at some point of time or the other. It would in all likelihood depend on the wicket, and if reports are accurate, a brown spin-friendly wicket awaits England at Nagpur, unlike the pace bowler friendly wicket in 2004 against Australia. We could actually see a revamped bowling attack, with Pathan and Sreesanth opening the bowling and a three man spin attack of Kumble, Harbhajan and Piyush. The only hitch with three spinners is that after around 12-15 overs of the new ball, there is no one else to bowl seam-up stuff, unless of course Sachin Tendulkar is considered for that job. India could go in with five bowlers, two specialist openers, three middle-order batsmen and a kaataan. Kaataan is a Tamil word which can be used to describe the batting by people like Symonds, Flintoff, Gilchrist, Sehwag, etc. Dhoni is now almost ready to be added to the list!
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:30 PM |
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    8 sledge(s):

    Dhoni belongs to the kaattan list but I have watched his recent innings' and found that there is certain measure of method to his madness. He knows when to throw his bat around. He has enough fire power to even mis hit a ball out to a boundary. This is the reason, he rarely seems to get out to those 'Dhanukoti sixers' ( a term straight out of Chennai 1st division..meaning ..a ball hit with enough hit but hardly crossing the ring..made famous by the player under whose name the term is coined) can see Afridi often getting out to Dhanukoti sixer since he gets into odd positions and swings blindly but not Dhoni. I am not sure how long Dhoni can maintain this amazing run he has been having but let us hope that it lasts all the way to 07 WC and beyond.

    By Blogger Crick_Love (23-Feb-2006, 7:48:00 PM)  

    'Kaatan' is a great word to describe Dhoni. I always describe him as 'Kaatan', when I talk to my Tamil frenz :)

    By Blogger Sesh (24-Feb-2006, 2:39:00 AM)  

    This is so saddening. I think Ganguly performed well enough in the test at Karachi to merit selection.
    Well, there is the second test to look forward to.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria (24-Feb-2006, 3:41:00 AM)  

    I hope Romesh Powar is also considered for the second test.
    I am rather excited by the selection of Chawla.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria (24-Feb-2006, 3:42:00 AM)  

    This would be my lineup

    Virender Sehwag
    Wasim Jaffer
    Rahul Dravid
    Sachin Tendulkar
    Mohammed Kaif
    Mahendra Dhoni
    Irfan Pathan
    Ramesh Powar
    Harbhajan Singh
    Anil Kumble
    S Sreesanth

    If the side wishes to go in with three seamers, RP Singh could come in for Bhaju or Kumble.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria (24-Feb-2006, 3:48:00 AM)  

    sesh & crick_love: Dhoni _is_ a kaataan, a sensible one :)
    rishi: Ganguly performed "ok" at Karachi, not "well enough". I was certainly expecting a ton from him to throw at his critics. I can't see Powar coming into the reckoning at all, his bowling, from what I've seen, isn't test quality. He is a good option for one-dayers, but he really has to improve his fielding & fitness.

    By Blogger Jagadish (24-Feb-2006, 3:21:00 PM)  

    wondering how would you know tamil?

    By Anonymous pmbabu (25-Feb-2006, 8:47:00 AM)  

    pmbabu: Because that is my native tongue?

    By Blogger Jagadish (26-Feb-2006, 7:18:00 PM)  

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