Danger for Laxman and Harbhajan
VVS Laxman's first-ball duck today at Nagpur
follows his twin failures at Karachi
. There've been reports about how he could be dumped if he didn't perform against England
. His recent series certainly don't bolster his case
, in spite of a century against Sri Lanka
and a few fifties here and there. I've been a VVS supporter for a long time, but the writing does seem to be on the wall. In addition, he's been dropping too many catches in the slips of late, a very odd thing for him given the general quality of his catching.
Moreover, it isn't even the case of a TINA factor. Suresh Raina
is on the fringe, as is Venugopal Rao
. Kaif's knock today means that he will continue to be in the reckoning for a middle order slot in the next two tests, regardless of whether Yuvraj becomes fit or not. Aside from all those names is that of Sourav Ganguly
The other person whose place could be in trouble is Harbhajan Singh. He had an awful tour of Pakistan
, gave away over 350 runs without looking like taking a wicket
. While he did "ok" at home against Sri Lanka and his overall stats don't show a marked decrease
except for the Pakistan fiasco, he is expected to take wickets against a weakened England batting lineup
. The sardonic kisses he blew to Harmison on the second day after dismissing him were pyrrhic. Harmison had already caused enough damage with the bat.
Piyush Chawla, a replacement, is ready to fill in for Harbhajan in case he doesn't get back to wicket taking ways. Plus India can always try to play the patriotism card and make Monty play for India
For both Harbhajan and Laxman, the next two innings in the game are critical. Harbhajan is still not yet 26, so he won't have a problem making a comeback. Not so for Veevers.