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India Cricket: Of Young Legs, Heller Pacers and Non-Finicky Squads

KOLKATA, INDIA - OCTOBER 29:  Kevin Pietersen of England hits past Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni during the Twenty20 International match between India and England at Eden Gardens on October 29, 2011 in Kolkata, India.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Linus FernandesAnalyst IINovember 4, 2016

The English came, saw and were conquered.

The freshly crowned No.1 Test team were all at sea when it came to negotiating the sub-continent’s slow turners.

A 5-0 trashing might satisfy MS Dhoni and his young brigade; the true test is to come when Team India tour Australia at the end of the year.

The Indians looked sharp in the field owing to young legs in the side.

A consolation T20 win for Graeme Swann, no little thanks to a belligerent knock by the man he termed not captaincy material in his autobiography, “The Breaks Are Off”—Kevin Pietersen.

The hoi polloi were not impressed; the stands were less than full for the games.

A surfeit of cricket coupled with the dismal surrender in England implies that fans cannot be taken for a ride—surely not all the time.

The squad picked for the first Test in the return series against West Indies at home has three express bowlers, each capable of bowling at 140+ kmph.

 

Does this mark the dawn of a new era?

 

Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are chomping at the bit to have a go and make their mark on the selectors before the crucial tour Down Under.

Harbhajan Singh,however, has been sternly castigated by Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his merry men; he remains out of favour.

Rahul Sharma, Ravindra Ashwin and Praghyan Ojha are the twirlers chosen by the wise men of Indian cricket.

Virender Sehwag returns, Ajinkya Rahane is rewarded for his fine displays and Yuvraj Singh makes it back to the Test side and ‘Grade A’.

Virat Kohli has yet another chance to prove his credentials in the longer format of the game—should he play.

Kohli and Ishant Sharma have moved up in the Indian cricketing world—rewarded with Grade A contracts.

Ashish Nehra is the surprising omission from the list of contracted players.

 

Why is he being punished?

S Sreesanth is another victim of Indian selectors' peccadilloes.

The first Test match is scheduled for November 6, 2011 in Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Two spinners and two pace bowlers are par for the course on sub-continent wickets.

Will Dhoni risk a Sehwag without adequate match practice? A similar move did not quite work wonders in English conditions. But then this is home advantage and the Kotla is the Nawab’s home ground.

 

Can Dhoni leave him out?

The second pace bowler’s spot is a toss-up between Yadav and Aaron—Dhoni’s call.

Rahul Sharma is the least experienced among the trundlers. Safe to say, he will not play.

The squad picks itself:

M S Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag (Ajinkya Rahane), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav (or Varun Aaron).

A thing well said will be wit in all languages. 
—John Dryden 

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