Friday, November 16, 2007

Rejig away

Mukul Kesavan pens some thoughtful opinions on a possible Indian batting order for the Australian series. While I agree with Mukul in spirit - that an attacking batsman is needed at No.3 - I'm afraid that even I, VVS Laxman Fan Extraordinaire and Defender of the Faith, am not sure that sending VVS to that spot is going to work in the way that Mukul intends. I think that the attacking days of all of the Big Four are over. I haven't seen any of them dominate in tests in a while (the last Indian batsman to play dominating innnings in test cricket was Viru Sehwag). They all remain good, solid bats (and Tendulkar in one-days, on the evidence of this current series against Pakistan remains as good as ever), but I do not think that Australia will be the place where they will suddenly rediscover their aggressive touch. For that reason, I think that if India are to make a match of things in Australia (the reason why Mukul suggests this batting change) it'll have to look to its bowlers and outcricket instead. If India are to win, they'll have to rely on a Trent-Bridge template: bowl Australia out on the first day and then take all the time they need to build up a score that makes the third innings difficult for Australia. India have traditionally not been good at batting hard to take the initiative - the last test match I can remember this happening in was Chennai 1998 on the back of Tendulkar's 155*. So, again, I appreciate and applaud the sentiment behind Mukul's suggestion - that a strokeplayer is required at the three spot, to avoid the possible becalming that awaits us with Jaffer, Dravid and Tendulkar all in the top four. But I'm not sure that VVS has that spirit any more; the one that makes him get on top of bowling attacks, to cut them to shreds with his wrists. As always, I hope to be proven wrong in these matters; these are the sorts of predictions one loves to get wrong.

4 Comments:

Blogger Homer said...

He is not in any form to speak of. 0,18 and 38 in 3 innings have been his contribution to Hyderabad in the Ranji season so far.

On the back of that, I am not even certain he should be in the playing XI.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Homer, I have enough faith in VVS to think that he will rise to the occasion in Australia; he strikes me as that sort of player. I don't know if he will be able to dominate though. I don't think anyone in this batting line-up can. I think Karthik will be the one most likely to go hard at the bowling once in a while. But thats it. It'd be great if Yuvraj and Sehwag were in the line-up but I don't see how they will make it in there. Viru won't even go on the tour, I don't think. However, I think the Big Four will not last the tests; injuries will force out one or two of them. Yuvraj might make it in there then. As you can tell, I'm hoping the bowlers get the ball to swing and make the inroads. The batting will not drive us forward; the bolwers will. And thats another reason why I hope like hell that Kumble knows how to handle the quicks.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Straight Point said...

SC,

thats why i advocated for the inclusion of Sehwag and Yuvi in final eleven in my recent post...

The selectors/team management's job is not just limited to that they should pick the players who are coming with good scores only. this even boycotts mom can do. their job is to have some vision, belly for risks, instincts and guts to go on with it...to know who are the players who will most likely in combination with others are going to win you matches...coz the margin of loss is for the statisticians.
and i seriously don't know the meanings of moral victory, psychological advantages coz then no team would loose a match if they are winning...

so that way i would include in my eleven...

sehwag, kartik, dravid, srt, yuvraj, laxman, dhoni, kumble, zak, ss, hs/rp/munaf patel.

SG is not included coz the way he is poking bat at the pace of akhtar (in last two ODIs) does not inspire any confidence in me...

1:21 AM  
Blogger Uncle J rod said...

One series at a time gentleman

4:18 AM  

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