Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tres Amigos

The recent announcement that Rohit Sharma has been drafted in as a possible replacement for VVS Laxman means that the Indian batting line-up for the first test at Nagpur could well read: Sehwag, Gambhir, Murali, Tendulkar, Badri, Sharma, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Mishra, Zaheer, Ishant. Some folks might think this is the future of the Indian team. Well, once one throws folks like Pujara, Pandey, Tiwari, and Nayar into the mix. Still, its a good chance to see what lies ahead. (I know, I haven't mentioned Kohli, and thats because I'm strangely unconvinced by him).

The top six is an oddly balanced lineup in terms of state representation: two Delhi boys, two Mumbaikars, two Tamil Nadu lads. But there is only one left-hander in there. It'd be nice to have another one in the mix, but it's not the most pressing need at hand. The real need is for the three newcomers to make their presence felt. And they are lucky in a way: they get to face a good bowling attack in home conditions. The familiarity of the pitches and the crowds should make their task a little easier, as will the relative lack of pressure once Steyn and Morkel go off. Indeed, while Murali might have to face the new ball in case of an early dismissal, Badri and Sharma might have a slightly easier time of it. In writing thus, I'm perhaps doing an injustice to Wayne Parnell, who promises to be a handful, and is to boot, the kind of bowler that historically has caused problems to Indian batting line-ups. So all will not be peachy for the three newcomers.

Of the three newbies, Vijay has had the most impact in terms of tests (scores of 33, 41, 87, 30 thus far in his three tests). Badri and Sharma have yet to make their test debuts. Sharma, to be honest, has only partially redeemed himself in this last first-class season. Still, he looks bloody good whenever he gets going, and I'd back him to do well if he can settle in a bit before he starts playing those lovely shots of his. The one I worry about the most surprisingly enough is Badri. He has waited on the sidelines for so long that there is likely to be a little gnawing feeling inside him that he might not make it back if things go bad again. Hopefully, he can find some reassurance, both externally and internally.

Frustratingly, there are only two tests scheduled, but hopefully, the three young 'uns will get a decent chance to show off their wares. Fingers crossed for decent pitches and good weather. The more religious amongst you might consider a Ganesh puja or two.

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Blogger Trideep said...

I would somehow like to see Ojha & Mishra bowl together instead of Harbhajan.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Trideep: Fat chance unfortunately. Harbhajan cannot be touched.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Infact even I do not want Harbhajan in the team, but I know he'll play. What a waste!

2:59 PM  

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