This is one team that is not going to have too many speculations and surprises. The openers (Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffar) basically walk into the team, followed by the big 4 (Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly). Dhoni takes up the WK slot and that leaves room for either 2 quicks and 2 spinners or 3 quicks and 1 spinner. Zaheer and Munaf are sure bets and so is Kumble. The one remaining spot will be fought between RP Singh, VRV Singh, Powar and Pawar. If the subcontinent pitches are anything to go by, a spinner will be preferred over a seamer – and it may be Ramesh Powar, the offspinner making his test debut for India.
So, here is the team in batting order:
- Dhoni (wk)
The only possible change could be Yuvraj coming in place of one of the keepers.
- The 3rd and last ODI between India and Bangladesh has been called off due to rain. The forecast doesn’t look good either – expect a few interruptions during the first test match starting on the 18th. Dravid had earlier said “We will hurt Bangladesh more in tests”
- Sreesanth is to return home due to his calf muscle injury. RP Singh who was part of the ODI side will stay back as his replacement.
- Although, India won the ODI series, Sidharth Monga writes that there are more unanswered questions after the series. In The Hindu, Raman writes that it is too premature to label Chawla and Gambhir as ODI specialists.
- Rohit Brijnath writes in The Hindu that Shastri was a good choice for coach (although only a temporary one), and a generational change is required as far as coaching is concerned. Vijay Lokapally writes in The Sportstar that coaching the Indian team is a demanding job. Meanwhile, some BCCI officials are set to meet in Chittagong to discuss the possibility of Dav Whatmore taking over as coach.
- Chawla, Pujara and Yomahesh have bagged the Border-Gavaskar scholarship for a stint at the Australian academy. Pujara, who had also won the scholarship previously, couldn’t travel due to visa problems – hopefully that will not be a problem this time around.
- Kapil Dev is to be head of the Zee Cricket executive board. The other members include Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More. There is a lot of interest from ageing international players to join the league.
- India Times reports that BCCI is having difficulty finding sponsors for Team India.
- The Australia-Zimbabwe tour has been officially called off, after the Australian government banned the cricket team from touring Zimbabwe. According to The Age, Cricket in Zimbabwe could have worked. Zimbabwe have accused Australia of “racist ploy”
- Sachin has a few things to sort out with the Income Tax department, according to a report in the Indian Express.
- Brian Lara is to make a guest appearance in a Bollywood movie.