Daily Archives: 17 July 2007

My team for the 1st Test

I am the captain of the Indian team. I have had just 2 practice games and the 1st Test is already on to me. Too many questions have been left unanswered as far as my team selection goes. Even if I get 2 more games I don’t think I will get answers. So I better sit down and choose my best team. Firstly the openers. Karthik has done well. But apparently Dhoni is not keeping as well. He has dropped straightforward chances in the practice games. But again if Karthik, who is also keeping well these days, is to be my main keeper, then can he also open the batting? Ok, so Jaffer is incosistent. Gambhir has scored in the practice game and deserves a chance. So if Dhoni is to be dropped, Karthik to bat down the order and keep wickets, I can play only one of Laxman or Yuvraj. Of course the media always likes to mention that “Yuvraj can be handy with his left arm spin” because he is their darling over someone like Laxman. But I am pragmatic. I think Laxman, is more dangerous down the order. e is the better player of spinenrs, and if the new ball is blunted, he is one of the best in the team to take on Monty. Now come the bowlers. Zaheer, Sreesanth and Kumble are automatic. Ishanth Sharma is not in the reckoning. Should I play the 2nd spinner o go for the third seamer. I think the 3rd seamer is a better bet. Of course the media will say “Powar can bat a bit” like they used to about Agarkar, even after he had scored a dozen ducks in Australia! Now should I play RP Singh  or Ranadeb Bose? I will take the risk and play Bose. Do you know the guy has never noballed in first class cricket! And for rolling their arms over I do have Sachin & Sourav. So here is my team

Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman,  Dinesh Karthik, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth, Ranadeb Bose.

– Dravid (Oops! Sanjay)

Kepler Wessels for Team India?

Trevor Chesterfield writes in this report that Kepler Wessels has been sounded out by Sourav Ganguly to coach Team India! Wessels, the former Australian and South African Test cricketer, is known for being a strict disciplinarian with a decent coaching record. Whether India is ready for him is a different matter altogether!

Yet again, we have a situation wherein a current player is putting in the hard yards that the coach-selection committee is supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, the rest of the coach-selection committee appear to be sitting on their collective fingers, collecting ring-marks on their backsides. Sigh!

After a coaching stint at Northamptonshire which both parties terminated through mutual agreement Wessels is currently in Australia, coaching the South African emerging squad. The South African squad is playing New Zealand’s emergent side. The Kiwi side is being coached by Dave Nosworthy, another coach who is in consideration for the Team India coach job.

Meanwhile, Pakistan have quietly moved to make a smart appointment. Geoff Lawson has been appointed coach of Pakistan on a two-year contract. Lawson, a keen student of the game, has coached NSW in the past. He has also been a cricket administrator (with NSW) and a sanguine commentator of the game. I think this will prove to be a good move by Pakistan.

Meanwhile, in India, the ring-marks continue to deepen on the collective backsides of the coach-selection committee as they continue to sit on their fingers and watch the world go by!

–Mohan