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)

13 responses to “My team for the 1st Test

  1. Apart from the presence of Bose — over RPS — I like this team Sanjay. It has a lot going for it. Firstly, Karthik is playing where he ought to (as the only wicketkeeper and in the lower order). Second, we are going into an important series with two known/regular openers and not with Powar and R.P.Singh — as most Indian couch potatoes would want! The bowling is… well, the best, given the resources.

    Yes Bose hasn’t conceded no-balls. But he hasn’t set the Engligh world afire either. So, I’d go with Singh who did trouble some of the batsmen in the first game with control and late away movement.

    Nice post…


  2. I know that Bose has not really impressed. But what I like about him is the line & length consistency that we need. Imagine Bell & Collingwood tied up by Bose & Kumble! Of course I shudder to think about Pieterson & Prior running amuck!

  3. sampath kumar

    Laxman stands like the convicts sent to Australia–ball and chain around the ankle–while batting and fielding with his dicky knees and fishing outside the off stump–he is a liability on all grounds

    Yuvaraj has youth on his side–very good fielder–running or stretching out–can score as well as Laxman— and an occasional bowler too–he is the man for me

  4. Dravid, (oops Sanjay 😉 )

    Before the tour games, I thought Bose was the man, but I somehow lean more towards RP now…Where is Munaf when you need him?

  5. Jaffer / Gambhir is a reasonable choice as openers. WK and opener in almost test match is impossible. Farokh Engineer was the one before.

    With these openers, the problem is Dravid will be out there from the third over as it would be 10 for 1 ?

    Regarding Bose and RP Singh, the pecking order seems to be Zaheer, RP as of now. SreeSanth has yet to gain his rhythm ?

  6. Srikanth Mangalam

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what the long term plans are with respect to playing Karthik.

    1. Is he going to be an opener in tests and bat at 6 in one dayers and not keep?

    2. Is he going to be opener in tests temporarily and bat at 6 in one dayers and not keep?

    3. Is he going to be opener and keep in tests (temporarily and/or permenantly) and bat at 6 in one dayers (temporarily and/or permenantly)?

    4. Is he going to keep in tests and bat at 6 (temporarily and/or permenantly)?

    That leaves us with Dhoni. Is he going to play?

  7. India has a long history of making wicket keepers also open the batting.

    I would guess, if indeed Karthik opens and keeps wickets at Lords, it would only be a temporary thing, only to cover up the folly of dropping Sehwag.

    But in the interest of team India, I feel he must be ‘burdened’ with the dual responsibilty. He won’t do worse than Gambhir and at the same time allow Yuvraj to play at seven.

    I don’t have any intention of advertising my blog here, but whilst on the ‘Openers’ you all might be interested in reading my post – ‘First in, First out’ done in three parts on our opening batsmen since 1932!

    Sincere apologies if you find this out of place.

  8. Kiran More mentioned the dilemma of selectors ” It is just that we have 2 equally very good WK/batsmen now “.

    Karthik has played as a batsman in the team.

    If some other regular batsmen (Jaffer, Gambhir, Yuvraj, or some new other guy ) had performed uniformly much better, they would have Karthik’s batting slot.

  9. Sanjay, I would go with your team but retain Dhoni instead of Gambhir. RPS/Bose is a touch and go…

  10. Looks like there is a lot of concern about Dhoni’s WK and he dropped straight forward chances.

    Just read the article in Cricinfo. I did not know Karthik was the WK in the second innings against the Lions. So, they might let Karthik as the WK and the opener, given the other openers have not succeeded.

    Man, it goes back to team selection for the tour. There are not good enough other horses either in batting or bowling.

  11. Don’t agree with you on that gnbmdr, but that should no longer come as a surprise to you 🙂

    I think that with the exception of 1 (maybe 2) spots, they have taken the best team with them on this tour for the Tests. It is just that the best may not be good enough.

  12. what I meant was – usually for a tour you chose 3 openers. here the assumption was made karthik was definitely one of the openers.

    if Dhoni is the WK, then there is no problem. if not, that puts a lot of pressure, when someone is a WK, and then open the batting. the other two openers do not give much confidence.

    I feel Inshant Sharma selection is an experiment not be considered for an important tour like England.

    I am optimistic, (to quote the “optimistic” 🙂 that we have some better players in India, who were not selected in this side.

  13. Yes, the assumption was made that Karthik would be one of the openers. Good assumption. Good move.

    I don’t think this puts any additional pressure on Karthik if he ‘keeps and opens the batting. That is an assumption that YOU have made. Wrong one, of course!

    A few reasons:

    Karthik does this regularly in Ranjis. Others before him like Engineer, Mongia, Dasgupta and Parthiv Patel have done it. In fact, in the Bangladesh Tests, most of us bemoaned the fact that we have two ‘keepers in the team.

    Ishant Sharma the “experiment” happened in Bangladesh. His inclusion here is confirmation that he ‘belongs’ and is not an experiment. Even if he is an ‘experiment’, I see nothing wrong with that. He needs the experience if he is a future prospect. Who would you rather have instead of Ishant?

    And BTW, if we hadn’t taken Ishant and taken Agarkar instead (say) you may have well been the first one to thump the table and whinge about the lack of opportunities being given to up-and-coming-youngseters.

    Either way, it looks like you wish to reserve the “I’d like to whinge whenever I can” ticket. 🙂

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