Team India for 1st Test against Pakistan

There are a few questions that the selectors face as they sit down to select Team India for the 1st Test against Pakistan which commences in New Delhi on November 22 2007.

The team that is chosen has only one certain name on the team-sheet — that of Anil Kumble the captain — and in selecting the team, the selectors will probably have an eye to the series against Australia too. Team India for the Australia tour will be selected after the conclusion of the 2nd India-Pakistan Test match at Kolkata (Nov 30 – Dec 4).

The India Test team is likely to bring to focus the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh, V. V. S. Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Irfan Pathan, et al.

I’d like to see the following Test team chosen for the 1st Test against Pakistan:

Wasim Jaffer

Dinesh Karthik / Gautam Gambhir

Rahul Dravid

Sachin Tendulkar

Sourav Ganguly

Yuvraj Singh / V. V. S. Laxman

M. S. Dhoni

Anil Kumble

Harbhajan Singh

Sree Santh / R. P. Singh / Irfan Pathan

Zaheer Khan

I have assumed that the selectors will pick XV players. My preference would also be that India play Yuvraj Singh ahead of V. V. S. Laxman mainly because of the form that Yuvraj Singh is in. Moreover, Yuvraj Singh would also provide a 3rd spin-option in the team. India has, for long, omitted left-arm spinners in its Test team. One can question the inclusion of Sourav Ganguly ahead of V. V. S. Laxman in the above team-list; this is more a current-form thing than anything else. I would include Sree Santh ahead of R. P. Singh mainly because otherwise the bowling would have a “sameness” feel to it.

— Mohan

14 responses to “Team India for 1st Test against Pakistan

  1. For the playing XI, I think the following are automatic selections:
    1. Jaffar
    2. Dravid
    3. Tendulkar
    4. Dhoni
    5. Kumble
    6. Zaheer Khan

    That pretty much leaves 5 spots open. After his performance with the bat in South Africa and England, it would be hard to leave Karthik out.

    IMHO, Ganguly is not an automatic selection, although he would be my preferred choice ahead of Yuvraj and Laxman. I would like to throw another player in to the mix of things – Sehwag. He has always performed well against Pakistan and if I was a selector, I would play him in one of the tests (in preparation for the Australia series). However, if I were to pick one player out of Yuvraj, Laxman and Sehwag to fill out a middle order position, it would be Yuvraj.

    In the bowling department, Sreesanth would marginally edge out RP Singh for the second seamer spot and the second spinner spot should go to Bajji ahead of Murali Karthik.

    I think I’ve ended up with the same playing XI that you proposed 🙂 –

    Dinesh Karthik, Jaffar, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth

    The only change is that I would have Sehwag in the XV instead of Gambhir.

    I also wonder if the selectors will take a bold step and include someone like Badrinath for Laxman based on current form…

  2. Guys,

    VVS had a good tour of England and did reasonably well in county cricket after that. Here’s tour stats for tests:

    A Kumble 3 5 2 162 110* 54.00 305 53.11 1 0 0 25 1
    MS Dhoni 3 5 1 209 92 52.25 315 66.34 0 2 1 24 4
    VVS Laxman 3 5 1 205 54 51.25 448 45.75 0 2 0 24 0
    SC Ganguly 3 6 1 249 79 49.80 452 55.08 0 2 0 33 2
    KD Karthik 3 6 0 263 91 43.83 518 50.77 0 3 0 33 1
    SR Tendulkar 3 6 0 228 91 38.00 528 43.18 0 2 0 32 0

    His average for the tests is above 50 in that tour. Poor VVS is always under the gun even when he performs well. Give him a break guys…..

  3. Why is Wasim Jaffer automatic ?

    Ganguly could be dropped if Yuvraj has to play.

  4. gnbmdr,

    On which basis should/could Ganguly be dropped? He was our top scorer at SA and second highest scorer in England test series. On which basis would you drop him?

    Please give reasons!

  5. Prabhu,

    Going by average, wasn’t Kumble our best bat there? So let us drop an additional batsman to include a genuine bowler?;p

    On another note, going by average is quite misleading. You should see how many runs did he make in comparison to other batsmen, did he play his role suitably or not.

    On the points that I mentioned, VVS had an average tour in England

  6. Chandan: A very simple reason exists. Ganguly is not from TamilNadu.

  7. Neither is Laxman, Raghavan, though he is from South India!!

  8. mohun

    your’s team is the classic case of mingling ODI form with Test.

    and the most glaring aspect of this is putting DK’s place in question…the guy has performed admirably in difficult conditions first in SA and then in England averages at least a fifty per test match and still you rate GG above him or at par… what more he should do to be certainty in your book…

    or is it like…thank you sir we needed you to counter difficult conditions…but now that the conditions here in India are going to be easier so sorry we wont be requiring your services…

    isn’t it…

  9. It is very simple. If Dinesh Karthik, the top scorer as the opening batsman in the England series can be dropped, why not Ganguly ?

    What about the automatic inclusion of Wasim Jaffer ?

  10. gnbmdr, Ganguly was the top scorer too as a 4-down batsman!

  11. I think they shld consider Munaf Patel instead of sreeshanth or rp singh as i feel he is a very good test bowler who can pick wickets for india regulary and also can reverse swing the bowl.Although he has fitness problems and is not a great ODI bowler, they shld give a chance as his record suggests that he is good enough

  12. Earth shatterig news from BCCI this morning–a COACH will be appointed before Team India leaves for the Australia tour.

  13. Raghavan,

    Ganguly was the second highest scorer in that series. If the highest scorer KD Karthick can be dropped, why not Ganguly ?

    KD Karthik 3 6 0 263 91 43.83 518 50.77 0 3 0 33 1

  14. Pingback: Team India for Pakistan Tests « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

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